Dr Bruce Kent

Dr Bruce  Kent

Position: Visitor
School and/or Centres: Centre for European Studies


1953: BA (Melb); 1955: Victorian Rhodes Scholarship; 1957: BA (Oxon); 1962: PhD (ANU)


1962-1997: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader (History Department, ANU);  1970:  Fulbright Visiting Fellow (Stanford and Princeton); 1975-1976 (April-April):  Inaugural Exchange Lecturer, Australia-China Cultural Exchange Agreement (East China Normal University (Huadong), Shanghai);  1990: Academic Visitor (London School of Economics and Political Science;  1996: Visiting Fellow (Center of International Studies, Princeton;  1998-2000: Visiting Fellow (Department of Economic History, ANU);  2001-2011: Visiting Fellow (ANU NEC).

The Flawed Postwar Reconstruction after First and Second World Wars;  Origins of the Cold War in Europe;  Historical Agency in Social Movements;  European Far Right from the Twentieth Century to the present;  Coming to Terms with the Past: the History Wars in Europe and Australia
Postwar Reconstruction:  My research into the botched reconstruction following the war of 1914-1918 gave rise to The Spoils of War: The Politics, Economics and Diplomacy of Reparations, 1918-1932 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989, 1991).  I am currently working on a sequel entitled The Price of Peace: Postwar Reconstruction and the Origins of the Cold War which assesses how far the slide into the Cold War  was due to an intractable East-West dispute over an even more formidable reconstruction  problem rather than to a steadily escalating strategic/ideological  confrontation.    My interest in the flawed approach of major belligerents to reconstruction has  prompted a public lecture at the National Museum, Canberra, on ‘The Great Powers and Postwar Reconstruction, from Versailles to Nation-Building Lite’;   an address to the staff of the Australian War Memorial entitled ‘The Impact of the Treaty of Versailles on the Weimar Republic’ ;  and most recently an ANU CES Working Paper entitled ‘European Human Rights, 1919-1950’, which discusses how the focus of the great powers in the late 1940s on civil and political,  as opposed to social and economic, rights prevented the establisment of  the International Trade Organisation, which was to have underpinned the Bretton Woods system by promoting ‘fair trade’ and regulating the uninhibited capital flows which are the root cause of the current global financial crisis.

1955:Victorian Rhodes Scholarship;  1970:  Fulbright Grant (Stanford and Princeton); 1991: ANU Faculties Research Fund Grant (Research at Federal Reserve Bank, New York on Papers of Benjamin Strong;  at Morgan Library, N.Y, on Papers of J.P. Morgan Jr;  and at Amherst, Columbia, Harvard and Yale on Papers of Morgan Partners); 1992:SARC Grant:  The Movement for Radical Social Reform Arising From the War of 1939-1945.

Past Member ( and  President, 1984--6) of the Australian Association of European  Historians.  Convened the Biennial Conference of the AAEH at ANU, Canberra, May 1986.

Convened the International Symposium: ‘The European and Australian Far Right: Pathology and Prospects’, National Europe Centre, ANU, Canberra, August 2004.

Full-year undergraduate courses on (i) Modern Revolutions: France and Germany; (ii)Modern Revolutions: Russia and China; (iii) Social and Political Crises in Twentieth Century Western Europe: France, Germany and Spain;  (iv) From Fascism to Neo-Fascism (via the Cold War, Stalinism and Eurocommunism);  (v) Kingdoms, Classes and Cultures in Eighteenth Century Europe;  (vi)Revolution, Counter-Revolution and Civil War in France and Spain from 1789 to 1939.

Numerous doctoral and masters theses on topics ranging  from (i)the right-wing press in the French Revolution, (ii)Nazi Germany’s mobilisation for war and (iii)to Bill Gammage’s ‘The Broken Years: a Study of the Diaries and Letters of  Australian Soldiers in the Great War, 1914-18’.


Updated:  21 November 2017/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications