Dan Plesch

Director & Reader
Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy,
SOAS University of London


Wartime Origins and the Future of the United Nations, edited by Dan Plesch and Thomas Weiss, is a fascinating addition to Routledge’s Global Institutions series. In this episode of Book Talk Podcasts, host Alistair Edgar is joined by Dan Plesch to discuss some of the background and implications of this publication.

The book offers new insight into the history, and potential future, of the United Nations. By studying the early 1940s, an earlier, and often neglected, period in the United Nations history, the authors show that the United Nations played a significant role in winning the Second World War. By bringing this to light, the authors reveal common misperceptions about the United Nations, and address some of the implications these findings have for current scholars.


Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) website.

The United Nations War Crimes Commission research project at CISD.

UN Wartime History for the Future at CISD.

Women and the UN Charter, “Gender Equality in the UN Charter: How did it get there? Does this matter today?”, at CISD.

Dan Plesch, America, Hitler and the UN : how the allies won World War II and forged a peace (London: I.B. Tauris,  2011), 256 pp.

Dan Plesch and Thomas G. Weiss, “1945’s Lesson: ‘Good Enough’ global governance ain’t good enough,” Global Governance 21, 2 (2015): 197-204. (Electronic access available to ACUNS members)

Dan Plesch, and Thomas G. Weiss, “1945’s Forgotten Insight: Multilateralism as Realist Necessity.” International Studies Perspectives (2015).

Thomas G. Weiss, The United Nations: before, during and after 1945, International Affairs 91, 6 (2015): 1221-1235.


About Dan Plesch
Dan Plesch has directed the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS University of London since 2007. His research interests focus on the prevention of global conflict. His 2004 book, The Beauty Queen’s Guide to World Peace, outlines a policy research agenda, part of which he has developed through the UN History for the Future project, and part through disarmament research.

He was awarded his PhD by Keele University and his BA in History from the University of Nottingham.  Prior to joining SOAS, he was the Senior Felllow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, and the founding Director  of the British American Security Information Council in Washington DC. He has also worked for the BBC and CNN and published widely in print media.

About Thomas G. Weiss
Thomas G. Weiss is Presidential Professor of Political Science at The CUNY Graduate Center and Director Emeritus (2001-14) of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies. Past president of the International Studies Association (2009-10), Chair of the Academic Council on the UN System (2006-9), and editor of Global Governance (2000-5), he has written extensively about multilateral approaches to international peace and security, humanitarian action, and sustainable development. His latest authored volumes are: Governing the World? Addressing “Problems without Passports” (2014); The United Nations and Changing World Politics (2014); Global Governance: Why? What? Whither?(2013); Humanitarian Business (2013); What’s Wrong with the United Nations and How to Fix It (2012); Humanitarian Intervention: Ideas in Action (2012); Thinking about Global Governance: People and Ideas Matter (2011); Humanitarianism Contested: Where Angels Fear to Tread (2011); Global Governance and the UN: An Unfinished Journey (2010); and UN Ideas That Changed the World (2009).