Prof Peter Beck

Position: Emeritus Professor
School: Honorary
Extension: 0
Location: Penrhyn Road


My research interests centre upon British foreign policy since 1945; presenting history within and outside academia; memoirs and public policy; and the politics of sport. My books include Presenting History: Past and Present (2012), Using History, Making British Policy: the Treasury and Foreign Office, 1950-1976 (2006), and Scoring for Britain: international football and international politics, 1900-1939 (1999).

Presenting History: Past and Present, published by Palgrave Macmillan, explores the increasingly varied ways in which the past has been, and is being, presented as “history” to audiences within and outside academia. Case studies focus in depth upon such historians as A.J.P. Taylor, Eric Hobsbawm, Simon Schama, Niall Ferguson and Joan Wallach Scott as well as historical novelists like Philippa Gregory. Full details, including a sample chapter and extracts from reviews such as by Eric Hobsbawm, Andrew Roberts, John Tosh and Chris Wrigley, are available on the publisher’s website:

My recent articles and book chapters include:
- Britain, Abadan 1951 & Suez 1956 (in Re-Assessing Suez after Fifty Years ed. S. Smith: 2008)
- British politics and the history of the 1956 Suez Crisis (English Historical Review: 2009)
- Britain and the Olympics 1908, 1948, 1980, 2012 (International Journal for the History of Sport: 2008; Journal of Sport History: 2012; H-Diplo: 2013)
- George Orwell on international sport and the Olympics as “war minus the shooting” (Sport in History: 2013)
- Honoré Daumier's art and politics in France (History Today: 2008)
- Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories (History Today 2009)
- Antarctica 100 years on from Captain Robert Scott (The Historian: 2012)
- Llewellyn Woodward as an official British war historian (English Historical Review, (December 2012).

At the national level I was a member of the history panels for the 1992 and 1996 Research Assessment Exercises, the postgraduate history panel of the Humanities Research Board (1994-97), and the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s peer review college (2004-2008).

Educational and professional qualifications

1991 Fellow, The Royal Historical Society
1971 PhD Thesis entitled 'Britain and the Peacekeeping Role of the League of Nations, 1924-1929', supervised by Professor James Joll , London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London
1966 Postgraduate Certificate in Education , Institute of Education, University of London
1965 BSc (Economics) International History , London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London

Professional experience (post-1990)

2004-2008 Peer Review College for History, Arts and Humanities Research Council
1998 - 2001 Chair of Research Degrees Committee (previously Vice-Chair), Kingston University
1995 - 1996 Member of history panel for 1996 Research Assessment Exercise, Higher Education Funding Council
1994 - 1997 History Postgraduate Awards Panel,Humanities Research Board, British Academy
1993 - present Professor of International History, currently Emeritus Professor of International History, Kingston University
1993 - 1994 Teaching Quality Assessor, History, Higher Education Funding Council
1992 - 1999 HUDG (History at Universities Group), member of Steering Committee representing Historians working in higher education
1992 - 1993 Member of history panel for 1992 Research Assessment Exercise, Higher Education Funding Council
1991 - 2008 Coordinator in charge of History Research Unit, Kingston University

Research supervision

Currently I am Director of Studies for 1 student doing a doctoral thesis and second supervisor for 3 other doctoral students.

Successful research higher degree supervisions:
Ph.D. 6 completions.
M.Phil. 1 completion.
MA by Research 1 completion

Research areas

History: British Foreign policy since 1918; presenting history; history and public policy; politics of sport


Arts and Humanities Research Council: Study Leave Award 2005-2006
Result: Successful £16.1k.

Professional activity

I have conducted seventeen higher degree viva examinations.

Member of Editorial Boards: International Journal for History of Sport; Soccer and Society; Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, and Politics;

Research outputs

Number of items: 78.


Beck, Peter J. (2015) For historians, even 'historians of a postmodernist kind', 'presentation' is the word. Rethinking History, 19(3), pp. 429-449. ISSN (print) 1364-2529

Beck, Peter (2013) 'War minus the shooting': George Orwell on international sport and the Olympics. Sport in History, 33(1), pp. 72-94. ISSN (print) 1746-0263

Beck, Peter J. (2012) Britain And the Olympic Games: London 1908, 1948 and 2012. Journal of Sport History, 39(1), pp. 21-43. ISSN (print) 0094-1700

Beck, Peter (2012) Locked in a dusty cupboard, neither accessible on the policymakers' desks nor cleared for early publication: Llewellyn Woodward's official diplomatic history of the Second World War. English Historical Review, 127(529), pp. 1435-1470. ISSN (print) 0013-8266

Beck, Peter J. (2012) No longer "A Pole Apart": Antarctica 100 years on from Captain Scott. The Historian(114), pp. 16-21. ISSN (print) 0265-1076

