German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: Tel. +44-(0)20-7309 2050



Dr William King

Modern History

+44 020 7309

William King joined the GHIL in April 2021. He is a historian of modern Britain and Europe, and his current research examines the history of Euroscepticism in Britain. Prior to joining the GHIL, he was a Teaching Fellow in History at Sciences Po. William holds an MPhil in Historical Studies from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. in International History from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Research Project

Euroscepticism in history

Image of a classic red Routemaster London double-decker bus

This project is part a European-wide project exploring Euroscepticism in history, involving researchers from the German Historical Institutes in London, Rome, Warsaw, and the Hamburg Institute for Social Research.

William’s research focuses on British history and Euroscepticism with a particular emphasis on Barbara Castle, the European Parliament and the Labour Party. It will focus on key individuals who actively shaped and influenced the European integration project; many of them opposed British membership. The project as a whole will be used as a ‘way in’ to explore the “Eurosceptic” British Labour Group and their engagement in the Socialist Group and the European Parliament. It will explore how they played a significant part in constructing and forming EEC/EC policy in many important areas and how they potentially enhanced the prestige and power of the European Parliament, but also their limited contributions and/or frustrations. This approach will allow appreciation of the varied forms of “Eurosceptic” views and figures in the British Labour Group.

Responsibilities at the GHIL

  • Research Fellow in Modern History

Research Interests

  • British History
  • Euroscepticism
  • Chemical, Biological, Nuclear and Radiological Weapons (previous research)
  • Twentieth Century International Politics
  • European History
  • History of Emotions

Education and Academic Background

Since 2021 Research Fellow, German Historical Institute London
2020–2021 Teaching Fellow, Sciences Po
2015–2019 PhD in International History, London School of Economics and Political Science
2014–2015 MPhil in Historical Studies, St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge
2013–2014 MA in International Security and Intelligence, King’s College, London
2010–2013 BA in Politics and International Relations, University of Lancaster

Fellowships, Grants, and Scholarships

2018- Fellow of The UK Higher Education Academy
2015-2019 LSE PhD Studentship - Funding for tuition fees and maintenance

Honours and Distinctions

2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 LSE Class Teacher Award (for excellence in teaching)



Monographs and Edited Volumes

Nerve Agents in Postwar Britain: Deterrence, Protests and Disarmament, 1945-1976 (London, 2021) (Read more)

Articles and Chapters

‘Centre Stage: Ken Collins, the European Parliament, and Environmental Policy, 1979-1989’, JEIH Journal of European Integration History, 28:2 (2022), 225-246 (Read here)

‘A Weapon Too Far: The British Radiological Warfare Experience, 1940-1955’, War in History, 2021 (Read here)

With Jeanne Guillemin, ‘The price of alliance: Anglo-American intelligence cooperation and Imperial Japan’s criminal biological warfare programme, 1944–1947’, Journal of Intelligence & National Security, 34:2 (2019), 263–77.  

Reviews and Miscellaneous Publications

Blog posts

‘A gathering of Socialists: the first Socialist International Bureau Meeting, 1978’, (De-)Constructing Europe blog, 20 January 2022 (Read here)

Going Against the Tide? Sceptical views and alternative visions of European integration’, (De-)Construction Europe blog, 19 July 2022 (Read here)