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Professor Joe  Maiolo

Professor Joe Maiolo

  • Academics

Professor of International History

Research subject areas

  • Conflict and security

Contact details



I am Director of the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War, and Professor of International History. I hold BA and MA degrees from the University of Toronto in history and philosophy. 

I completed my PhD in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics in July 1997. Before joining the Department of War Studies in September 2001, I held posts in the history of international relations at the London School of Economics (1997-98), Leicester (1998-99) and Leeds (1999-2001). I am an editor of The Journal of Strategic Studies, and co-editor of The Strategy Reader (Routledge, 2014) with Thomas G Mahnken, a member of the editorial board for Intelligence & National Security, and a fellow of theRoyal Historical Society.

In 2005-06 I was senior visiting research fellow at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, Oslo. I am currently Visiting Research Professor at the Norwegian Defence Intelligence School, Oslo. 

Research Interests

My areas of interest include: 

  • The history of 20th Century International Relations and Warfare 
  • Intelligence Studies
  • Deception in Peace and War
  • Strategic Studies 
  • Arms Races and the Causes of War 
  • Naval Warfare 
  • Diplomacy


Recent and forthcoming:

  • Joseph A. 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), 71-90. 

  • J. Maiolo, The Origins of the Second World War (Cambridge University Press, 2016)
  • Joseph A. Maiolo (2015) Personalities, Policies, and International History: The Life and Work of Donald Cameron Watt, Diplomacy & Statecraft, 26:2, 203-210, DOI: 10.1080/09592296.2015.1034550
  • Joseph A. Maiolo, 'Course aux armements, désarmement, et contrôle des armements' in Joseph Henrotin, Olivier Schmitt and Stéphane Taillat (eds.), Les Études Stratégiques (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, April 2015).
  • J. Maiolo, D. Stevenson and T. Mahnken, Arms Race in International Politics: From the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century (Oxford University Press, 2015)
  • J. Maiolo and R.J.B. Bosworth, The Cambridge History of the Second World War: Volume II Politics & Ideology (2015)
  • J. 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 forthcoming 2014) ISBN: 0-415-20740-1, pp. 544+.
  • J. Maiolo, Did the Royal Navy Decline between the Two World Wars? - The RUSI Journal 159/4 (2014), pp.18-24. DOI: 10.1080/03071847.2014.946689
  • J. 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.]  The bibliography is available to download here
  •  J. Maiolo & R. Boyce, eds., The Origins of World War Two: The Debate Continues (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, June 2003), ISBN: 0-333-04526-3, pp. 395. 
  • J. Maiolo, The Royal Navy and Nazi Germany, 1933–1939: Appeasement and the Origins of the Second World War in Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, July 1998), ISBN: 0312214561, pp. 229. 

Please refer to the Research Portal or download my publications document here for a full list.


I currently convene the following modules:


  • 4SSW1007 International History


  • 7SSWM142 Intelligence in War Studies

PhD Supervision

I supervise in the following areas:

  • The History of International Relations in the 20th Century
  • Intelligence History
  • Naval History
  • Strategic Studies
  • Arms races and military planning 
Current PhD students
  • Cristina Matie, ‘Democratic Control Versus Effectiveness: A Precarious Balance For Intelligence Sector Reform In New Democracies’
  • Anna Kostus, ‘Polish intelligence and the Nazi threat, 1933-39’. 
  • Sakiko Kagia, ‘The Origins of the League of Nations movement, 1914-18’ Cristina Matei, ‘ Civil-Military Relations and Democratic Reform of Intelligence’ 
  • Ioannis Nioutsikos, ‘The EAM – ELAS resistance to the German occupation of Greece, 1941 – 44: A case study in the theory and practice of guerrilla’. 
  • Omar Safi, ‘The Tunisian State: Origins and Development’
  • Nick Prime, ‘The US Naval War College and American Naval Strategy’
  • Avram Lytton, ‘British Intelligence and the Blockade in World War One’
  • Ren Ruoyang, ‘The origins of the First World War’ [Visiting PhD student from Renmin University of China

Previous PhD students

Expertise and Public Engagement


My research focuses on the role of diplomacy, strategy and intelligence in the outbreak of major wars. I held an Arts and Humanities Research Council research leave grant for my project on Arms Races and the Origins of the Second World War, 1929-1941.

I am currently Visiting Research Professor at the Norwegian Defence Intelligence School, Oslo.

I have acted as a consultant/advisor to documentaries for radio and television, including the ZKK version of ‘Hitler’s Children’ and ‘The SS’ for Channel 4. I have appeared in documentaries for the BBC and the History Channel. I have given interviews to the BBC, the CBC, CNN and various newspapers. 

Since 1999, I have been an editor of The Journal of Strategic Studies. In 2013 the JSS achieved an Impact Factor of 1.016 Ranking: Political Science Category (54/156) International Relations Category (22/82)  ©2014 Thomson Reuters, 2014 Journal Citation Reports® 

I have been an external examiner for the MA programmes in the Department of International Politics, University of Aberystwyth. I am currently the external for the MA in History at Durham University. 

I also examined PhD theses at the London School of Economics, and the universities of Exeter, Leicester and Adelaide. I was one of the organizers of an international conference Modern Military Theory held in Oslo in June 2009.