Beck, Peter (2011) Book review of: 'History, historians, and conservatism in Britain and America: from the Great War to Thatcher and Reagan' by Reba N. Soffer. American Historical Review, 116(1), pp. 140-141. ISSN (print) 0002-8762

Beck, Peter (2011) Book review of: 'Spartak Moscow: a history of the people's team in the workers' state' by R. Edelman. History, 96(321), pp. 120-121. ISSN (print) 0018-2648

Beck, Peter J (2010) Book Review of: Diplomacy with a Difference: The Commonwealth Office of High Commissioner, 1880-2006. The English Historical Review, 125(513), pp. 484-485. ISSN (print) 0013-8266

Beck, Peter J. (2010) Fifty years on: putting the Antarctic Treaty into the history books. Polar Record, 46(01), pp. 4-7. ISSN (print) 0032-2474

Beck, Peter (2009) Antarctica: Keeping Conflict on Ice. History Today, 59(12), pp. 16-18. ISSN (print) 0018-2753

Beck, Peter (2009) Book Review of: Iron Curtain: From Stage to Cold War by Patrick Wright. History, 94(313), pp. 131-132. ISSN (print) 0018-2648

Beck, Peter (2009) Book review of: Before the eyes of the world: Mexico and the 1968 Olympic Games by Kevin B. Witherspoon. Journal of Contemporary History, 44(4), pp. 797-799. ISSN (print) 0022-0094

Beck, Peter J. (2009) History made horrible. History Today, 59(9), pp. 70-71. ISSN (print) 0018-2753

Beck, Peter J. (2009) 'The less said about Suez the better': British governments and the politics of Suez's history, 1956-67. The English Historical Review, cxxiv(508), pp. 605-640. ISSN (print) 0013-8266

Beck, Peter (2008) Book Review of: Sport in the USSR: Physical culture - Visual culture by Mike O'Mahony. History, 93(311), pp. 450-451. ISSN (print) 0018-2648

Beck, Peter (2008) Book review of: Globalizing sport: national rivalry and international community in the 1930s by Barbara J. Keys. History, 93(310), pp. 302-303. ISSN (print) 0018-2648

Beck, Peter J. (2008) The British government and the Olympic movement: The 1948 London Olympics. International Journal of the History of Sport, 25(5), pp. 615-647. ISSN (print) 0952-3367

Beck, Peter J. (2008) Pages of history: Daumier's political eye. History Today, 58(2), pp. 34-41. ISSN (print) 0018-2753

Beck, Peter (2008) Using the archives, 10: Special collections, archives and manuscripts : Southampton's archival collections. British International History Group Newsletter, 14, pp. 7-9.

Beck, Peter (2007) Using the archives, 9: The Modern Records Centre and the BP Archive, University of Warwick. British International History Group Newsletter, 13, pp. 7-9.

Beck, Peter J. (2006) Im Schatten der Vergangenheit: Fussball in den britisch-deutschen Beziehungen. Historical Social Research, 31(1), pp. 109-133. ISSN (print) 0172-6404

Richardson, Mike and Beck, Peter [Contributor] (2006) John Arnfield Heap, CMG. Polar Record, 42(3), pp. 263-267. ISSN (print) 0032-2474

Beck, Peter J. (2006) The United Nations and Antarctica, 2005: the end of the 'Question of Antarctica'? Polar Record, 42(3), pp. 217-227. ISSN (print) 0032-2474

Beck, Peter (2006) Using the archives, 8: British Library of Political and Economic Science, London School of Economics (LSE). British International History Group Newsletter, 12, pp. 5-7.

Beck, Peter (2006) World wars, world cups. BBC History magazine, 7(8), ISSN (print) 1469-8552

Beck, Peter J. (2006) The lessons of Abadan and Suez for British foreign policymakers in the 1960s. The Historical Journal, 49(2), pp. 525-547. ISSN (print) 0018-246X

Beck, Peter (2005) Britain and the Cold War's "Cultural Olympics": responding to the political drive of Soviet sport, 1945-58. Contemporary British History, 19(2), pp. 169-185. ISSN (print) 1361-9462

Beck, Peter (2005) President George W Bush talks about history and his presidential library. British International History Group Newsletter, 11, pp. 4-5.

Beck, Peter (2005) Using the archives, 7: Special collections, University of Birmingham. British International History Group Newsletter, 11, pp. 9-11.

