Department of American and Canadian Studies

Politics and Foreign Policy

Our department has a broad range of expertise in the field of American diplomacy, intelligence and political history.

The specialisms of our staff include the American presidency, the intellectual and ideological underpinnings of US foreign policy and the role that intelligence agencies have played in pursuing US goals.

Our research focuses on the ways that the US interacts with the wider world, the ways in which it accomplishes its global goals and the domestic context that helps to shape many of these processes.

Diplomacy, intelligence and political history


Research and partners

Our department is integral to a new multidisciplinary Intelligence Network bringing together experts working across many different fields all based in the University of Nottingham.

The network hopes to address contemporary intelligence challenges facing society, including tensions between the right to privacy and state-sponsored mass surveillance, government secrecy and freedom of information and ethical dilemmas surrounding the prosecurition of a global "War on Terror".

We work with a wide range of research partners. Our current partners are:

Institute of Asia Pacific Studies

International Consortium for the Study of Post Conflict Reconstruction and Reconciliation

Media and consultancy

With a wealth of expertise in American diplomacy, intelligence and political history at their fingertips, our staff are often called upon for their specialist knowledge. Our work has informed local and national media output in the UK and the US.

Staff have been invited to share their research findings with, among others, the US State Department, the CIA, the FBI, the UK Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Office and NGOs across Europe, North America and Asia.


Knowledge exchange

Members of the department working in this area involve themselves in a variety of knowledge exchange activities including talks to local schools and colleges

We also hold conferences relating to the subject on a semi-regular basis, some of which have in the past have attracted major international attention. 'The Working to the Margins: The US and the Periphery, 1945-2008' and 'Landscapes of Secrecy: The CIA in History, Fiction and Memory' are two such conferences.

Postgraduate study

Our active and vibrant postgraduate community works on a wide range of topics within this area. In the past our students have written on topics such as US policy towards Iran in the 1960s and 1970s, the anti-Communist crackdown in the early Cold War and differing interpretations of the Monroe Doctrine in the early twentieth century.

We welcome enquiries from potential postgraduates in any area of this field. You can find out more about postgraduate research opportunities by consulting the online prospectus

Online prospectus



For enquiries, please contact Paul McGarr or relevant experts listed below:

Dr Paul McGarr

Dr Christopher Phelps

Dr Maria Ryan

Dr Bevan Sewell


Department of American and Canadian Studies

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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