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Dr Nikolai Gourof

Affiliate Researcher, Strife Operations Manager, & Strife Book Reviews Editor


Dr Gourof is a historian of military thought, with his primary field of interest and expertise being the interplay of military thought and practice in the early modern and early industrial era. A further focus is the genre of 'lessons of a war' as a factor of influence in the evolution of military thought. Geopolitically, he especially focuses on Habsburg and early Bourbon Spain and its European adversaries, but is also interested in extra-European parallels, particularly Russia and Japan. He is currently researching the nature of the interrelation between early modern military treatises and the strategic, operational, and tactical practices of the era, critically exploring how modern historiographical approaches have shaped our understanding of pre-contemporary war craft.


Connected to the above are Dr Gourof’s broader research interests: in the interplay between warfare, state organisation, and empire-building; in the intellectual framework within which traditional ideological and behavioural themes survive and new trends and perceptions emerge; as well as in the projection and transition of knowledge and innovation in the early modern word. A further interest is the treatment of war and history in art, literature, and cinema, as well as the reception, projection and political use of history in countries with forms of methodological crises and a tradition of politicised history, like contemporary Russia and the peripheral countries of the former Soviet Union.


Dr Gourof studied law at the University of Athens, Greece, and worked as a consultant, before relocating permanently to the UK. He holds a BA with Honours in History from Royal Holloway University of London, an MA with Distinction in History of Warfare from King’s College London, and a PhD in War Studies, Modern History and the History of Military Thought, also from King's. He was awarded Schilizzi Foundation grants in 2011 and 2012, and was one of the two unique holders of ‘The Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Scholarship in War Studies’. He has taught military history at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London since 2012, having previously taught early modern cultural history at the Department of History. He is an Associate Fellow Of the Royal Historical Society.


Dr Gourof is a senior member of the editorial board of Strife, War Studies' dual-format periodical publication thematically focused on internal, national, and transnational conflict. The oldest serving member of the Strife editorial committee, he was the first official Managing Editor of Strife Journal, holding that post for a number of years, formalising and expanding Strife’s presence, and overseeing its growth. While eventually stepping down from the role to concentrate on his research, he continues to serve on the Managing Board as Stife Operations Manager, while also remaining the overall Book Reviews Editor of Strife.