Beck, Peter (2004) From Cold War to goal war. BBC History magazine, 5(5), p. 22. ISSN (print) 1469-8552

Beck, Peter J. (2004) Twenty years on: the UN and the 'Question of Antarctica', 1983-2003. Polar Record, 40(3), pp. 205-212. ISSN (print) 0032-2474

Beck, Peter J. (2003) Confronting George Orwell: Philip Noel-Baker on international sport, particularly the Olympic movement, as peacemaker. European Sports History Review, 5, pp. 187-207. ISSN (print) 1462-1495

Beck, Peter J. (2003) Losing prestige on and off the field: England versus Hungary, 1953-54. Sport in History, 23(2), pp. 10-26. ISSN (print) 1746-0263

Beck, Peter J. (2003) The United Nations and Antarctica, 2002: 'constructive engagement' between the Antarctic Treaty System and the United Nations. Polar Record, 39(3), pp. 231-238. ISSN (print) 0032-2474

Beck, Peter (2003) Using the archives, 6: the National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office), Kew, London. British International History Group Newsletter, 10, pp. 3-11.

Beck, Peter J. (2003) The relevance of the "irrelevant": football as a missing dimension in the study of British relations with Germany. International Affairs, 79(2), pp. 389-411. ISSN (print) 0020-5850

Beck, Peter (2002) Using the archives, 5: the Library of Congress, Washington DC., USA. British International History Group Newsletter, 9, pp. 7-13.

Beck, Peter (2001) Book Review of: Modern British history since 1900 by Jeremy Black. The English Historical Review, 116(466), pp. 516-517. ISSN (print) 0013-8266

Beck, Peter (2001) Book Review of: Neville Chamberlain and appeasement by Robert J. Caputi. The English Historical Review, 116(465), pp. 275-276. ISSN (print) 0013-8266

Beck, Peter (2001) Book Review of: The Columbia history of the twentieth century edited by Richard Bulliet. History, 86(283), pp. 438-439. ISSN (print) 0018-2648

Beck, Peter (2001) Book Review of: The Oxford history of the twentieth century edited by Michael Howard & Wm Roger Louis. History, 86(283), p. 439. ISSN (print) 0018-2648

Beck, Peter J. (2001) For world footballing honours: England versus Italy, 1933, 1934 and 1939. European Sports History Review, 3, pp. 245-266. ISSN (print) 1462-1495

Beck, Peter (2001) Using the archives, 4:National Archives at College Park (Archives II) and the Nixon Presidential Materials Staff, College Park, Maryland, USA. The British International History Group Newsletter, 8, pp. 6-9.

Beck, Peter J. (1999) Searching for peace in Munich, not Geneva: The British government, the league of nations and the Sudetenland question. Diplomacy & Statecraft, 10(2-3), pp. 236-257. ISSN (print) 0959-2296

Beck, Peter (1998) Politicians versus historians: Lord Avon's appeasement battle against "lamentably, appeasement-minded" historians. Twentieth Century British History, 9(3), pp. 396-419. ISSN (print) 0955-2359

Beck, Peter J. (1995) Through Arctic eyes: Canada and Antarctica, 1945–62. Arctic, 48(2), pp. 136-146. ISSN (print) 0004-0843

Beck, Peter (1991) Fisheries conservation - a basis for a special Anglo-Argentine relationship. World Today, 47(6), pp. 102-106. ISSN (print) 0043-9134

Beck, Peter (1990) Antarctica enters the 1990s - an overview. Applied Geography, 10(4), pp. 247-263. ISSN (print) 0143-6228

Beck, Peter (1990) Regulating one of the last tourism frontiers - Antarctica. Applied Geography, 10(4), pp. 343-356. ISSN (print) 0143-6228

Beck, Peter (1983) Argentina 'philatelic annexation' of the Falklands. History Today, 33(2), pp. 39-44. ISSN (print) 0018-2753

Beck, Peter (1983) Britains Antarctic dimension. International Affairs, 59(3), pp. 429-444. ISSN (print) 0020-5850

Beck, Peter (1980) Politics and the Olympics: the lesson of 1924. HISTORY TODAY, 30(7), pp. 7-9. ISSN (print) 0018-2753


Beck, Peter J. (2016) The War of the Worlds : from H.G. Wells to Orson Welles, Steven Spielberg, Jeff Wayne and beyond. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. 498p. ISBN 9781474229883

Beck, Peter J. (2012) Presenting history: past and present. Basingstoke, U.K. : Palgrave Macmillan. 351p. ISBN 9780230242081

Beck, Peter J. (2006) Using history, making British policy: the Treasury and the Foreign Office, 1950-76. Basingstoke, UK : Palgrave Macmillan. 310p. ISBN 1403947066

Beck, Peter J (1999) Scoring for Britain: international football and international politics, 1900-1939. London, U.K. : Frank Cass. 306p. (Sport in the global society) ISBN 071464899X

Beck, Peter J. (1988) The Falkland Islands as an international problem. London, U.K. : Routledge. 211p. ISBN 041500909X

Beck, Peter (1986) The international politics of Antarctica. Beckenham, U.K. : Croom Helm. 332p. ISBN 0709932391

