1. Past events
  2. The Art and Artifice of Prediction
    1. Past events
    2. The Art and Artifice of Prediction
Modern History

Centre for Modern History

Welcome to the Centre for Modern History at City, University of London


Welcome to the Centre for Modern History at City, University of London

Founded in 2017, the Centre for Modern history is a hub for innovative historical research that brings together historians, scholars of politics, and experts from across the university and the public sphere.

Our research explore modern and contemporary history, highlighting the importance of international trends and transnational interactions. Our members have a wide range of thematic and geographic specialisations, including economic, social, cultural, political and intellectual history, Caribbean, Russian, American, East Asian, European and British history. Our common objective is to advance research and teaching of History at City.

The Centre for Modern History promotes interdisciplinary dialogue and serves as a focal point for stimulating intellectual exchange. Our members come from different parts of the university, and share a strong commitment to historical research in a pluralistic and open-minded perspective.

The Centre runs workshops, seminars and conferences feature leading international scholars and our own experts. We collaborate with national and international research centres in organising thematic events, which are open to the public.

The Centre for Modern History encourages applications for honorary visiting staff appointments from historians pursuing research projects in relevant fields (Visiting Professors, Honorary Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Fellows or Senior Fellows).

To apply for an honorary appointment, please request the relevant form and guidelines from [email protected].

Our Staff

Staff in the Centre for Modern History

Or RosenbaumDr Or Rosenboim is the Director of the Centre for Modern History and a Senior Lecturer at the Department of International Politics. Her research focuses on the history of political thought in the twentieth century. She is interested in the intersection of intellectual history and international relations in Europe and the US. Her recent book, The Emergence of Globalism: Visions of World Order in Britain and The United States, 1939-1950 (Princeton University Press, 2017), was awarded the Francesco Guicciardini Prize for the Best Book in Historical International Relations, and shortlisted for the Gladstone Prize and TSA-CUP Prize. Her doctoral thesis, completed at the University of Cambridge, was awarded the Prix Aron 2014 and Lisa Smirl Prize 2014. Before joining City at 2017, Or was a Research Fellow at Queens’ College, Cambridge. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Lise ButlerDr Lise Butler is a Lecturer in Modern History. Her work is mainly focused on twentieth century British political and intellectual history, with a particular focus on the history of the British left and the history of the social sciences. She is currently completing a monograph on the policy maker, sociologist and social innovator Michael Young and the relationship between the social sciences and left-wing politics in post-war Britain. Her current research examines responses to automation and ideas about the future of work in Britain in the 1960s and 70s. Before coming to City Lise completed her doctorate at University College, Oxford, and taught at Pembroke College, Oxford. Lise is a commissioning editor for Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy, former Vice Chair and founding member of the Oxford Fabian Society, and is currently leading programme development for a new City joint BA in History and Politics.

Dr Grace CarringtonDr Grace Carrington is a Research Fellow at the UCL Institute of the Americas and the Department of International Politics at City, University of London. She is a historian of twentieth century politics and decolonization in the Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean. Grace is currently writing a book about socio-political developments in non-independent Caribbean states, within the context of the wider global history of decolonization. She is also part of an interdisciplinary research team working on the AHRC-funded Visible Crown project. Grace holds a PhD in International History from the LSE.’

Recent publications:
‘1968 in the Virgin Islands: Martin Luther King and the Positive Action Movement’ in 1968 and the Americas, UCL Press (Forthcoming – Autumn 2022)
‘The May 1967 massacre in Guadeloupe: Trauma, nationalism and decolonization’, Journal of Romance Studies (Forthcoming – September 2022)

