Dr Andrew Webster
BA (Harvard), MPhil (Cambridge), PhD (Cambridge)

Senior Lecturer in Modern European History

About me

I am an historian of the politics, diplomacy and international relations of modern Europe, with a particular interest in the period between the two world wars. My research has centred around the linked themes of Anglo-French-German relations, the problem of international disarmament, and the rise and fall of the League of Nations. My current research project traces the history of the international disarmament process from the first Hague peace conference of 1899 to the end of the Second World War in 1945.

I obtained my PhD in History from the University of Cambridge in 2001, as the very last doctoral student of the legendary Zara Steiner, after which I spent three years as a junior research fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, as well as acting as Director of Studies in History at Corpus Christi College. I moved to Australia in 2004, originally as a visiting research fellow at the University of Western Australia, and was appointed to a lectureship in history at Murdoch in 2006. Since then I have developed and taught a series of units on modern history, including ‘The Rebirth of Europe, 1945-2000′, ‘The European Union’, ‘After Power: The Fall of Regimes and Rulers’ and ‘Europe under the Dictators’.

I am currently Senior Lecturer in Modern European History. I have previously served as Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Deputy Dean of the School of Business and Governance (formerly Management and Governance) and Dean of the Murdoch University International Study Centre Dubai.

Teaching area

Main teaching areas
  • modern European history
  • international relations since 1789
Units taught in 2015

Semester 1

  • HIS324: Rebirth of Europe, 1945-2001
  • HIS 563: History Honours Seminar
  • SWM633: International History
Semester 2
  • On academic study leave
Units taught in 2014

Semester 1

  • SWM633: International History
  • BAR150: Ideas and Identity (with Helena Grehan)

Semester 2

  • HIS182: Making of the Modern World (with James Crossland)
  • HIS230: Spies, Saboteurs and Secret Agents (with James Crossland)

Research areas

Research Interests
  • Europe between the world wars
  • international disarmament since 1899
  • pacifism and peace movements since 1899
  • internationalism: the League of Nations, the United Nations and the European Union

Current projects

Current Projects

  • ‘Allies of Yesterday’: Britain, France and the Crisis of European Diplomacy, 1929-1934
  • From the Hague to Hiroshima: The History of International Disarmament, 1899-1945

Doctoral and masters supervisions

Current doctoral students

  • Heather Hannah, ‘Gendered expectations of the nineteenth century: Male use of the female pseudonym’ (with Anne Surma)
  • Luke LeCras, ‘A.K. Chesterton and the British extreme right after 1945′ (with Michael Durey)
  • Michelle McKeough, ‘A community and its crises: Challenge and response in Fremantle during plague, war and depression, 1900-1939′ (with Michael Sturma)
  • Pamela Mikus, ‘Col. John Bruce and the Enrolled Pensioner Guards: Their contribution to the Swan River Colony, 1850-1870′ (with Michael Sturma)
  • Margo Warburton, ‘Communities of correspondence: Assessing the meaning of community in the Great War letters of an Australian soldier’ (with Michael Sturma)
Chair of doctoral committees:
  • Aaron Chidgzey, ‘Wolfhart Pannenberg and N.T. Wright on interpreting the historical and theological significance of Jesus’ resurrection’
  • Max Frankel, ‘Legitimize, marginalize, sanitize: The place and fate of videogame modding communities’



  • Webster, A., (2017),Reconsidering disarmament at the Hague Peace Conference of 1899, and after,In: War, Peace and International Order? The Legacies of the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907, Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group), pages to.
  • Webster, A., (2012),The League of Nations and Grand Strategy: A Contradiction in Terms?,In: The Challenge of Grand Strategy: The Great Powers and the Broken Balance between the World Wars, Cambridge University Press, pages 93 to 119.
  • Webster, A., (2008),The Enforcement of the Treaty of Versailles, 1919-1923,In: After the Versailles Treaty. Enforcement, compliance, contested identities, Routledge, pages 133 to 151.
  • Webster, A., (2007),Internationalism,In: A Companion to International History, 1900-2001, Wiley-Blackwell, pages 39 to 51.
  • Webster, A., (2006),Entente and Argument: Britain, France and Disarmament, 1899-1934,In: Britain, France and the Entente Cordiale since 1904, Palgrave Macmillan, pages 64 to 77.
  • Webster, A., (2002),An Argument Without End: Britain, France and the Disarmament Process, 1925-1934,In: Anglo-French Defence Relations Between the Wars, Palgrave Macmillan, pages 49 to 71.


