Patrick Finney

Dr, BA University of Leeds PhD University of Leeds

  • Aberystwyth University
    International Politics Building

    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

1995 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile


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, past Chair of the British International History Group (2017-2024) and Editor of the journal Rethinking History. My research interests range widely across twentieth century international history, 'collective memory', and theory and method in historical writing. I am currently completing a book on the global collective memory of the Second World War 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; as Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Institute of Geography, History, Politics and Psychology; and, most recently, as Interim Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Research interests

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 is 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 Good War Follies, 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.


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


Head, Department of International Politics

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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