The Unrepentant Historian: Sir Michael Howard and the birth of War Studies


  • David Morgan-Owen King's College, London, UK
  • Miichael Finch Deakin University, Victoria, Australia


Sir Michael Howard is widely recognised as the founder of ‘War Studies’, a Department of Kings College, London, which embodied a new intellectual agenda for the study of war. Yet whilst his influence as a founder was significant, it has been overstated. In this article we contextualise the emergence of War Studies as part of a longer series of attempts to establish war-oriented study at the University of London and situate Howard’s endeavours alongside those of more senior colleagues. In so doing, we also emphasise the limited and pragmatic approach to war studies that Howard developed during this period.