Ross Halliday

Ross Halliday


I began my academic career in 2014 with BA (Hons) International History and Politics at the University of Leeds. In my final year, I specialised in Nazism, World War Two, and the Holocaust. My thesis was entitled The Predator and the Pragmatist: Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1938–1941. I graduated in 2017.

I returned to Leeds later that year to begin my MA in Modern History. I investigated British-Italian relations prior to Italy’s entrance to the Second World War. This focused predominantly on the Ambassador to Italy, Sir Percy Loraine, and the personal and institutional nuances he deployed to debatable effect on his mission. My thesis was entitled ‘Handling Italy with the smoothest velvet gloves’: Sir Percy Loraine and Italian Non-Belligerency, September 1939–June 1940.

I have once again returned to the University of Leeds in order to commence my PhD studies under Dr. Rachel Utley and Dr. Alan MacLeod. 

Research interests

My PhD research is chiefly concerned with the evolution and chartering of British foreign policy from the end of the Cold War until the EU Referendum in 2016. At present, the main foci of my investigation are as follows: 

  • The attractions of European defence and security options for the UK, and how they interacted with more established Atlanticist tendencies
  • The way in which successive UK governments defined and discussed changing conceptions of national security, and framed relevant responses
  • How effective British efforts were at political, diplomatic and military capacity-building with key partners France and Germany
  • The extent to which British foreign and defence policy in the European theatre has been determined and constrained by public opinion

Beyond my current research, I hold particular interest in the following areas:

  • The role and contributions of the United Kingdom in international organisations such as NATO and the United Nations
  • Cold War British Foreign Policy
  • Terrorism and the “War on Terror”
  • Diplomacy during war 

I welcome any correspondence on these topics, whether that be academic discussion or avenues for collaboration.


  • BA (Hons) International History and Politics, University of Leeds (2017)
  • MA Modern History, University of Leeds (2018)