Book Section

Beck, Peter (2017) Antarctica and the United Nations. In: Dodds, Klaus , Hemmings, Alan D. and Roberts, Peder, (eds.) Handbook on the Politics of Antarctica. Cheltenham, U.K. : Edward Elgar. pp. 255-268. ISBN 9781784717674

Beck, Peter J. (2016) Britain and Antarctica: keeping the economic dimension in its place. In: Fisher, John , Pedaliu, Effie G.H. and Smith, Richard, (eds.) The Foreign Office, Commerce and British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century. London, U.K. : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 323-343. ISBN 9781137465801

Beck, Peter J. (2008) Britain and the Suez crisis: the Abadan dimension. In: Smith, Simon C., (ed.) Reassessing Suez 1956: new perspectives on the crisis and its aftermath. Aldershot, U.K. : Ashgate. pp. 53-65. ISBN 0754661709

Beck, Peter J. (2007) United Nations. In: Riffenburgh, Beau, (ed.) Encyclopedia of the Antarctic. London, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 1016-1017. ISBN 0415970245

Beck, Peter J. (2004) Antarctica. In: Calvert, Peter, (ed.) Border and territorial disputes of the world. 4th ed. London, U.K. : John Harper Publishing. pp. 123-152. ISBN 9780954381134

Beck, Peter J. (2004) 'The most effective means of communication in the modern world'?: British sport and national prestige. In: Levermore, Roger and Budd, Adrian, (eds.) Sport and international relations: an emerging relationship. London, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 77-92. (Sport in the global society) ISBN 0714682837

Beck, Peter J. (2003) Leisure and sport in Britain, 1900-1939. In: Wrigley, Chris, (ed.) A companion to early twentieth-century Britain. Oxford, U.K. : Blackwell. pp. 453-469. (Blackwell companions to British history) ISBN 0631217908

Beck, Peter (2002) Anglo-Soviet relations 1930-1954: the British Government and the footballing dimension. In: Szikora, K. , Nagy, P. , Bandy, S.J. and Pfister, G., (eds.) Sport and politics: proceedings of the 6th congress of the International Society for the History of Physical Education and Sport, July 14-19 1999, Budapest, Hungary. Budapest, Hungary : Semmelweis University. pp. 89-95.

Beck, Peter J. [Author of introduction, etc.] and Dodds, Klaus (2002) Foreword. In: UNSPECIFIED, (ed.) Pink ice: Britain and the South Atlantic Empire. London, U.K. : I.B. Tauris. pp. xiii-xv. ISBN 9781860647703

Beck, Peter (2002) Politics. In: Cox, Richard , Russell, Dave and Vamplew, Wray, (eds.) Encyclopedia of British football. London, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 233-235. ISBN 0714652490

Beck, Peter J. (1994) History and policy-makers in Argentina and Britain. In: Hill, Christopher and Beshoff, Pamela, (eds.) Two worlds of international relations: academics, practitioners and the trade in ideas. London, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 164-187. ISBN 041506970X

Conference or Workshop Item

Beck, Peter (2008) The British government and the Olympics, 1908-1948-2012: the historical dimension. In: Olympic City: London, Britain and the World 1908, 1948, 2012: Centre for Contemporary British History Summer Conference; 9-11 July 2008, London, UK. (Unpublished)

Beck, Peter (2008) Honore Daumier's France 1830-1871: an artist's commentary. In: The Historical Association: Richmond and Twickenham branch meeting; 16 October 2008, Richmond upon Thames, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Beck, Peter (2007) Thinking and acting historically in the Treasury, 1957-1960. In: History and the Public; 12-14 Apr 2007, Swansea, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Beck, Peter (2006) Learning from history in British foreign policy making in 1960s: the influence of the Abadan and Suez disputes. In: Institute of Historical Research seminar in Contemporary British History; 10 May 2006, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Beck, Peter (2006) "The less said about Suez the Better": British governments and looking back to Suez, 1956-70. In: Re-assessing Suez Fifty Years On; 26 Jul 2006, Hull, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Beck, Peter (2004) From Munich to Suez and beyond via the 1951 Abadan crisis: taking British foreign policy forward by learning from the past. In: The British International History Group 16th Annual Conference; 9-11 Sep 2004, Norwich, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Beck, Peter (2003) Playing ball with the Soviet Union: British governments and footballing contacts with the Soviet Union, 1945-54. In: Britain and the culture of the Cold War; 12-13 Sep 2003, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Beck, Peter J. (1999) Britain, image-building and the world game: sport's potential as British cultural propaganda. In: The image, the state and international relations; 24 Jun 1999, London, U.K.. (EFPU Working Papers) ISSN (print) 1474-113X ISBN 0753014564


Beck, Peter J. (2006) History and policy at work in the Treasury, 1957-76. (Discussion Paper) London : History & Policy, Institute of Historical Research.

This list was generated on Fri Jun 23 04:32:59 2017 BST.