Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico


Professor Joe Maiolo is an historian of international politics specialising in the origins of great wars, arms races and intelligence in the twentieth century. He holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Toronto in history and philosophy.

He completed his PhD in International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1996. Before coming to King’s in September 2001, he held appointments at the universities of Leicester and Leeds.

In 2005-06 he was senior visiting research fellow at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, Oslo, and from 2014-19 he was Visiting Research Professor at the Norwegian Defence Intelligence School, Oslo. He is the editor of The Journal of Strategic Studies, and a member of the editorial board for Intelligence & National Security, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

 Research Interests

  • The history of 20th Century International Relations
  • The Second World War
  • Resource Security & Conflicts
  • Intelligence History
  • Arms Races
  • Diplomacy
  • War in Science Fiction/Military Futurology

Professor Maiolo is currently completing a book for Cambridge University Press on The Origins of the Second World War and a study of the role of raw material in international politics in the first half of the twentieth century. He is also currently working on a new about raw materials in international politics in the twentieth century in cooperation with NTNU Trondheim.



  • J. Maiolo, 'Systems and Boundaries in International History', The International History Review, 40:3 (2018), pp. 576-91, DOI: 10.1080/07075332.2016.1217554
  • Maiolo, 'Armaments and international instability between the two World Wars’, Tamara Enomoto, ed., Disarmament and Arms Control in the History of International Politics: From the Nineteenth Century to the Present (2017: Nihon Keizai Hyouronsha, Tokyo), pp. 71-90.
  • Maiolo, K. Schulze, J. Hanhimaki and A. Best, An International History of the Twentieth Century (Routledge, London, November 2003, 2nd Expanded Edn. Rev. May 2008, 3rd Expanded Edn 2014) ISBN: 0-415-20740-1, pp. 544+.
  • Maiolo and R.J.B. Bosworth, The Cambridge History of the Second World War: Volume II Politics & Ideology (Cambridge University Press, 2015) ISBN 978-1-107-03407-5, pp. 701+.
  • Maiolo, D. Stevenson and T. Mahnken, eds., Arms Race in International Politics: From the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century (Oxford University Press, 2015) ISBN 978–0–19–873526–7, pp. 301+.
  • Maiolo, Cry Havoc: The Arms Race and the Second World War, 1931-41 (John Murray, London, March 2010), ISBN: 0719565197, pp. 480. [Published in the United States as Cry Havoc: How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1931-1941 (Basic Books, New York, September 2010), ISBN: 0465011144, pp.504.]

Please refer to the Research Portal for a full list.



Professor Maiolo teaches the MA in Intelligence and International Security and the BA in International Relations, including the BA2 Option The Second World War: A Global Perspective. In 2020-21 he will be offering a new course on War in Science Fiction.


PhD Supervision

Professor Miaolo supervises in the following areas:

  • The History of International Relations in the 20th Century
  • Intelligence History
  • Resource security
  • Strategic Studies
  • Arms races and military planning