University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

William Hitchcock

William Hitchcock

Professor, Corcoran Department of History

285 Nau Hall


Refugee Century: An International History

In my project, I am exploring the reasons for the surge in refugees around the world in the past century by adopting a historical approach. I am interested in posing a few questions that require fresh research to answer: how do states and governments of the wealthy western world “see” refugees? Have western/northern states constructed a political regime to contain and perhaps regularize the global refugee problem? If so, how, when, where was such a regime constructed? How have states interacted with international organizations and NGOs (the UN on the one hand and NGOs such as the International Rescue Committee on the other)? What is the global division of labor? How has global refugee policy been shaped by the international politics of war?


William I. Hitchcock is Professor of History at the University of Virginia and the Randolph P. Compton Professor at UVa's Miller Center. His work and teaching focus on the international, diplomatic and military history of the 20th Century, in particular the era of the world wars and the cold war. He has written widely on trans-Atlantic relations, the politics of the 1950s, and European history and politics.

He received his B.A. degree from Kenyon College in 1986 and his Ph.D. from Yale in 1994, working under the supervision of Paul Kennedy. He has held appointments at Yale, Wellesley College and Temple University. His books include: France Restored: Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe (UNC, 1998); From War to Peace: Altered Strategic Landscapes in the 20th Century (co-edited with Paul Kennedy, Yale, 2000); The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent, 1945-present (Doubleday/Anchor, 2002); and The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe (Free Press, 2008), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, a winner of the George Louis Beer Prize, and a Financial Times bestseller in the UK. He is also the co-editor of The Human Rights Revolution: An International History (with Petra Goedde and Akira Iriye, Oxford: 2012).

In 2010, he was appointed Professor in the History Department at the University of Virginia, and he joined the Miller Center as faculty fellow.

His most recent book is he Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s (Simon and Schuster, 2017).  For more information, click here.