Waqar Zaidi is Associate Professor of History at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at LUMS. He was recently a Member at the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and Verville Fellow at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC. His research focuses on the relationship(s) between technology and international relations in the twentieth century. Current research interests include scientific and technological internationalism, aviation, atomic energy, arms control, and A.I. His first book, titled Technological Internationalism and World Order: Aviation, Atomic Energy, and the Search for International Peace 1920-50, was published with Cambridge University Press in 2021. The book was awarded the 2022 International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) Turriano Prize for the best book in the history of technology. The prize committee found that in the book “Zaidi masterfully inscribes top-level history of technology into the most dynamic debates in political history and in the field of International Relations. It is rare that a historian in the early stage of his career can so skillfully contribute to two booming, but too-often-disconnected fields of history of technology and the history of international relations....For its rigour, intellectual bravery and readability, Zaidi’s work is a lighthouse that may illuminate the other researchers’ path.”
Waqar Zaidi has an MSc and PhD in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine from Imperial College London, and a BA(Hons) in Physics from the University of Oxford. He is a Research Affiliate at the Centre for the Governance of A.I. (Oxford), and a Research Collaborator at the Research Institute for the History of Global Arms Transfer, Meiji University. He is also a Vice President of the DHST Historical Commission on Science, Technology and Diplomacy and of the Centre for the Study of Internationalism at Birkbeck College, London. He is also Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Transport History and Associate Editor of the interdisciplinary open access journal Palgrave Communications.
At LUMS Waqar teaches a variety of undergraduate courses in global and European history, and in the history of science and technology.
Technological Internationalism and World Order: Aviation, Atomic Energy, and the Search for International Peace 1920-50 (Cambridge University Press, UK, 2021).
Awarded the International Committee for the History of Technology's 2022 Turriano Prize for Best Book.
(with Sam Robinson and others). “The Globalization of Science Diplomacy in the Early 1970s: a Historical Exploration”, Science and Public Policy, scad026. (2023). https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scad026.
“Natural Scientists as Political Experts: Atomic Scientists and Their Claims for Expertise on International Relations, 1945-1947”. Centaurus: An International Journal of the History of Science and its Cultural Aspects 61(1), 17-31. (2021).
“Pakistani Civil Aviation and U.S Aid to Pakistan, 1950-1961”. The Journal of Research Institute for the History of Global Arms Transfer 8, 83-97. (2019). [translated and published in Japanese in: Kaori Takada (ed.), The Century of Aviation: Airmindedness, World Wars, and the Cold War (Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Hyoron Sha, 2020)].
“Stages of War, Stages of Man: Quincy Wright and the Liberal Internationalist Study of War”. International History Review 40(2), 416-435. (2018)
“Convertibility and the Militaristic Perversion of Aviation in Disarmament Discourses, 1919-1945”. The Journal of Research Institute for the History of Global Arms Transfer 5, 19-36. (2018).
“‘Aviation Will Either Destroy or Save Our Civilization’: Proposals for the International Control of Aviation, 1920-1945”. Journal of Contemporary History 46(1), 150-178. (2011).
“A Blessing in Disguise: Reconstructing International Relations Through Atomic Energy, 1945-1948”. Past and Present 210(6), 309-331. (2011).
“The Janus-face of Techno-nationalism: Barnes Wallis and the ‘Strength of England’”. Technology and Culture 49(1), 62-88. (2008).
“Technology, Government, Institutions”. In Lars Heide and Anique Hommels (eds.), The Bloomsbury Cultural History of Technology volume 6: The Modern Age. London: Bloomsbury. (In Press)
“Liberal Internationalism and the Search for International Peace”. In William M. Knoblauch, Michael Loadenthal, and Christian P Peterson (eds.), A History of World Peace Since 1750 (59-69). London: Routledge. (2018).
“‘Wings for Peace’ versus ‘Airopia’: Contested Visions of Postwar European Aviation in World War Two Britain”. In Martin Schiefelbusch and Hans-Liudger Dienel (eds.), Linking Networks: The Formation of Common Standards and Visions for Infrastructure Development (151-168). London: Ashgate. (2014).
“An Historian’s Perspective on Technology and the Cold War”. In Michael R. Fitzgerald and Allen Packwood (eds.), Out of the Cold: The Cold War and Its Legacy (95-100). London: Bloomsbury. (2013).
