Research activity per year

Personal profile


Brian is a historian of twentieth century international politics and US foreign relations. His research explores the changing legal frameworks of international and national security, and his current book project examines how the American use of military force during the Vietnam War reshaped the legal architecture of war and our understanding of legitimate killing. Prior to his academic career, Brian prepared assessments of regional strategic and political affairs as an analyst in New Zealand's Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and in his teaching at Macquarie University he draws on both his academic and professional backgrounds to help students develop their strategic, analytical, and ethical thinking skills.

Research interests

International Law, National Security Law
United States in the world
New Zealand in the world


PICT1014, International Security in the 20th Century (2020–current)
PICT8013, History of Intelligence (2018–current)
PICT8001, US Study Tour (2022)
PICT320, Ethics of Security (2017, 2018)
PICT851, Strategic Thinkers (2016, 2017)
PICT212, Modern Warfare (2016)

Research student supervision

Brian welcomes enquiries from potential MRes and PhD students interested in researching and writing on historical or contemporary aspects of war, intelligence, international law, the United States in the world, or New Zealand in the world.

Education/Academic qualification

History, PhD, Cornell University

Award Date: 22 Aug 2016

International Relations, MA, Yale University

Award Date: 23 May 2005

Diplomacy and International Relations, BA (Hons), University of Canterbury

Award Date: 16 Apr 2003

History and Political Science, BA, University of Canterbury

Award Date: 17 Apr 2002


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