My thesis examines aspects of Prussian military history and their reception in post-war West-German military and political thought. In particular figures from the Prussian reform movement play a central part. They constitute what I broadly refer to as “the Prussian General Staff tradition”. Carl von Clausewitz, August Neidhardt von Gneisenau, and Gerhard von Scharnhorst, among others, served as a background against which those interested in military matters in post-war West-Germany could frame their arguments. I am particularly interested in what political “work” post-war West-German writers made their Prussian forebears do when engaging in debates surrounding a number of military and political issues. Such debates lead me to broader questions concerning, for instance: the politics and legitimacy of thinking about war in the Federal Republic of Germany; the relationship between violence and political practice; the relationship between war and knowledge about war.
Beyond my thesis, I have an interest in war and remembrance, military identity (particularly with regards to national and gender identities), and the history of German/Prussian conservatism. More broadly, I am interested in the history, philosophy, and theory of war, and war/knowledge issues.
I hold an MA in War Studies from King’s College London and a BA in International Relations from the University of Sussex. My research at Oxford is funded by the AHRC and New College.