Matthew Jones

Provost's Distinguished Fellow

Professor Jones specializes in US and British foreign and defense policy, decolonization in South East Asia, and nuclear history.  After undergraduate study at the University of Sussex, he gained his DPhil in Modern History from St Antony’s College, Oxford.  His first academic appointment was at Royal Holloway, University of London, before moving to the University of Nottingham.  In 2013 he joined the Department of International History at the London School of Economics, where he was Director of Research, and from 2017 to 2020 served as Head of Department.  His research record was recognized in 2008 when he was appointed as a Cabinet Office official historian by the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.  In 2017, in this role, Professor Jones has published two volumes which chart the development of the UK’s nuclear strategy and policies: The Official History of the UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent: Volume I: From the V-Bomber Era to the Arrival of Polaris, 1945-1964, and The Official History of the UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent: Volume II: The Labour Government and the Polaris Programme, 1964-1970.

Professor Jones’s other books have included a study of inter-allied command relationships, Britain, the United States and the Mediterranean War, 1942-44 (Macmillan, 1996); an examination of the creation of Malaysia and the West’s relations with Indonesia, entitled Conflict and Confrontation in South East Asia, 1961-1965 (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and After Hiroshima: The United States, Race, and Nuclear Weapons in Asia, 1945-1965 (Cambridge University Press, 2010), which looked at the development of US nuclear strategy in Asia in the period marked by the Korean War, confrontation with China, and the early phases of US engagement in Vietnam, placing a special emphasis on the influence of the widespread perception that the atomic bomb was a ‘white man’s weapon’ and the diplomatic and military dilemmas this helped create for American policymakers.  In 2019 he also published a co-written book with Kevin Ruane, Anthony Eden, Anglo-American Relations and the 1954 Indochina Crisis (Bloomsbury Academic), which revisits a Cold War episode in which British diplomacy played a vital role in settling a crucial question of international war and peace.  Professor Jones has taught many different aspects of twentieth-century international history, including courses on the Vietnam Wars, post-war British foreign policy and the end of empire, and US nuclear history.

Professor Jones has been the recipient of grants and awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the Eccles Centre for North American Studies at the British Library.