University of Cambridge

The Humanitas Visiting Professorship in War Studies is one of the highlights in the field at the University of Cambridge. The initiative is a multi-faceted approach that examines the phenomenon of past, present and future human conflicts.

The Visiting Professorship in War Studies is hosted by Churchill College, Cambridge. It has been made possible by the generous support of the late Sir Ronald Grierson.

Margaret MacMillan 2013-2014

Margaret MacMillan is a Canadian historian and Professor of International History at the University of Oxford.

Margaret MacMillan’s Humanitas Visiting Professorship, The Changing Nature of European War 1815-1914, marked the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.

In her first lecture, European Society and War, MacMillan examines the changing relationships between war and society in Europe during the century before 1914. She argues that war and society during this time were brought together in a relationship that would come to shape the world through the twentieth century.

MacMillan’s next lecture, Thinking About War Before 1914, examines the different attitudes towards war in Europe during the decades before the First World War. She juxtaposes the burgeoning peace movements with the nationalist and militarist feelings that equally shaped public thought at the time.

In her final lecture, Planning War before 1914, MacMillan examines how each European Power planned for war, showing how the years before 1914 were characterised by a dichotomy of well-articulated military thought and ineffective communication within and between governments and their militaries.

Margaret MacMillan’s Humanitas series ended with a symposium about the causes of the First World War. She was joined by Thomas Otte (University of East Anglia), Annika Mombauer (Open University), Holger Afflerbach(University of Leeds), David Stevenson (LSE), and Dominic Lieven(University of Cambridge).

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