Researchers at UCD

William Mulligan

Associate Professor

School Of History
Newman Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7168322


William Mulligan completed his Ph D in 2001. He worked in the Department of History and the Scottish Centre for War Studies at the University of Glasgow between 2004 and 2008. He has held visiting fellowships at the Institutes of Advanced Study in Princeton and Berlin. His research has concentrated on international politics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.




Association: International Studies Association, Function/Role: member
Association: German History Society, Function/Role: Member
Association: International Society for First World War Studies, Function/Role: Member

Conference Contributions

William Mulligan (2014) Long war, short war, catastrophic war. [Invited Lecture], Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Seminar Series, Freiburg , 15-MAY-14 - 15-MAY-14.
William Mulligan (2014) The importance of being European: changing norms in international politics during the long First World War. [Invited Lecture], EURIAS Conference, Helsinki , 25-APR-14 - 26-APR-14.
William Mulligan (2014) The restraints on preventive war before 1914: the role of the public sphere. [Invited Lecture], Universite de Montreal, Seminar Series, Montreal , 01-APR-14 - 01-APR-14.
William Mulligan (2013) Power and international politics before 1914. [Invited Lecture], Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Seminar Series, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin , 19-NOV-13 - 19-NOV-13.
William Mulligan (2013) Changing conceptions of peace during the First World War. [Invited Lecture], Studienkolleg zu Berlin Seminar Series, Studienkolleg zu Berlin , 05-NOV-13 - 05-NOV-13.
William Mulligan (2014) Imperialism and the origins of the First World War. [Invited Lecture], International Studies Association, Toronto , 27-MAR-14 - 27-MAR-14.
William Mulligan (2014) The origins of the First World War in the light of new research. [Invited Lecture], Round table on the First World War, University of Birmingham , 13-MAR-14 - 13-MAR-14.
William Mulligan (2014) Imagining peace in the nineteenth century. [Invited Lecture], New College Europe, Seminar Series, Bucharest , 17-FEB-14 - 17-FEB-14.
William Mulligan (2014) Crisis management in international politics before 1914. [Invited Lecture], Just War theory and the First World War, Christ Church, Oxford , 17-JAN-14 - 17-OCT-14.
William Mulligan (2014) The erosion of the great power peace. [Invited Lecture], The long global crisis, 1912-1923, EUI, Florence , 02-JUN-14 - 03-JUN-14.
William Mulligan (2014) Power and international politics before 1914. [Invited Lecture], Humboldt University, Seminar Series, Berlin , 10-JUN-14 - 10-JUN-14.
William Mulligan; (2002) Historical stereotypes and the Franco-German relationship after the First World War. [Invited Lecture], Third National Conference of the Historical Society, Atlanta , 01-MAY-02.
William Mulligan (2013) Short war, long war, catastrophic war: framing visions of future war. [Invited Lecture], Seminar series in modern history, Free University, Berlin , 22-OCT-13 - 22-OCT-13.
William Mulligan (2013) Preventive war and international politics before 1914. [Invited Lecture], International Studies Association, San Francisco , 01-APR-13 - 06-APR-13.
William Mulligan (2013) Power and international politics before 1914. [Invited Lecture], International Studies Association, San Francisco , 01-APR-13 - 06-APR-13.
William Mulligan (2013) Anticipating total war: the Balkan wars in western European opinion. [Invited Lecture], The centenary of the Balkan wars: Contested stances, Ankara , 23-MAY-13 - 24-MAY-13.
William Mulligan (2013) The Balkan Wars and the end of great power peace. [Invited Lecture], Seminar Series at Sabanci University, Istanbul , 22-MAY-13 - 22-MAY-13.
William Mulligan (2012) Power and international politics in the early twentieth century. [Invited Lecture], School of Historical Studies Seminar Series, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton , 13-FEB-12 - 13-FEB-12.
William Mulligan (2012) The imperial roots of British and French war aims, 1914-1918. [Invited Lecture], The First World War, Lafayette College, PA , 15-FEB-12 - 15-FEB-12.
William Mulligan (2012) Preventive wars and European politics: why didn't one occur before 1914?. [International Refereed Conference], British International Studies Association, Edinburgh , 21-JUN-12 - 21-JUN-12.
William Mulligan; (2011) Power and the international system before 1914. [Invited Lecture], Australian Association of European History, Perth, Australia , 11-JUL-11 - 14-JUL-11.
William Mulligan; (2011) 1911: prospects and prophecies of war. [Keynote Address], Chief of Military History Conference, Canberra, Australia , 28-SEP-11 - 30-SEP-11.
William Mulligan; (2011) Arming Europe, 1911-1914. [Invited Lecture], Ireland in the decade of the great war, 1912-1923, Monaco , 21-OCT-11 - 22-OCT-11.
William Mulligan; (2011) Shaping the law: maritime warfare, international law, and early globalization. [Chaired Session], Third European Congress on World and Global History, LSE, London , 14-APR-11 - 17-APR-11.
William Mulligan; (2011) The collapse of the great power system, 1911. [International Refereed Conference], British International History Group, Glasgow, UK , 08-SEP-11 - 10-SEP-11.
William Mulligan; (2010) Restraints on great power wars before 1914. [International Refereed Conference], British International History Group, Oxford , 09-SEP-10 - 11-SEP-10.
William Mulligan; (2010) Soft power and international politics before 1914. [Invited Lecture], HIstory Seminar Series, Canterbury , 19-JAN-10 - 19-JAN-10.
William Mulligan, Chris Clark, Thomas Otte; (2010) Panel on the Origins of the First World War. [International Refereed Conference], Panel on The origins of the First World War, Cambridge , 18-MAR-10 - 18-MAR-10.
William Mulligan; (2010) Maintaining peace: great power politics, 1870-1914. [Invited Lecture], Seminar in War Studies, Glasgow , 11-MAY-10 - 11-MAY-10.
William Mulligan; (2010) European anti-slavery politics in the late 1880s. [Chaired Session], Anti-slavery politics in the nineteenth century: a global perspective, Dublin , 30-APR-10 - 01-MAY-10.
William Mulligan; (2008) Gladstone, the Liberal Party, and the primacy of foreign policy, 1868-1886. [Invited Lecture], The primacy of foreign policy in British history, University of Glasgow , 27-MAR-08 - 29-MAR-08.
William Mulligan; (2008) British anti-slavery policy in East Africa, 1873-90. [Invited Lecture], A history of humanitarian intervention, University of Cambridge , 18-SEP-08 - 18-SEP-08.
William Mulligan; (2008) Britain and the German revolution of 1870. [Invited Lecture], International History Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, London , 19-MAR-08 - 19-MAR-08.


