Dr Best studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds before moving to London where he studied for his PhD at the London School of Economics. He joined the LSE as a Lecturer in 1989.
Dr Best's main fields of research interests lie in Anglo-Japanese relations, the origins of the Pacific War; the international history of East Asia; the history of modern Japan, and intelligence and International history.
Dr Best usually teaches the following courses:
At undergraduate level:
- HY113: From Empire to Independence: The Extra-European World in the Twentieth Century (jointly with other members of the Department)
- HY116: International History since 1890 (jointly with other members of the Department)
- HY235: Modernity and the State in East Asia: China, Japan and Korea since 1840
- HY300: BA/BSc Dissertation
At postgraduate level:
Watch Dr Antony Best talk about his courses, how they are structured and how students can benefit from taking them in order to better understand the world we live in today.
Dr Antony Best's publications include:
- Britain, Japan and Pearl Harbor: Avoiding War in East Asia, 1936-1941, (Routledge, London, 1995).
- British Intelligence and the Japanese challenge in Asia, 1914-1941, (Palgrave: Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2002)
- 'Economic Appeasement or Economic Nationalism?: a political perspective on the British Empire, Japan and the Rise of intra-Asian trade 1933-37,' Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol.30, no.2, (May 2002), pp.77-101
- '"Our Respective Empires Should Stand Together": The Royal Dimension in Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1919-1941', Diplomacy and Statecraft, 2005, no.16, pp.259-79
- Also as "Oshitsu-gaiko kara mita Nichi-Ei kankei 1919-1941", in Y.Ito & M.Kawata (eds.), Nijuseki Nihon no tenno to kunshusei-kokusaihikaku no shiten kara 1867-1952 [The Emperor and Monarchy in Twentieth Century Japan from an International Perspective] (Yoshikawa Kobunkan, Tokyo, 2004) 273-302
- 'The Ghost of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance: A Study in Historical Mythmaking', Historical Journal, 2006
- 'Senkanki higashi ajia ni okeru kokusai renmei: kokusai kyocho shugi, chiki shugi, nashonarizimu' [Internationalism, Regionalism and Nationalism in East Asia in the Inter-war Period] in Sadako Ogata & Asahiko Hanzawa (eds.), Guroubalu Govanansu no Rekishiteki Henyo; Kokuren to Kokusai Seijishi [Global Governance in Historical Perspectives; The United Nations and International History] (Minerva Publishing Co. Kyoto, 2007) pp.25-48.
- 'The Birth of the League and the Death of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 1918-1922', in A. Hanzawa & J. Yamaguchi (eds), Japan and the UN in International Politics - Historical Perspectives (Hokkaido University, Sapporo, 2007) pp.10-32.
- 'A Royal Alliance: Court Diplomacy and Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1900-41' in H. Cortazzi, (ed.), Britain and Japan: Biographical Portraits Vol.VI, (Global Oriental, Folkestone, 2007, pp. 63-70. (Also published in International Studies (LSE), 2006, IS/06/512, pp.19-30.)
- '"Monko kaiho" ka, "seiryokuken" ka: senkanki no igirisu, nihon to chugoku mondai' ["Open Door" or "Sphere of Influence": Britain, Japan and South China in the Inter-war Period] in M. Matsuura (ed.), Showa Ajia shugi no jitsu-zō - Nihon no nanshin to Taiwan - Nanyō - Minami Shina [Showa and the Reality of Pan-Asianism - Japan's Southward Advance and Taiwan, the South Seas and South China], (Minerva, Kyoto, 2007) pp.126-47.
- 'The Role of Diplomatic Practice and Court Protocol in Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1867-1900' in Markus Mosslang & Torsten Riotte (eds), The Diplomats' World: The Cultural History of Diplomacy, 1815-1914 (OUP, Oxford, 2008) pp.231-53.
- '"We Are Virtually at War with Russia": Britain and the Soviet Menace in East Asia, 1923-40', Cold War History, 2012.
- ‘The Leith-Ross Mission and British Policy towards East Asia, 1934-37’, International History Review, 2013.
- ‘The British Empire’s Image of East Asia, 1900-41: Politics, Ideology, and International Order’, in Malcolm Murfett (ed.), Shaping British Foreign and Defence Policy in the Twentieth Century: A Tough Ask in Turbulent Times (Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2014) pp.21-40.
- Daiei Teikoku no Shin-Nichi Ha: Kaisen ha Naze Sakerare Nakattaka [British Japanophiles: Why Could Britain and Japan Not Avoid War?] (Chuo Koron Shuppansha, Tokyo, 2015) [translated from the original English-language essays by Dr Tomoki Takeda]
He has also edited the following volumes:
- The International History of East Asia, 1900-1968: Trade, Ideology and the Quest for Order (Routledge, London, 2010).
- Imperial Japan and the World, 1931-1941 (Routledge, 2011).
- [with John Fisher], On the Fringes of Diplomacy: Influences on British Foreign Policy, 1800-1945 (Aldershot, 2011).
- [co-edited with Oliviero Frattolillo], Japan and the Great War (Palgrave-Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2015)
- Britain's Retreat from Empire in East Asia, 1905-1980 (Routledge, London, 2016)
Dr Best is a co-author of International History of the Twentieth Century and Beyond(Routledge, 2004) [co-written with J. Hanhimaki, J. Maiolo and K.E. Schulze, 3rd edition, 2016].
Current research: The main focus of his current research is a monograph which will deal with the role of race and monarchy in the shaping of the course of Anglo-Japanese relations in the period from 1854 to 1975. The book will study the way in which Japan was perceived by various groups in Britain such as the royal court, the political parties, the media, industrialists, the financial community, the labour movement and the church, and investigate to what degree domestic politics and perceptions influenced policy towards Japan.
Listen to Dr Best presenting a paper on Japan and the Cold War: An Overview from 2009).