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Dr Luc-Andre Brunet

Profile summary

Professional biography

I studied at Carleton University (Ottawa), Sciences Po (Paris), and l’Université Libre de Bruxelles before completing my PhD in International History at the London School of Economics. Before joining the Open University in 2016, I was Pinto Post-doctoral Fellow at LSE and Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (Florence), and taught history at LSE and Queen Mary University of London. I also earned a German language certificate from Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and have held visiting fellowships at the University of Cambridge, LSE, Sciences Po and the University of Ottawa.

At the OU, I direct the Centre for War and Peace in the Twentieth Century and convene the PhD programme in History. I also convene the department’s research seminar. 

Outside the OU, I’m a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow at LSE IDEAS, where I direct the Peace and Security Project. I co-edit the book series Global Nuclear Histories published by McGill-Queen's University Press and am Book Reviews Editor for the Journal of Contemporary History. I am also Secretary of the Society for the Study of French History and am a member of the Editorial Board of the journals Modern & Contemporary France and French History

Research interests

I’m interested in the international history of the 20th century, with a focus on Western Europe (especially France) and North America.  Broadly speaking, my research focuses on two main areas. 

One is the international history of the final decade of the Cold War. I’m especially interested in the dynamics between peace and anti-nuclear activism, on the one hand, and policymaking and diplomacy, on the other. I explore these issues in my forthcoming monograph, which focuses on Canada, nuclear weapons, and NATO during the 'long 1980s', and in the edited volume NATO and the Strategic Defence Initiative: A Transatlantic History of the Star Wars Programme. I am also Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded project Global Histories of Peace and Anti-Nuclear Activism and am co-editing the forthcoming volume Beyond the Euromissiles: Global Histories of Anti-Nuclear Activism in the Cold War.

My other main research interest is the history of Vichy France (1940-44). My first book, Forging Europe: Industrial Organisation in France, 1940-1952, explores continuities from the Vichy regime to post-war France and the early stages of European integration. (You can watch me discussing my book here.) My current book project on Vichy deals with the regime’s foreign policy, specifically its diplomatic relations with the members of the British Commonwealth during the Second World War. This project draws on archives in France, the UK, Germany, the United States, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

I am currently supervising three PhD students as below, but I welcome PhD applications on any of the above topics.

-Ann Gillan, ‘”We do not wish to impose our ideas on other nations”: Promoting the aims of the Third Reich to an international audience. A study of the National Socialist journal Freude und Arbeit, 1936 to 1939’

-Sophie Dubillot, ‘Ce n'est pas une blague: Purposes and limits of humour in early post-war France (1944-46)’

-Gareth Bryant, ‘Nuclear Disarmament and the Break-up of Britain: Nationalism and Internationalism in the Peace Movement Between 1979 and 1992’

Teaching interests

I chair the third-year module Europe 1914-1989: War, Peace, Modernity (A327). Since joining the OU, I have also contributed teaching content to Discovering the Arts and Humanities (A111), Revolutions (A113), The British Isles and the Modern World, 1789-1914 (A225), and Empire, 1492-1975 (A326). I am currently writing material on decolonisation in French Africa for the forthcoming module, Empire: Power, Resistance, Legacies (A328).

I earned a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education from LSE and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Impact and engagement

I provide analysis and commentary for British and international news outlets, including the BBC, CNN, TRT, and The Globe and Mail. I have also acted as historical advisor on a number of BBC Television programmes, including Call the Midwife and Icons: The Greatest Person of the Twentieth Century.


[Book review] Mohammed Lakhdar Ghettas. Algeria and the Cold War: International Relations and the Struggle for Autonomy (2021-04-21)
Brunet, Luc-André
The American Historical Review, 126(1) (pp. 427-429)

Unhelpful Fixer? Canada, the Euromissile Crisis, and Pierre Trudeau’s Peace Initiative, 1983-84 (2019)
Brunet, Luc-André
International History Review, 41(6) (pp. 1145-1167)

[Book Review] A Vision of Europe: Franco-German Relations During the Great Depression, 1929–1932, by Conan Fischer (2018-12-31)
Brunet, Luc-André
The English Historical Review, 133(565) (pp. 1651-1652)

The creation of the Monnet Plan, 1945-46: a critical re-evaluation (2018-03)
Brunet, Luc-André
Contemporary European History, 27(1) (pp. 23-41)

Patrons Résistants? French industrialists during the Second World War (2017-11-28)
Brunet, Luc-André
French History, 31(4) (pp. 512-534)

[Book Review] Fernando Guirao and Frances M.B. Lynch (eds), Alan S. Milward and Contemporary European History. Collected Academic Reviews (2017-06-20)
Brunet, Luc-André
Journal of Contemporary History, 52(3) (pp. 797-799)

Forging Europe: Industrial Organisation in France, 1940-1952 (2017-07-31)
Brunet, Luc-André
Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World
ISBN : 978-1-349-95197-0 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Basingstoke

Introduction: The Strategic Defence Initiative and the Atlantic Alliance in the 1980s (2023)
Brunet, Luc-André
In: Brunet, Luc-André ed. NATO and the Strategic Defence Initiative: A Transatlantic History of the Star Wars Programme. Cold War History (pp. 1-11)
ISBN : 9780367612184 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

Canada’s "Polite No" to SDI: A Question of Sovereignty? (2023)
Brunet, Luc-André
In: Brunet, Luc-André ed. NATO and the Strategic Defence Initiative: A Transatlantic History of the Star Wars Programme. Cold War History (pp. 129-145)
ISBN : 9780367612184 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

'A Bridge to Better Relations between London and Vichy': Jan Smuts, South Africa, and Commonwealth Diplomacy in the Second World War (2020-07-06)
Brunet, Luc-André
In: Dubow, Saul and Drayton, Richard eds. Commonwealth History in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series (CIPCSS) (pp. 251-269)
ISBN : 978-3-030-41787-1 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Basingstoke

The Role of Algeria in Debates over Post-War Europe within the French Resistance (2018-02-22)
Brunet, Luc-André
In: Davis, Muriam Haleh and Serres, Thomas eds. North Africa and the Making of Europe: Governance, Institutions and Culture (pp. 23-42)
ISBN : 9781350021822 | Publisher : Bloomsbury | Published : London

Jean Monnet et l'organisation des économies alliées pour la guerre (1939-1940) (2018)
Brunet, Luc-André
In: Bossuat, Gérard ed. Jean Monnet et l'économie. Euroclio
ISBN : 978-2-8076-0493-3 | Publisher : Peter Lang | Published : Bruxelles

NATO and the Strategic Defence Initiative: A Transatlantic History of the Star Wars Programme (2023)
Brunet, Luc-André ed.
Cold War History
ISBN : 9780367612184 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon