Dr Linda Risso, MPhil and PhD (Cantab)

History of international relations

Twitter: @LindaRisso

Linda Risso is an expert on the history of European defence and security in the 20th century. Her research focuses on the historical development of the European Union and of NATO, and – more broadly – on the legacies of the Cold War on today’s security and strategic thinking.                               


  • “Brexit and NATO: An essential piece of the puzzle”, UK in a changing Europe, May 2018.
  • “Skripal poisoning: Cold War precedents”, Emma Barnett Show, BBCRadio5, March 2018.
  • “From the KGB to the FSB”, Emma Barnett Show, BBCRadio5, March 2018.
  • “Brexit e i cittadini europei”, La Repubblica, October 2017.
  • “Fact checking won’t defeat fake news, but education might” Prospect, June 2017.
  • “Putin and the West”, EUROPP LSE Blog, 9 January 2017.
  • “Putin’s game: Does the Russian bear has most to gain from Brexit?” The New European, 7 October 2016.
  • “Defence in the Realm of Uncertainty” The New European, 26 September 2016.
  • Interview on European Federalism with Dan Damon, World Update, BBC World Service, 24 August 2016.
  • “History & Defence: Need for long-term reflection at a time of great change”, History&Policy, 13 April 2016
  • Expert report. “Shifting the goalposts” Defence expenditure and the 2% pledge”. Defence Select Committee, February 2016.


  • “History and NATO strategy”, Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst, June 2018.
  • “Psychometric profiling: a new label for an old trick?” University of Aachen, March 2018.
  • “Back to traditional notions of security? NATO since the invasion of Crimea”, London School of Economics, March 2018.
  • “Harvesting your soul? Cambridge Analytical and the Brexit Referendum” University of Mainz, December 2017.
  • “Anti-communist propaganda in the Cold War”, Université Libre de Bruxelles, December 2017.
  • “Protecting the West from Russian’s trolls: the EU and NATO responses”, Université de Rennes, November 2017.
  • “Social media and the work of historians”, University of Oxford, October 2017.
  • “NATO and European security in the post-Cold War era”, University of Helsinki, October 2017.
  • “NATO Secretaries General: Evolution of a role”, University of Aarhus, June 2017.
  • “Fake news in a post-truth world”, Public Lecture, School of Advance Study, London, May 2017.
  • "Social Media and Democracy", Putney Debates 2017, 2 February 2017.
  • "NATO since the Warsaw Summit", House of Lords Library, 1 February 2017.
  • "We are the servants of the Council" Lord Ismay, the First Secretary General of NATO”, LSE-Sciences Po Seminar in Contemporary International History, LSE, 1 February 2017.
  • “Invisible, yet indispensable: NATO International Staff since 1949” Borders, Networks, and Organisations through the 20th Century. 2nd Conference of the New Diplomatic History Network, 24-26 November 2016, University of Copenhagen.
  • “NATO and Environmental Security: The Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society” Centre for History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester, 11 October 2016.
  • “How did NATO survive the end of the Cold War? The role of Manfred Wörner” Centre for the Study of Modern Conflict, University of Edinburgh, 4 October 2016.
  • “The role of radio in Ukraine-Russia dialogue since the Crimea crisis” Leverhulme Trust International Network: Connecting the Wireless World: Writing Global Radio History, University of York, 16 September 2016.
  • “The NATO Information Service during the Cold War: Propaganda and intelligence” NATO information and communicators conference (NICC 2016), 12 September 2016, Tallin.
  • “Reporting from the front: from Crimea back to Crimea” Journalists & Commanders: reporting in times of war, conflict and crisis, 1 March 2016. School of Advanced Study, London.


Forthcoming 2018/2019

  • Risso L. (ed.), NATO at 70: A historiographical approach. Rouledge, 2019.
  • “The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation” Global Politics: Actors and Themes. Understanding International Affairs. Edited by K. Larres and R. Wittlinger. Routledge, 2018.
  • “Harvesting your soul: Cambridge Analytica and Brexit” in Christa Janshon (ed.), Brexit means Brexit, Mainz: Academy of Sciences and Literature. September 2018. 

Published Monographs

  • Propaganda and intelligence in the Cold War: The NATO Information Service. Routledge, 2014.
  • Divided we stand: The French and Italian political parties and the rearmament of Western Europe, 1949-1955, CSP, 2007.

Edited volumes and special issues of academic journals

  • Guest editor of a special issue of Media, War and Culture on “War correspondents: life on the ground, risks and challenges”. It includes my introductory essay on the history of war reporting, April 2017.
  • Guest editor of a special issue of Cold War History on “Radio wars: Broadcasting in the Cold War” 13/2. “Introduction”, pp. 145-152. Now a paperback edited volume published by Routledge, May 2013.
  • Guest editor of a special issue of Modern Italy 16 (2) on “18 April 1948: Italy between continuity and rupture”. My “Introduction” at pp. 101-104, April 2011.
  • Guest editor of a special issue of Journal of European Integration History “Which Europe? Communist Parties Between Nationalism and Internationalism. 1945- 1975” My “Introduction”, p. 7-10 and my article “Against rearmament or against integration?: The PCI and PCF's opposition to the European Defence Community and the Western European Union, 1950-55”, pp. 11-31, Dec. 2007.
  • Boria M. and Risso L. (eds.), Laboratorio di Nuova Ricerca: Investigating Gender, Translation and Culture in Italian Studies, Troubador, 2007.
  • Risso L. and Boria M. (eds.), Culture and Politics in post-war Italy, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006.

Articles and chapters

  • “Social Media and Democracy” in Constitution in Crisis: The New Putney Debates. Edited by D.J. Galligan with Phil Dines. I.B. Tauris, 2017.
  • “Time to act: the UK in NATO” RUSI Journal, 160/5 (October/November 2015), pp. 33-34.
  • “A difficult compromise: American and European plans for NATO anti-communist propaganda and intelligence”, Intelligence and National Security 26 (2-3), May 2011, pp. 330-354.
  • “Propaganda on wheels: the NATO travelling exhibitions in the 1950s and 1960s” Cold War History, 11/1 (Feb. 2011), pp. 9-25.
  • “‘Don’t mention the Soviets!’: An overview of the short films produced by the NATO Information Service between 1949 and 1969”, Cold War History 9/4 (Nov. 2009), pp. 501-512.
  • “Cracks in a facade of unity: The French and Italian Christian Democrats and the early stages of the European integration process”, Religion, State and Society 37/1 (March 2009), pp. 99-114.
  • “Similar, yet so different: Why the European Defence Community was not a forerunner of the ESDP”, in Deighton A., Bossuat G. (eds.), L'Union européenne, acteur de la securité mondiale, Paris: Soleb 2007, pp. 264-282.
  • “‘Enlightening Public Opinion’: A study of NATO’s information policies between 1949 and 1959 based on recently declassified documents”. Cold War History 7/1 (February 2007), pp. 45-74.
  • “Introduzione agli Indici di Nuova Repubblica”, Quaderni di Storia e Letteratura, vol. 16 (July 2004), pp. 3-10.
  • “Gli Indici di Nuova Repubblica”, Quaderni di Storia e Letteratura, vol. 16 (July 2004), pp. 11-202.
  • “Una piccola casa libera: Gli azionisti di Unità Popolare”, Quaderno di Storia Contemporanea, vol. 35 (June 2004), pp. 54-73.  And “Unità Popolare: Caratteri e natura del movimento. Intervista a Pino Tagliazucchi”, Quaderno di Storia Contemporanea, vol. 35 (June 2004),, pp. 74-84.


RUSI Journal, Journal of European Integration History, Journal of Common Market Studies, Modern Italy, Historical Journal, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Quaderno di Storia Contemporanea, The English Historical Review, Journal of British Studies.