“Liberal Internationalist Approaches to Science and Technology in Interwar Britain and the U.S”. In D. Laqua (ed.), Internationalism Reconfigured: Transnational Ideas and Movements Between the World Wars (17-43). London: I.B. Tauris. (2011).
“David Mitrany and Ernst Haas: Theorising a United Europe”. In Alexander Badenoch and Andreas Fickers (eds.), Europe Materializing: Transnational Infrastructures and the Project of Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave. (2010).
“The Historical Significance of Proposals for the Formation of an International Air Police”. In Nestor Herran et al. (eds.), Synergia: Primer encuentro de jóvenes investigadores en historia de la ciencia (243-262). Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. (2007).
(with Allan Dafoe). “International Control of Powerful Technology: Lessons from the Baruch Plan for Nuclear Weapons”. Working Paper 2021:9. Centre for the Governance of AI, Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford. (2021).
* Media: John Thornhill. “Only scientists and voters can change the politics of catastrophe”, Financial Times (13 May 2021).
Review of The Life and Death of a Treaty: Bermuda 2, by Handley Stevens. Journal of Transport History 43(1), 154-155. (2022).
Review of Foundations of Russian military flight, 1885-1925, by James K. Libbey. The Historian 83(2), 220-221. (2021).
Review of Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took on the West, by Catherine Belton. Dawn Books and Authors Section. (2021).
Review of Peace and Power in Cold War Britain: Media, Movements and Democracy, c. 1945-68, by Christopher R. Hill. Technology and Culture 61(1), 467-369. (January 2020). DOI: 10.1353/tech.2020.0013.
Review of The Rarified Air of the Modern: Airplanes and Technological Modernity in the Andes, by Willie Hiatt. English Historical Review. Online DOI: 10.1093/ehr/cez063. (2019).
Review of Fascism, Aviation and Mythical Modernity, by Fernando Esposito. English Historical Review 132(556), 755–757. (2017).
Review of Scientific Governance in Britain 1914-79, by D. Leggett and C. Sleigh (eds.). Annals of Science 74(2), 171-172. (2017).
Review of British Nuclear Culture: Official and Unofficial Narratives in the Long Twentieth Century, by Jonathan Hogg. British Journal for the History of Science 49(3), 518-520. (2016).
Review of Wiring the World: The Social and Cultural Creation of Global Telegraph Networks, by Simone M. Müller. H-Sci-Med-Tech, H-Net Reviews. http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=46826. (2016).
Review of Cursed Victory: A History of Israel and The Occupied Territories, by Ahron Bregman. Dawn Books and Authors Section. (2014).
Review of Prime Movers of Globalization: the History and Impact of Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines, by Vaclav Smil. Ambix: Journal for the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry 59(1), 73-74. (2012).
Review of The Two Cultures Controversy: Science, Literature and Cultural Politics in Postwar Britain, by Guy Ortolano. The Journal of British Studies 49(1), 220-221. (2010).
Review of Eisenhower, Science Advice, and the Nuclear Test-Ban Debate, 1945–1963, by Benjamin P. Greene. Cold War History 9(4), 536-537. (2009).
Review of Einstein and Eddington, directed by Peter Moffat. Viewpoint: Newsletter of the British Society for the History of Science 88, 11. (2009).
Report of Meeting: Planning, Production and Reproduction in Postwar Europe. Fourth Balzan Workshop. History Workshop Journal 65(1), 279-283. (2008).
Review of Sky as Frontier: Adventure, Aviation, and Empire, by David T. Courtwright. Aerospace Professional, 23. (2007).
Reports of Meeting: HSS/SHOT, Minneapolis. Viewpoint: Newsletter of the British Society for the History of Science 79, 7. (2006).
(with Charlotte Bigg et al) “Conferences: Constructing Knowledge and Communities”, Viewpoint: Magazine of the British Society for the History of Science 126, 6-7. (February 2022).
“Technological Internationalism”, FifteenEightyFour: Academic Perspectives from Cambridge University Press. http://www.cambridgeblog.org/2021/06/technological-internationalism. (30 June 2021).
“Mobile Phones”. In Sage Encyclopedia of World Poverty 2nd edition (pp. 1054-1056). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. (2015).
“Technology Divide”. In Sage Encyclopedia of World Poverty 2nd edition (pp. 1524-1527). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. (2015).