Professor Tom Buchanan

Profile details


Tom Buchanan was educated at Wadham College, Oxford for his BA in History (1982) and at St Antony's. Oxford, for his DPhil (1987).


He teaches C19th and C20th British and European History, with a particular interest in mid-C20th Europe (from the 1930s to the 1960s). He teaches an optional paper on the Spanish Civil War on the Foundation Certificate in Modern History.

Professor Buchanan has supervised DPhil students on topics connected to the Spanish Civil War and British C20th history. He is currently the Director of the MSt in Historical Studies.

Research interests

Tom Buchanan’s research is mainly concerned with political and social interactions between Britain and the wider world in the twentieth century. He has written three books and numerous articles on the impact of the Spanish Civil War on Britain. In 2012 he published East Wind: China and the British left, 1925-1976 (OUP) and he is currently completing a book for CUP on Amnesty International and the emergence of human rights activism on post-war Britain. The second edition of his book on post-war Europe (Europe’s Troubled Peace, from 1945 to the present), the final volume in the Blackwell/Wiley “History of Europe” series, was published in 2012. He has for many years been co-convenor of the seminar in Modern European History at the Faculty of History. He was Research Director of the Faculty’s Modern European History Research Centre, 2011-14, and obtained a John Fell Fund grant to organise a conference on the centenary of the Balkan wars in 2012. The conference papers were published the papers in 2015 (co-edited with James Pettifer) as War in the Balkans: Conflict and Diplomacy before World War One.



The Spanish Civil War and the British Labour Movement (Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Political Catholicism in Europe, 1918-1965 (co-edited, with Martin Conway), (Oxford University Press, 1996)

Britain and the Spanish Civil War, (Cambridge University Press, 1997)

Europe's Troubled Peace, 1945-2000 (Blackwell's, 2005)

The Impact of the Spanish Civil War on Britain: War, loss and memory (Sussex Academic Press, 2006)

East Wind: China and the British Left:1925-1976 (OUP, 2012)


"Beyond Cable Street: New approaches to the historiography of anti-fascism in Britain in the 1930s", international colloquium on "L'antifascisme en question". Paris (June 2013)

"Idealism, ideology and adventure: Narratives of the British Volunteers in the International Brigades", keynote lecture to the conference of the Society for the Study of Labour History, St Andrews University (November 2013)

"China and the British left in the C20th", University of Leeds History Department seminar (March 2014)

"Amnesty International and the Politics of Human Rights in post-war Britain", Northumbria University History Department seminar (March 2014)