Patrick Finney

Photograph of Patrick Finney.

Reader in International History

BA University of Leeds
PhD University of Leeds


Phone: +44 (0)1970 622858
Fax: +44 (0)1970 622709
Office: 2.08


I have a BA in International History and Politics and a PhD in International History from the University of Leeds, and joined the Department in September 2002. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Vice-Chair of the British International History Group. In 2012-2013 I was a Visiting Fellow at St Peter’s College, Oxford. My research interests range widely across twentieth century international history, ‘collective memory’, and theory and method in historical writing. My last monograph offered a reading of the historiography of the origins of the Second World War as a discourse of collective memory, and I am currently completing a book on the global collective memory of that conflict since the end of the Cold War for Oxford University Press. My teaching interests include Second World War collective memory, the League of Nations and the inter-war years, and cultural approaches to international history. I have previously served as the Department’s Director of Research and Deputy Head and as its Director of Undergraduate Studies. I am currently Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Institute of Geography, History, Politics and Psychology.



My research interests lie in two key areas. First, I am an historian of international relations, with particular reference to the inter-war period and to historiographical and conceptual issues. Second, I am an historian of ‘collective memory’, especially in relation to the Second World War.

I have published widely on the international history of the 1920s and the origins of the Second World War, and I am currently developing a collaborative project on the League of Nations and the Balkans in the 1920s. I have also written extensively on the intersections between international history and critical theory, and have become a recognized authority on ‘culturalist’ international history (and, indeed, on history and theory more generally). My 2010 monograph – Remembering the Road to World War Two - on the relationship between international history, national identity and collective memory in the historiography of the origins of the Second World War was my single largest statement to date in this vein. I have developed important international collaborations with a growing group of scholars interested in conceptual, methodological and historiographical issues in this field. I am currently co-editing a theme issue entitled ‘Debating the Cultural Turn’ in the prestigious International History Review with two Portuguese colleagues; this will appear online in 2016 and contains my own piece on bodies and affect in international history. I am also a core member of an AHRC-funded network on ‘The Practice of International History in the 21st Century’ led by Peter Jackson (Glasgow) and Simon Ball (Leeds).

The other key strand in my research relates to the thematic of collective memory, especially in relation to the Second World War. I am completing a monograph entitled How the Second World War Still Shapes Our Lives for Oxford University Press, a panoramic, transnational, global history of the collective memory of the Second World War since the end of the Cold War. This is a work of cultural history, but it is also thoroughly interdisciplinary as it draws evidence from a range of discourses including literature, visual culture, politics, the law, museums and academic scholarship. It argues that memories of the war – and the powerful normative concerns of human rights, apology and reparation with which they are entwined - have a palpable significance in contemporary cultural life and on domestic and international politics.

Concurrently with the completion of this book, I have been developing a next major project, exploring the problematic of ‘authenticity’ in contemporary cultural memory of the Second World War. I have been building an international collaborative network to develop this project, not least through work on two preliminary edited collections. The first is an edited book Remembering the Second World War – forthcoming in 2016 – for the Routledge series ‘Remembering the Modern World’. The contributions to this book are particularly concerned to challenge ‘nation-centric’ approaches to memory studies by exploring transnational transactions, local and sectional memories and new practices of remembrance such as video games, re-enactment and ‘dark tourism’. The second is a guest-edited theme issue for the journal Rethinking History on ‘authenticity’. This is a wide-ranging interdisciplinary exploration of the problematic of authenticity in historical theory, collective memory, historical fiction, the arts and public history. (I have previously edited similar interdisciplinary collections, including a 2013 theme issue of the Journal of European Studies on the Soviet author Vasily Grossman.) The ‘authenticity’ project will be taken forward in 2016 through a panel which I have organized at the European Social Science History Conference in Valencia and a funding bid.

More broadly, I am an editorial board member of Rethinking History and the Journal of War and Culture Studies. I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and have also refereed for the ESRC and as an expert evaluator within Horizon2020. I have received research funding from numerous bodies including the AHRC and the British Academy. I have spoken about my research on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5, and on Radio Wales. Finally, I have a long track record of PhD supervision and welcome inquiries from prospective students wishing to work on topics within any of the areas described above.

Teaching Areas

IP12320 World Politics in the Age of the Two World Wars
IP34220 Land of Ghosts? International Politics in the Balkans since 1919
IP32720 Remembering World War Two
IQ32420 The League of Nations

IPM2420 Power, Culture and Identity in International History

PhD Supervision
Collective memory, especially in relation to the Second World War
Critical historiography in international history
Inter-war international history and the origins of the Second World War
International history and politics of South Eastern Europe
Historical theory, especially the work of Hayden White



Guillaume, L., Finney, P.B. 2013. 'It is a terrible thing to condemn even a terrible man': Vasily Grossman on judging perpetrators. Journal of European Studies 43 (4) pp. 344-356. 10.1177/0047244113501749

Finney, P.B. 2013. Introduction. Journal of European Studies 43 (4) pp. 277-282. 10.1177/0047244113501746