Year 1998 Institution: University of Cambridge
Qualification: MPhil Subject:
Year 1997 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: BA(International) Subject:
Year 2001 Institution: University of Cambridge
Qualification: PhD Subject:



Mulligan, W. (2014) The Great War for Peace. : Yale University Press. [Details]
William Mulligan; (2010) The origins of the First World War. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. [Details]
William Mulligan; (2005) The creation of the modern German army. General Walther Reinhardt and the Weimar Republic, 1914-1930. New York/Oxford: Berghahn. [Details]

Book Chapters

Mulligan, William (2017) 'Justifying International Action: International Law, The Hague and Diplomacy Before 1914' In: Maartje Abbenhuis, Christopher Ernest Barber, Annalise R. Higgins (eds). War, Peace and International Order? The Legacies of the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907. Abingdon, New York: Routledge. , pp.12-30 [Details]
William Mulligan (2015) 'The Army' In: Matthew Jeffries (eds). The Ashgate Research Companion to Imperial Germany. Farnham: Ashgate. [Details]
William Mulligan (2014) 'Restraints on preventive war before 1914' In: Jack Levy, John Vasquez (eds). The outbreak of the First World War. Structure, politics and decision-making. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. , pp.115-138 [Details]
William Mulligan (2012) 'Prophecies and prospects of war' In: Peter Dennis, Jeffrey Grey (eds). Preliminary moves. 1911. Canberra: Big Sky Publishing. , pp.1-19 [Details]
William Mulligan (2012) 'Forging a better world. Socialists and international politics in the early twentieth century' In: Paul Rouse, Paul Daly, Ronan O'Brien (eds). Making the difference? The Irish Labour Party 1912-2012. Cork: The Collins Press. , pp.54-66 [Details]
William Mulligan; (2011) 'British anti-slave trade and anti-slavery policy in East Africa, Arabia, and Turkey in the late 19th century' In: Brendan Simms, David Trim (eds). Humanitarian Intervention. A History. Cambridge: CUP. , pp.257-280 [Details]
William Mulligan; (2010) 'Introduction; Gladstone and the Primacy of Foreign Policy; Conclusion' In: William Mulligan; (eds). The Primacy of Foreign Policy in Modern British History, 1660-2000. Basingstoke: Palgrave. [Details]
William Mulligan; (2009) 'The Reichswehr and the Weimar Republic' In: Anthony McElligott (eds). Weimar Germany. Oxford: OUP. , pp.71-90 [Details]
William Mulligan; (2008) 'Mobs and diplomats: the Alabama0 affair and British diplomacy, 1865-1872' In: Markus Mösslang and Torsten Riotte (eds). The diplomats' world. A cultural history of diplomacy, 1815-1914. Oxford: OUP. , pp.105-132 [Details]
William Mulligan; (2006) 'Restrained competition: international relations' In: Stefan Berger (eds). A companion to nineteenth century Europe, 1789-1914. Oxford: Blackwell. , pp.401-416 [Details]
William Mulligan; (2003) 'The Wehrmacht exhibition and the politics of memory in Germany, 1995-1999' In: H.B.Clarke, J.Devlin, eds(Dublin) (eds). European Encounters. Essays in memory of Albert Lovett. , pp.336-362 [Details]

