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Dr Thomas Mills

Lecturer in Diplomatic and International History

Thomas Mills

Bowland College



Tel: +44 1524 592489

Office Hours:

Mondays, 1-2pm; Tuesdays, 2-3pm


PhD supervision

I am interested in doctoral proposals in twentieth century British and American foreign policy, especially relating to economic relations and diplomacy between the two countries.


I am Lecturer in Diplomatic and International History, Deputy Director of the Centre for War and Diplomacy, and Vice Chair of the Transatlantic Studies Association. My research interests centre on the diplomacy of Britain and the United States in the modern era, with a particular interest in the economic relationship between the two countries. I have a strong interest in applying historical knowledge towards a greater understanding of contemporary events and have collaborated with think tanks including the British Foreign Policy Group and am an Associate Fellow of Canning House.

Research Interests

My research lies in the field of modern international history, with a particular focus on political and economic relations between Britain and the United States. My early research explored this relationship in the context of Latin America, leading to my first book, Post-War Planning on the Periphery: Anglo-American Economic Diplomacy in South America, 1939-1945 (Edinburgh University Press, 2012). This strand of my research culminated with the recent publication of an edited collection, entitled: Britain and the Growth of US Hegemony in Twentieth-Century Latin America: Competition, Cooperation and Coexistence (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2020). Alongside this research I developed an interest in the contemporary role of Britain in Latin America, resulting in the publication of an article in the leading journal International Affairs, as well as collaborative projects with the British Foreign Policy Group and Canning House. The main focus of my current research expands my interest in Anglo-American economic relations in two directions. The first is an exploration of the role of British and American trade bodies in the reconstruction of international trade during the 1940s. The second, the subject of my next book, is a study of the ‘free trade tradition’ in Britain and the US from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Beyond these core interests, I am involved in a collaborative project drawing on large data sets to explore diplomatic networks among the British foreign service in the twentieth century. I also have a side interest in the political and cultural significance of the 1960s British pop group, the Beatles.

Current Teaching

HIST449: A Special Relationship? The USA and Great Britain from World War II to the War on Terror

HIST442: International Order and Disorder

HIST344: From Balfour to Brexit: Britain as a Great Power since 1914

HIST261: From Truman to Reagan: US Foreign Policy and the Presidency, 1945-1989

HIST100: From Ancient to Modern: History and Historians

External Roles

Vice Chair, Transatlantic Studies Association

Associate Fellow, Canning House

Editorial Board member, Journal of Transatlantic Studies

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