Dr Sean Fear

Dr Sean Fear


I joined the University of Leeds in January 2018.

I completed my Ph.D. in History from Cornell University, and my BA from the University of Toronto.

I have held fellowships at the Dartmouth College John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding; the New York University Center for the United States and the Cold War; McGill University; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; and have also studied at the University of Science and Technology in Hanoi and the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City.

During the 2022-23 academic year I was a Visiting Professor at Fulbright University in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


  • Director of International Activities

Research interests

My research explores the intersection of domestic politics and foreign relations in the Vietnam War, modern Southeast Asia, and the global Cold War. My forthcoming book, under contract with Harvard University Press, examines the South Vietnamese state's failure to win legitimacy in the eyes of its divided constituents, a critical but poorly-understood factor in the denouement of the Vietnam War. Drawing on Vietnamese-language archival materials, memoirs, and print media, this study of U.S.-South Vietnamese domestic politics and diplomacy reveals how the Cold War superpowers' presumptions were manipulated and exploited by a diverse range of Vietnamese actors pursuing their own complex political goals.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Ph.D., History, Cornell University
  • BA, History, University of Toronto

Professional memberships

  • American Historical Association
  • Organization of American Historians
  • Association for Asian Studies
  • Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
  • Vietnam Studies Group (Association for Asian Studies)
  • United Kingdom Association of Southeast Asian Studies (ASEAS-UK)

Student education

I am happy to supervise M.A. and P.h.D. dissertations on Vietnam; Southeast Asia; United States Foreign Relations; and the Global Cold War.

Research groups and institutes

  • Politics, Diplomacy, and International History

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>