Margot Tudor

Thesis title

'Blue Helmet Bureaucracy: Peacekeeping as Colonial Ambition, a Lesson in Governance, and the Exploitation of ‘Humanitarianism’.


I study the history United Nations peacekeeping missions during the Cold War period and the colonial legacies perpetuated by the missions. My case studies are the Congo crisis, the West New Guinea dispute, the beginning of the Cyprus mission and the second UN Emergency Force.

This project challenges the concept of the UN as a homogenous humanitarian agency and historicises the organisational anxieties bound up in the developing post-colonial international order. Focusing on the practice of the UN missions on the ground and the personnel involved allows me to explore the operational impact of the mission on the direction of the crisis as well as the disconnect between the field and headquarters offices. 


  • Dr Eleanor Davey - (Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, Lecturer in History of Humanitarianism)
  • Dr Laure Humbert - (The University of Manchester, Lecturer in Modern History)

Research interests

  • empire
  • colonial continuities
  • peacekeeping
  • non-state actor governance
  • bureaucracy
  • international law
  • humanitarianism

Professional background

Fundraising and research intern in VAWG charities in Bristol and London

Previous education

  • BA in History, University of Bristol
  • MRes in Security, Conflict and Justice, University of Bristol

Why I’m doing a PhD at HCRI

HCRI is a unique environment where academics, policy-makers and practitioners interact on a regular basis. As a historian, I am keen to be able to investigate the present-day implications of my research. And so, with colleagues such as these, it’ll be difficult to avoid interdisciplinary perspectives and collaborative opportunities.


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