Academic Staff

Dr Andrew Priest

Staff positionSenior Lecturer
Telephone01206 872653
Office hoursBy appointment only

I studied history and American studies at the University of Birmingham, gaining my PhD in 2003. During this time I was also a Research Associate at the Centre for Studies in Security and Diplomacy at Birmingham. From 2003 I was a lecturer in International Politics at Aberystwyth University, leaving in 2013 to join the University of Essex. I have also been a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University in Washington DC and an Eccles Fellow in North American Studies at the British Library.


B.A. History and American Studies, University of Birmingham 1996

Ph.D. American and Canadian Studies, University of Birmingham, 2003

Current research

I am currently writing a book on the United States and the European empires of the late nineteenth century. This is an attempt to explain how American elites, especially Republicans who dominated policymaking after the Civil War, understood and reacted to empires and imperialism, and how these views affected their ideas about the role of the United States in the international system.

I am also interested in the connections between domestic and foreign policies in the United States and have edited a book with Andrew Johnstone from the University of Leicester on US presidential elections and American foreign policy, which will be published by the University Press of Kentucky in May 2017.

Research interests

The history of US foreign policy and especially the rise and decline of the 'American empire'; the relationship between domestic and foreign policy; the development of the presidency in the US; the Vietnam War.

Supervision interests

  • US foreign policy since c.1860
  • Public opinion and foreign policy
  • Anglo-American relations

Previous PhD supervision

Topics include: The US 'War on Terror' and human rights; British nuclear policy in the 1960s; the idea of trust in US nuclear diplomacy in the 1970s and 1980s; US Middle Eastern policy during the Nixon and Ford presidencies.

Teaching responsibilities

HR162: Introduction to US History

HR267: The Special Relationship? Anglo-American Relations 1850-2005

HR394: The United States and the Vietnam War

HR646: The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)



  • (edited with Andrew Johnstone), US Presidential Elections and Foreign Policy: Candidates, Campaigns, and Global Politics from FDR to Bill Clinton (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2017)
  • Kennedy, Johnson and NATO: Britain, America and the Dynamics of Alliance, 1962-68 (London and New York: Routledge, 2006)

Journal articles

  • 'Imperial Exchange: American Views of the British Empire During the Civil War and Reconstruction', Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Spring 2015). Special Issue: Imperial History and the Connected Histories of Empire.
  • 'Thinking About Empire: The Administration of Ulysses S. Grant, Spanish Colonialism and the Ten Years' War in Cuba', Journal of American Studies, Vol. 48, No. 2 (May 2014), pp. 541-558.
  • 'The Rhetoric of Revisionism: Presidential Rhetoric about the Vietnam War since 9/11', Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 3 (September 2013), pp. 538-561.
  • 'The President, the "Theologians"; and the Europeans: The Johnson Administration and NATO Nuclear Sharing', International History Review, Vol. 33, No. 2 (June 2011), pp.257-275.
  • 'From Saigon to Baghdad: The Vietnam Syndrome, the Iraq War and American Foreign Policy', Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 24, No. 1 (February 2009), pp. 139-171.
  • 'In American Hands: Britain, the United States and the Polaris Nuclear Project, 1962-1968', Contemporary British History, Vol. 19, No. 3 (September 2005), pp. 353-376.
  • 'In Common Cause: The NATO Multilateral Force and Mixed Manning Demonstration on USS Claude V. Ricketts, 1964-1965', Journal of Military History, Vol. 69, No. 3 (July 2005), pp. 759-789.

Book chapters

  • 'Dealing with Defeat: Gerald R. Ford, Foreign Policy, and the 1976 Election', in Andrew Johnstone and Andrew Priest (eds.), US Presidential Elections and Foreign Policy: Candidates, Campaigns, and Global Politics from FDR to Bill Clinton (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2017), pp. 229-249.
  • 'Europe', in Marc Selverstone (ed.), A Companion to John F. Kennedy (Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), pp. 291-306.
  • 'The Iraq War: Confronting the Vietnam Analogy', in Scott Lucas and Bevan Sewell (eds.), Challenging US Foreign Policy: America and the World in the Long Twentieth Century (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave, 2011), pp. 225-243.
  • 'George W. Ball, the Multilateral Force and the Transatlantic Alliance', in Giles Scott-Smith and Valerie Aubourg (eds.), Atlantic, Euratlantic, or Europe-America? The Atlantic Community and Europe (Paris: Soleb, 2011), pp. 172-191.
  • 'Power to the People? American Public Opinion and the Vietnam War', in Andrew Johnstone and Helen Laville (eds.), The US Public and American Foreign Policy (London and New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 41-55.
  • with R. Gerald Hughes, 'American and British Intelligence on South Vietnam, 1963', in R. Gerald Hughes, Peter Jackson and Len Scott (eds.), Exploring Intelligence Archives: Enquiries into the Secret State (London and New York: Routledge, 2008), pp. 173-212.
  • 'From Hardware to Software: The End of the MLF and the Rise of the Nuclear Planning Group', in Andreas Wenger, Christian Nuenlist and Anna Locher (eds.), Transforming NATO in the Cold War: Challenges Beyond Deterrence in the 1960s (London and New York: Routledge, 2006), pp. 148-161.

Other publications

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