  • Webster, A., (2010), International arbitration, the pacific settlement of disputes and the French security-disarmament dilemma (1919-1931), French History, 24, 2, pages 236 - 261.
  • Webster, A., (2008), "Absolutely Irresponsible Amateurs": The Temporary Mixed Commission on Armaments, 1921-1924, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 54, 3, pages 373 - 388.
  • Webster, A., (2006), From Versailles to Geneva: The Many Forms of Interwar Disarmament, Journal of Strategic Studies, 29, 2, pages 225 - 246.
  • Webster, A., (2005), The Transnational Dream: Politicians, Diplomats and Soldiers in the League of Nations' Pursuit of International Disarmament, 1920-1938, Contemporary European History, 14, 4, pages 493 - 518.
  • Webster, A., (2005), Making Disarmament Work: The Implementation of the International Disarmament Provisions in the League of Nations Covenant, 1919-1925, Diplomacy & Statecraft, 16, 3, pages 551 - 569.
  • Webster, A., (2004), Piecing Together the Interwar Disarmament Puzzle: Trends and Possibilities, International Journal, LIX, 1, pages 187 - 198.
  • Webster, A., (2002), The Uneasy Status Quo: The Future for China and Taiwan Revisited, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, XV, 1, pages 83 - 84.
  • Webster, A., (2001), Convergence, Collision or the Status Quo? The Future of China-Taiwan Relations, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, XIV, 2, pages 95 - 102.
  • Webster, A., (2000), 'The Disenchantment Conference': Frustration and Humour at the World Disarmament Conference, 1932, Diplomacy & Statecraft, 11, 3, pages 72 - 80.
 Conference and Research Papers
  • ‘Transnational ideal, international problem’, workshop on Internationalism, University of Sydney, September 2012
  • ‘Disarmament as success or failure for the League of Nations’, conference on Towards a New History of the League of Nations, The Graduate Institute, Geneva, August 2011
  • ‘Towards a new history of the League of Nations’, Australasian Association of European Historians, 18th biennial conference, Perth, July 2011
  • ‘France and international arbitration, 1919-1931’, British International History Group, 20th annual conference, St. Anthony’s College, Oxford, September 2010
  • ‘The League of Nations and disarmament’, inaugural workshop for League of Nations scientific network, Jesus College, Oxford, August 2010
  • ‘The League of Nations and international arbitration’, International Studies Association, 51st annual conference, New Orleans, February 2010
  • ‘Keeping the “Ultra secret”: History, secrecy and the public disclosure of signals intelligence since the Second World War’, Australasian Association of European Historians, 17th biennial conference, Adelaide, July 2009
  • ‘France against the League of Nations’, Society for the Study of French History, 22nd annual conference, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, July 2008
  • ‘Beyond collective security: Britain and the League of Nations between the wars’, North American Conference on British Studies, annual conference, San Francisco, November 2007 (panel chair and commentator)
  • Transnationalism in action at the League of Nations: The Temporary Mixed Commission on Armaments, 1921-1925’, Australian Association for European History, 16th biennial conference, University of Sydney, July 2007
  • Entente, cordialité et désarmement’, conference on One Century of Entente Cordiale: Dialogue, Conflicts and Perceptions outside France, 1904-2004, Université de Rouen, November 2004
  • ‘The United States and the League of Nations: The case of disarmament, 1920-1934’, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, annual meeting, University of Texas at Austin, June 2004
  • ‘Germany, the League of Nations and the enforcement of disarmament in the 1920s’, International Studies Association, 45th annual conference, Montreal, March 2004
  • ‘Lessons on making disarmament work: The international experience between the world wars’, Modern History Research Seminar, University of the West of England, Bristol, December 2003
  • ‘Creating international disarmament: The implementation of the disarmament provisions in the League of Nations Covenant’, conference on The Versailles Settlement: Enforcement, Compliance, Contested Identities, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, September 2003
  • ‘The rise and fall of international arbitration, 1919-1935’, British International History Group, 15th annual conference, University of Nottingham, September 2003
  • ‘Reinventing security: The problem of disarmament in France during the early 1920s’, Society for the Study of French History, 17th annual conference, University of Nottingham, April 2003
  • ‘The history and politics of disarmament, 1919-2003’, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, research seminar, University of Sydney, March 2003
  • ‘Whither “security”? France and disarmament, 1925-1934’, Society for French Historical Studies, 48th annual conference, Toronto, April 2002
  • ‘The politics of hope? Disarmament and international relations between the two world wars’, International History Research Group, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, October 2001
  • Encore désarmement: Anglo-French relations and disarmament during the interwar period’, Modern European History Seminar, University of Cambridge, October 2000
  • ‘An argument without end: The disarmament process during the interwar period’, Military History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, London, May 2000
  • ‘The Anglo-French struggle over disarmament, 1929-1934: The naval aspect’, Postgraduate Seminar in International History, Public Record Office, Kew, September 1999