Dr John Fisher

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About me

I am an international historian, who researches, publishes and reviews widely within the framework of British interests overseas, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, from around 1800 until 1945.

My earlier published work mainly concerned strategic defence and diplomacy in the Middle East during and after the First World War. Since then, my focus has broadened to encompass power projection beyond traditional diplomacy, including aspects of intelligence history, the history of travel, and British communities overseas.

I am also interested in connections between religion and diplomacy, which is the focus of my current book project, as well as the conduct and administration of British foreign policy more generally.  

These interests have led to various collaborative endeavours, notably four co-edited books, as well as to other outputs which link directly to my teaching. These include four single-authored books and a great many journal articles and book chapters, some of which are listed below, together with some reviews.

Curzon and British Imperialism in the Middle East, 1916-1919 (Frank Cass, 1999)

'This is a very good book...Fisher's research is exemplary (Keith Neilson)

'Illuminating' (Peter John Brobst)

'Fisher's revisionist approach makes this study a valuable contribution' (Jacob Abadi)

'This specialised but readable work on British imperialism stands out for its coverage of the relevant British state documents and private papers' (Matthew Elliot)

The Paris Peace Conference, 1919: Peace without Victory? (Palgrave, 2001), edited with Michael Dockrill

'the book is exceptionally good' (G.H. Bennett)

Gentleman Spies (Sutton Publishers, 2002)

'Entertaining and well-informed' (Giles Foden, The Guardian)

Religion and Diplomacy: Religion and British Foreign Policy, 1815 to 1941 (Republic of Letters, 2010), edited with Keith Robbins

'Everyone studying British foreign policy since 1815 should read Religion and Diplomacy' (Peter Beck)

British Diplomacy and the Descent into Chaos: the career of Jack Garnett, 1902-19 (Palgrave, 2011)

'it is in the complexity of Garnett's own personality that the value of Fisher's work really shines' (Maryanne Rhett)

'well written and thoroughly researched' (Geoff Berridge)

On the Fringes of Diplomacy: Influences on British Foreign Policy, 1800-1945 (Ashgate, 2011), edited with Antony Best

'Works such as this highlight the incredible richness of the field, but also shine a light on possible topics for the future' (Ben Lombardi)

'It combines thorough research with an eye for the quirky' (Peter Whitehead)

The Foreign Office, Commerce and British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century (Palgrave, 2016), edited with Effie Pedaliu and Richard Smith

'For anyone seeking to understand the immense complexity of commercial diplomacy...this is an invaluable volume, and likely to become a standard work' (Erik Goldstein)

'essential reading for international historians interested in interactions between trade and diplomacy in the twentieth century' (George Peden)

Area of expertise

British involvement and international rivalries in the Middle East, c1800 to 1945

Britain and Morocco, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries 


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