Thomas DaviesDr Thomas Davies is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of International Politics at City, University of London. He has played a significant role in the development of transnational historical research, and is especially known for his work on the history of international non-governmental organizations. He is the author of NGOs: A New History of Transnational Civil Society (OUP, 2014), History of Transnational Voluntary Associations: A Critical Multidisciplinary Review (Brill, 2016), and The Possibilities of Transnational Activism: The Campaign for Disarmament between the Two World Wars (Martinus Nijhoff, 2007). He has also published extensively on the history of internationalist thought, peace movements, and disarmament. He is currently working on a manuscript on social movements and world order. He was educated at Magdalen College, University of Oxford, where he wrote a doctoral thesis on transnational activism that was awarded the British International History Group Thesis Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Justin Davis Smith
Dr Justin Davis Smith
is Senior Research Fellow at Bayes Business School where he teaches on the Charity Masters' Programme. His previous roles include speech writer to James Callaghan MP and chief executive of Volunteering England. An historian by training and inclination his research interests include the British Labour movement, and volunteering, charity and philanthropy in nineteenth and twentieth century Britain. His books include The Attlee and Churchill Administrations and Industrial Unrest, 1945-55 and An Introduction to the Voluntary Sector. He is currently writing the centenary history of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2019. He is co-founder and former chair of the Voluntary Action History Society, set up to promote the often neglected study of charity and philanthropy, and trustee of numerous voluntary organisations including Global's 'Make Some Noise' Foundation and the Watford FC Community, Sports and Education Trust

Dina FainbergDr Dina Fainberg is the Director of History BA Programme and Lecturer in Modern History at the Department of International Politics. Dina is an historian of the Soviet Union and modern Russia with a particular interest in the Cold War, late socialism, mass media, propaganda, and Russia's relationship with the West. Dina published articles in Cold War History and Journalism History and together with Artemy M. Kalinovsky is the co-editor of Reconsidering Stagnation: Ideology and Exchange in the Brezhnev Era (Lexington Books, 2016). Dina’s book, Cold War Correspondents: Soviet and American Reporters on the ideological Frontlines, 1945-1991 is forthcoming with Johns Hopkins University Press. She is also preparing for publication the American diaries of Stanislav Kondrashov, one of Soviet Union’s most prolific international commentators. Dina was educated at Rutgers University and holds a PhD in Modern Russian and Modern U.S. History.

Thomas FurseThomas Furse is a PhD candidate in International Politics and a member of the Centre for Modern History. He is researching American strategic thought in the latter half of the twentieth century. His work focuses on a collection of military intellectuals who designed the AirLand Battle Doctrine to resolve the post-Vietnam crisis in the US military and recalibrate the US-led world order. It intersects between international politics and military history. He completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at University of Bristol in Archaeology and Anthropology, and International Security. He specialised in Iranian foreign policy and African civil wars.

Georgios GiannakopoulosGeorgios Giannakopoulos lectures in Modern History at City, University of London. He is historian of 19th and 20th century Europe. His interests include the history of international and imperial thought, the global history of South Eastern Europe, the entwined histories of photography, propaganda, and humanitarianism. He has published widely in the Journal of Modern Greek Studies, History of European Ideas, Modern Intellectual History, Contemporary European History. He is currently working on two books: A history of British intellectual engagement with South Eastern Europe (1870-1930) and a history of interventions in modern Greece. He is co-hosting the podcast International History Now and leading the Global 1922 project with partners from Europe and the UK.

Peter GrantDr Peter Grant is Senior Lecturer in Management at Bayes Business School, City University of London. His historical research and publications have concentrated especially on the cultural and social history of the First World War. His books include Philanthropy and Voluntary Action in the First World War (Routledge, 2014) and National Myth and the First World War in Modern Popular Music (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a trustee of the Amy Winehouse Foundation and former Chair of the Voluntary Action History Society.

Claudia JefferiesDr Claudia Jefferies (née de Lozanne) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at City, University of London. Her main fields of research are monetary and financial history. She received her doctoral degree from the WWZ, University Basel, Switzerland in 1997, and has since then published monographies and articles on fiscal and monetary theory and policy in early modern societies, with a special focus on Spain and the Americas. More recently, she has studied the relationship between mining and markets in early modern Spanish America and has co-edited a collective volume: Mining, Money and Markets in the Early Modern Atlantic. In the last ten years, she has organised four international conferences at City University. She is currently Treasurer and Trustee of the History of Economic Thought Society THETS.

Dr Orkun SakaDr Orkun Saka is an Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in Economics at the City, University of London, a Visiting Fellow at LSE, a Research Associate at the Systemic Risk Centre and STICERD as well as a Research Affiliate at the CESifo network. He has previously visited and worked for several policy institutions including the Bank of Finland, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. His academic papers have been published in some of the world-leading journals in economics and finance, such as The Economic Journal and Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Anna WhitelockProf. Anna Whitelock is a historian, author and broadcaster and Professor of the History of Modern Monarchy. She is an international media commentator on global monarchies, public history and heritage and the Tudors and Stuarts. Anna is the principal investigator on a major AHRC project: The Visible Crown: Queen Elizabeth II in the Caribbean: 1952 to the present .


