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Dr Margot Tudor

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I am a historian of international interventions, global governance, decolonisation, and sovereignty. My PhD thesis examined post-colonial state formation and colonial continuities in international security practices during the mid-20th century. My work broadly focuses on field-based UN peacekeeping practices, tracing the (dis)connections between UN headquarters' rhetoric and decision-making on the ground. At the moment I am developing a project on the overlapping practices, cultures, and rhetoric of humanitarianism and militarism.

Please follow me on Twitter: @margottudor

Research Background

In 2020, I finished my ESRC-funded thesis, 'Blue Helmet Bureaucrats: UN Peacekeeping Missions and the Formation of the Post-Colonial International Order, 1956-1971' at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, based at the University of Manchester. My PhD was a history of United Nations peacekeeping missions during the height of decolonisation (1956-1971). It highlighted the colonial continuities and lineages of peacekeeping practices in the field by taking a comparative approach to the first four armed UN missions: UNEF (Sinai and Gaza), ONUC (Congo), UNTEA (West Papua), and UNFICYP (Cyprus).During my time at the University of Manchester, I won the Faculty of Humanities Award for Distinguished Achievement.

In June 2021, my PhD thesis was awarded the BISA Michael Nicholson Thesis Prize 2021. In November, it was announced as runner up for the British International History Group (BIHG) Michael Dockrill Thesis Prize 2021.

My article 'Gatekeepers to Decolonisation: Recentring the UN Peaceekepers on the Frontline of West Papua's Re-colonisation, 1962-3' won the ISA HIST Section's Merze Tate Prize for Best Article in Historical International Relations 2022.  

Warnings from the Archive

From January 2021-2023, I am Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the Leverhulme-funded project, 'Warnings from the Archive: A Century of British Intervention in the Middle East', working alongside Dr Owen Thomas (Pol) and Professor Catriona Pennell (Hist). Our project is linked to the Centre for Histories of Violence and Conflict.

Please follow our progress on twitter @warning_archive and via our website.

Future Research

I am currently working on a manuscript, building on my PhD research, that focuses on tracing how mid-level UN peacekeepers shaped the post-colonial international order and remade sovereignty from 1946-1971. 

My post-PhD project focuses on UN peacekeeping, gender, and recreational activities, exploring the construction of a cosmopolitan, international force through field-based masculine pursuits, such as competitive sport, drinking, and watching dancers perform. This project uses the UNEF and UNFICYP missions to question how far the ‘UN peacekeeper’ identity - or distinct peacekeeping culture(s) - was shaped by these experiences of male camaraderie. Military masculinities were compounded with humanitarian rhetoric and pronouncements of joining a 'moral force' for world peace. By examining peacekeeper-compiled sources, this project will explore how these activities enabled the transnational troops to gel and work better together, thus stabilising troop morale and producing a more authentic military. 

Teaching Experience

I am an Associate Fellow of the HEA and have taught BA/MA level courses at the University of Manchester and the LSE.

Professional Activities

For the duration of 2021-2022, I am book review editor for the Journal of Cold War History. I am also co-convenor of the International History and Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century annual conference. 

I was elected as an Early Career Member of the Royal Historical Society in June 2020. I am also a member of SHAFR, Women Also Know History, BISAISA (Human Rights and Historical International Relations sections), ENIUGH, and the British International History Group.

Research group links

Research interests

My research interests are international organisations (in particular, the UN and specialised agencies), military interventions, peacekeeping operations, humanitarianism, international law, and decolonisation.

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