Patrick Finney

BA University of Leeds PhD University of Leeds

 Patrick Finney

Reader in International History

Head of Department (International Politics)

Department of International Politics

Contact Details


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, Chair of the British International History Group and Editor of the journal Rethinking History. 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. 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, and as Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Institute of Geography, History, Politics and Psychology.


Module Coordinator
Course Viewer

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


I am an historian of international relations, with particular reference to the inter-war period and to historiographical/conceptual issues. I am also an historian of collective memory, especially in relation to the Second World War.

I have published widely on the international history of the 1920s, the League of Nations and the origins of the Second World War. Having written extensively on the intersections between international history & critical theory, I have also become a recognized authority on 'culturalist' international history. My 2010 monograph - Remembering the Road to World War Two - on the relationship between international history, national identity & collective memory in the historiography of the origins of the Second World War was my single largest statement to date in this field.

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, a panoramic, transnational, global history of the collective memory of the Second World War since the end of the Cold War.

Concurrently , I have been developing a new 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 preliminary edited collections, including an edited book Remembering the Second World War for the Routledge series 'Remembering the Modern World' and a journal theme issue, both of which appeared in 2017.

I have received research funding from numerous bodies including the AHRC & the British Academy. I have a long track record of PhD supervision & welcome inquiries from prospective students wishing to work on topics within any of the areas described above.


Head, Department of International Politics

Office Hours (Student Contact Times)

  • Tuesday 14:30-15:30


Finney, PB 2010, Remembering the Road to World War Two: International History, National Identity, Collective Memory. Taylor & Francis. <>
Finney, PB 2014, 'The Ubiquitous Presence of the Past? Collective Memory and International History', International History Review, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 443-472. 10.1080/07075332.2013.828646
Finney, PB 2013, 'Vasily Grossman and the Myths of the Great Patriotic War', Journal of European Studies, vol. 43, no. 4, pp. 312-328. 10.1177/0047244113501747
More publications on the Research Portal