Recent events

Watch the recordings of our recent seminars and other events.


The new ‘Futures’ series run by the Centre for Modern History explores how historical research can illuminate our understanding of the future, prediction, legacies and temporality.

A Brief History of Equality

Thomas Piketty in conversation with Or Rosenboim

Thursday 24 November 2022

What is the future of inequality? Why looking at history can make us optimistic? How can federalism help overcome the limits of capitalism? In his new bestseller, A Brief History of Equality (Belknap, 2022), the acclaimed economist Prof Thomas Piketty (EHESS and Paris School of Economics) outlines a fascinating new vision for tackling the challenges of economic inequality.

On 24 November, Prof Thomas Piketty joined Dr. Or Rosenboim (City) in conversation about his new book, the history of (in)equality, and the way forward toward a more equal society.

Watch the event recording:

Prof Jenny Andersson (Uppsala University): “Future as World History”, with comments by Dr Lise Butler (City)

The inaugural event of the new ‘Futures’ series.

Watch the event recording:

The Breakup of Yugoslavia as a Global Event: Legacies, History and Memory

May 17th 2022


  • Prof. Marie-Janine Calic (Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich) - "The Breakup of Yugoslavia: Global Dimensions"
  • Dr. Chris Jones (University of East Anglia) - "Building the post-Cold War world order: France and the Breakup of Yugoslavia"
  • Dr. Federico Brusadelli (University of Naples L'Orientale / Polish Institute of Advanced Studies) - "Sovereignty at Stake: the Chinese Communist Party and the Collapse of Yugoslavia"

Chair: Dr. Or Rosenboim (City University, London)

Watch the event recording:

Federalism in a Global Perspective Seminars

Organized by Dr Federico Brusadelli and Dr Or Rosenboim

Sponsored by Centre for Modern History, City, the University of London and The University of Naples “Orientale”

The aim of the seminars is to interrogate the history of the federal idea in a global perspective, putting together interventions from leading scholars whose work focuses on different parts of the world to reveal the varying interpretations of federalism in the twentieth century and the idea’s relevance to contemporary political debates.

Seminar 1: Ideologies of Federalism
11 October 2021, 4 pm (London)

Watch the event recording for Seminar 1:

Seminar 2: Federalism and Empire
12 November 2021, 4 pm (London)

Watch the recording of Seminar 2:

See our archive of past event recordings


Recent publications by our members

Or Rosenboim

Rosenboim, O., 2017.The emergence of globalism: Visions of world order in Britain and the United States, 1939–1950. Princeton University Press.

Rosenboim, O., 2021. The Spatiality of Politics: Cesare Battisti's Regional and International Thought, 1900–1916.Modern Intellectual History, pp.1-24.

Justin Davis-Smith

Smith, J.D., 2019.100 years of NCVO and voluntary action: idealists and realists. Springer

Davis-Smith, J., 2020. What can history contribute to non-profit education?.Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership,10(4), pp.345-354.

Dina Fainberg

Lise Butler

Butler, L., 2020. Michael Young, Social Science, and the British Left, 1945-1970. Oxford University Press.

Butler, L. 2020. ‘Corbynism in Historical Persective’, in Andrew Roe-Crines ed. Corbynism in Perspective. Columbia University Press.

Laust Schouenborg

Dayna Barnes

Barnes, D., 2020. A Separate Peace? Reconsidering Post-conflict Military Occupations. British Journal for Military History6(3), pp.168-177.

Barnes, D.L., 2017. Architects of Occupation: American Experts and Planning for Postwar Japan. Cornell University Press.

Claudia Jefferies

Pieper, R., de Lozanne Jefferies, C. and Denzel, M., 2019. Mining, Money and Markets in the Early Modern Atlantic: Digital Approaches and New Perspectives. In Mining, Money and Markets in the Early Modern Atlantic (pp. 3-15). Palgrave Macmillan

Chapter 9: Some Determinants of Local Exchange Rates and in Early Modern Mexican Mining Sites, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,  Pages 211-230.

Jeppe Mulich