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Elspeth O'Riordan

Dr Elspeth O'Riordan

Visiting Lecturer

Research interests

  • History
  • Conflict and security
  • International relations


Dr O’Riordan studied at Hull University and then the LSE, where she was a British Academy Scholar. As a doctoral student she taught British and International history at the LSE as well as at the Universities of Westminster and Greenwich. Since completing her PhD in 1998 she has held lectureships in Defence Studies at King’s College London, in Modern History at the University of St Andrews, and in History at the University of Dundee. She returned to DSD as a Visiting Lecturer in 2015.

Her research and teaching interests span twentieth century international history, British foreign policy, defence and strategic studies. She has particular expertise on the Cold War and has written a detailed study on the subject, ‘Understanding the Cold War: History, Approaches and Debates.’ Her research also focusses on twentieth century British and international history with emphasis on Britain's foreign policy and policy-making processes. She has published on British foreign policy in both the interwar and post-war periods.

Research Interests

  • The Cold War
  • Twentieth Century International History
  • British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century
  • Policy-making processes



E.Y. O’Riordan, ‘British Policy during the Ruhr Crisis 1922-1924.’ Diplomacy & Statecraft, 15:2 (2004), 221-51.

E.Y. O’Riordan, ‘The British Zone of Occupation in the Rhineland’. Diplomacy & Statecraft, 16:3 (2005), 439-54. [This article was also published in C. Fischer and Alan Sharp, ed. After The Versailles Treaty: Enforcement, Compliance, Contested Identities (London, 2008).]

E.Y. O’Riordan, ‘Rethinking Britain’s foreign policy and the occupation zone in Germany 1945-7. Questions of structural and functional continuity in British foreign policy making,’ The International History Review, 39 (5) 2017 DOI:10.1080/07075332.2017.1283640


E.Y.O’Riordan, Britain and the Ruhr Crisis (Palgrave 2001, x + 208pp.)

Elspeth O’Riordan, Understanding the Cold War: History, Approaches and Debates (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023, x + 511pp.)