Edited Books

Dominik Geppert, Andreas Rose, William Mulligan (Ed.). (2015) The wars before the great war. Conflict and international politics before the outbreak of the First World War. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. [Details]
William Mulligan, Maurice Bric (Ed.). (2013) A global history of anti-slavery politics in the nineteenth century. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Available Online [Details]
William Mulligan, Brendan Simms (Ed.). (2010) The Primacy of Foreign Policy in British History, 1660-2000. How strategic concerns shaped modern Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

William Mulligan (2016) 'The First World War in a Global Age'. European History Quarterly, 46 (2):311-326. [Details]
Mulligan, William; Levy, Jack (2017) 'Shifting Power, Preventive Logic, and the Response of the Target: Germany, Russia, and the First World War'. Journal of Strategic Studies, 40 (5):731-769. [DOI] [Details]
William Mulligan (2014) 'The trial continues: new directions in the study of the origins of the First World War'. English Historical Review, 139 (538):639-666. [Details]
Mulligan, W; (2011) 'Britain, the 'German revolution', and the fall of France, 1870/1'. Historical Research, 84 :310-327. [DOI] [Details]
William Mulligan; (2009) 'The Fugitive Slave Circulars, 1875-76'. Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 37 (2):183-205. [Details]
William Mulligan; (2008) 'Weimar and the wars of Liberation: German and French officers and the politics of history'. European History Quarterly, 38 (2):266-293. [Details]
William Mulligan; (2008) 'Total War: Review Article'. War in History, 15 (2):211-221. [Details]
William Mulligan; (2008) 'From case to narrative: the Marquess of Lansdowne, Sir Edward Grey, and the threat from Germany, 1900-1906'. International History Review, 30 (2):273-302. [Details]
William Mulligan; (2006) 'We can't be more Russian than the Russians: British policy in the Liman von Sanders crisis, 1913-14'. Diplomacy & Statecraft, 17 (2):261-282. [Details]
William Mulligan; (2003) 'The Reichswehr and the primacy of foreign policy, 1918-23'. German History, 21 (No. 3). [Details]
William Mulligan and Brendan Simms (eds.); (2003) 'The Primacy of Foreign Policy in German History. (Series of articles edited)'. German History, 21 (No. 3). [Details]
William Mulligan; (2002) 'Restoring trust within the Reichswehr: the case of the Vertrauensleute0'. War & Society, 20 (2):71-90. [Details]
Mulligan, W; (2002) 'Civil-military relations in the early Weimar Republic'. Historical Journal, 45 :819-841. [Details]


Research Interests

Modern German and British history; international relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; military history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Research Projects

Sponsor : Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
Title : Humanitarian International: Aid, NGO's and Western Society 1968-1985
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-11 / 30-SEP-14
Sponsor : The Wellcome Trust (WT)
Title : 'The great class which lies between': Provision for the non-pauper insane in Ireland, 1830-1900
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-10 / 31-JAN-14
Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : Leave this poisoned chalice alone: the British government and the Falkland islands, 1974-1979
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-12 / 30-SEP-13
Sponsor : Turkish Embassy in Dublin, Ireland
Title : Wars before the War 1911-1914
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAY-11 / 30-APR-13
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : The politics, culture, and legacy of anti-slavery movements in the nineteenth century
Start Date / End Date : 03-AUG-09 / 30-APR-11


Teaching Philosophy

I am fortunate to teach the First World War, its origins and consequences. One of the most controversial periods of modern history, in my view, the war provides students with a unique opportunity to see historians at work, to question historians' conclusions and interpretations, and to shape their own research.