Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico
Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman

Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman

  • Emeritus staff

Emeritus Professor of War Studies

Research subject areas

  • Conflict and security
  • History

Contact details



I have been Professor of War Studies at King's College London since 1982, and Vice-Principal since 2003.  I was educated at Whitley Bay Grammar School and the Universities of Manchester, York and Oxford. Before joining King's I held research appointments at Nuffield College Oxford, IISS and the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995 and awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 1996, I was appointed Official Historian of the Falklands Campaign in 1997.

I was awarded the KCMG (Knight Commander of St Michael and St George) in 2003. I was appointed in June 2009 to serve as a member of the official inquiry into Britain and the 2003 Iraq War.

Research Interests

My areas of interest include:

Contemporary Defence and Foreign Policy Issues

Research Projects

Strategic Scripts for the 21st Century

This project involves three linked strands, each geared to developing the idea of 'strategic scripts' as a means of addressing a broad range of security issues.

The first will explore the extent to which strategies can be presented as scripts, rather than as plans, and how this might be a useful device for translating research into policy in areas of actual or potential conflict. This will consider the distinctive features of this research compared with other areas of public policy.

The second and third strands will apply the concept of strategic scripts to two contrasting areas of security policy. One will examine the interaction between the current push for substantial nuclear disarmament, even up to full abolition, and established theories of deterrence, and take in the 2010 Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. The other will contrast the strategic scripts of al Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups, from 1998 to 2011, and compare them with those developed within two other radical traditions, Marxism within industrialised countries and the secular, anti-colonial third world movements which came to the fore in the 1950s and 1960s.


For a list of publications, please refer to the Research Portal or download the following document: Freedman-Publications.-2013.-Prof-Sir-Lawrence