Dr Simon Toner

Ph.D. (London School of Economics)

School of History, Philosophy and Digital Humanities

Lecturer in Modern American History

+44 114 222 2563

Full contact details

Dr Simon Toner
School of History, Philosophy and Digital Humanities
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

I joined the Department of History in September 2016.

I completed my PhD in International History at the London School of Economics in 2015 and have held postdoctoral fellowships in U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security at Dartmouth College and in Southeast Asian Studies at Columbia University.

My teaching and research focus on the history of the United States in global and transnational perspective. In particular, I am interested in U.S. relations with the Global South since 1945, modern Vietnamese history, development, war and counterinsurgency, and political economy.

My research has been supported by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Institute for New Economic Thinking, the LBJ Foundation, and the Ford Presidential Foundation among others.

Research interests

I am a historian of the United States and the world, focusing particularly on the history of development and the American War in Vietnam.

My work examines how a diverse array of U.S. actors formulated and projected ideas about postcolonial development into the Global South after 1945 and how “Third World” actors received, renegotiated and sometimes resisted these ideas and projects.

My current book project is based primarily on Vietnamese and American archival sources and examines the final years of the American War in Vietnam as an episode in the history of global development.

In particular, it shows how changes in global development thinking and practice in the late 1960s and 1970s shaped debates within and between the allied U.S. and South Vietnamese governments and had a decisive impact on the course and outcome of the war.


Journal articles


  • Toner S (2020) INTERMINABLE (pp. 855-887). Wiley RIS download Bibtex download
  • Toner S (2015) 'The Life and Death of Our Republic': Modernization, Agricultural Development and the Peasantry in the Mekong Delta in the Long 1970s In James L & Leake E (Ed.), Decolonization and the Cold War: Negotiating independence (pp. 43-62). London: Bloomsbury Academic. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Research supervision

I am happy to supervise students focusing on any aspect of U.S. foreign relations, particularly those interested in the history of the Vietnam War, political economy, counterinsurgency, and U.S. development and nation-building projects in the Global South since 1945.

Current Students

Second Supervisor

All current students


Find out more about PhD study in History

Teaching activities


  • HST117 - The Making of the Twentieth Century
  • HST202 - Historians and History
  • HST297 - The History of American Foreign Relations
  • HST3176/77 - The American War in Vietnam, 1945-1975


  • HST6078 - The United States and the Global 1970s
  • HST6604 - Approaches to the American Past
  • HST6606 - The World in Connection: Themes in Global History
Professional activities and memberships

Administrative roles:

  • Training Lead in Learning and Teaching
  • Admissions Team
  • Digital Media and Communications (Semester Two, 2019/2020)
  • Level One Tutor