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I am an historian who specialises in the history of nineteenth and twentieth century Europe, especially France, and of war in the modern world. I have focused in particular, though not exclusively, on the comparative and transnational history of the First World War. I have published a number of books and a hundred articles and book chapters.

I am an Emeritus Fellow and former Professor of Modern European History at Trinity College Dublin (having retired in 2015). I am also a Member of the Royal Irish Academy.

I am a member of the Board of the International Research Centre of the Historial de la Grande Guerre, the international museum of the Great War at Péronne, France. I am also a member of EURHISTXX, a consortium of history departments and research centres across Europe specializing in writing the contemporary history of Europe at a continental level. In 2008 I co-founded the Centre for War Studies in Trinity College Dublin in 2007 which I directed in 2007-2010 and 2013-2016.