Finney, P.B. 2013. Keith Jenkins and the Heroic Age of British Postmodern Theory. Rethinking History 17 (2) pp. 172-190. 10.1080/13642529.2013.778123

Finney, P. 2013. Teaching the 'Cultural Turn'. British International History Group Newsletter pp. 10-13. Other

Finney, P.B. 2013. The Ubiquitous Presence of the Past? Collective Memory and International History. International History Review 10.1080/07075332.2013.828646

Finney, P.B. 2013. Vasily Grossman and the Myths of the Great Patriotic War. Journal of European Studies 43 (4) pp. 312-328. 10.1177/0047244113501747

2013. Vasily Grossman: Ruthless Truth in the Totalitarian Century. Journal of European Studies 43 (4) Other


Finney, P. 2011. D-Day 2004: Passing the Torch to History? In K. Hall, K. Jones (eds), Constructions of Conflict : Transmitting Memories of the Past in European Historiography, Culture and Media. Cultural History and Literary Imagination Peter Lang pp. 223-240.


Finney, P. 2010. Land of Ghosts? Memories of War in the Balkans. In G. Kassimeris, J. Buckley (eds), The Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Warfare. Ashgate Research Companions Taylor & Francis pp. 343-363.

Finney, P.B. 2010. Remembering the Road to World War Two: International History, National Identity, Collective Memory. Taylor & Francis Other


Finney, P. 2009. Bridging Multiple Divides in IR Theory: Confronting Terrorism, International History, Culture and the War on Terror. International Relations 23 (1) pp. 75-83. 10.1177/0047117808100612


Finney, P. 2008. Hayden White, international history and questions too seldom posed. Rethinking History 12 (1) pp. 103-123. 10.1080/13642520701838926

Finney, P. 2008. International History. Other

Finney, P.B. 2008. The Stories of Defeated Aggressors: International History, National Identity, and Collective Memory after 1945. In J. Macleod (ed), Defeat and Memory: Cultural Histories of Military Defeat in the Modern Era. Palgrave Macmillan pp. 97-116.


Finney, P. 2007. Finding the Führer Bunker. Rethinking History 11 (2) pp. 287-291. 10.1080/13642520701270526 Other


Finney, P. 2006. The Diplomatic Temptation. Cultural and Social History 3 (4) pp. 472-481.


Finney, P. 2005. Book Review: Beyond the Postmodern Moment? Journal of Contemporary History 40 (1) pp. 149-165. 10.1177/0022009405049271 Cadair

Finney, P. 2005. What is International History? Palgrave Advances in International History. Palgrave Macmillan pp. 1-35. Cadair Other

Finney, P. 2005. Who speaks for history? Rethinking History 9 (4) pp. 503-519. 10.1080/13642520500308162 Other


Finney, P. 2004. Palgrave Advances in International History. Palgrave Macmillan, London


Finney, P. 2003. Raising Frankenstein: Great Britain, 'Balkanism' and the Search for a Balkanlocarno in the 1920s. European History Quarterly 33 (3) pp. 317-342. 10.1177/02656914030333002 Cadair

Finney, P. 2003. The Macedonian Question in the 1920s and the Politics of History. In K. Brown, Y. Hamilakis (eds), The Usable Past: Greek Metahistories. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham pp. 87-103.


2002. Memory, Identity and War in South Eastern Europe. Rethinking History 6 (1) Other

Finney, P. 2002. On Memory, Identity and War. Rethinking History 6 (1) pp. 1-13. 10.1080/13642520110112092 Other

Finney, P. 2002. ”And I will tell you who you are”: Historiographies of Munich and the Negotiation of National Identity. In F. Taubert (ed), Mythos München: Le Mythe de Munich/ The Myth of Munich. Veröffentlichungen des Collegium Carolinum De Gruyter, Munich pp. 315-334.


Finney, P. 2001. Still 'Marking Time'? Text, Discourse and Truth in International History. Review of International Studies 27 (3) pp. 291-308. 10.1017/S0260210501002919 Cadair


Finney, P. 2000. The romance of decline: the historiography of appeasement and British national identity. Electronic Journal of International History Other


Finney, P. 1999. 1939 After Sixty Years. Historian pp. 16-21.


Finney, P. 1998. Ethics, Historical Relativism and Holocaust Denial. Rethinking History 2 (3) pp. 359-369. 10.1080/13642529809408972 Other


Finney, P. 1997. Greece, the great powers and the Politis???Kalfoff minorities protocol of 1924. Diplomacy and Statecraft 8 (1) pp. 20-48. 10.1080/09592299708406029 Other

Finney, P. 1997. International history, theory and the origins of the second world war. Rethinking History 1 (3) pp. 357-379. 10.1080/13642529708596324 Other

Finney, P. 1997. The Origins of the Second World War. Arnold Readers in History Bloomsbury Publishing, London


Finney, P.B. 1995. 'An Evil for All Concerned': Great Britain and Minority Protection after 1919. Journal of Contemporary History 30 (3) pp. 533-551. 10.1177/002200949503000308 Other

Finney, P. 1995. Eastern Europe between the Wars. 20th Century History Review pp. 28-31.