Dr Robert Watt

Dr Robert Watt

Department of Political Science and International Studies

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 6523
+44 (0)121 414 3496
Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government and Society
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom



  • 1998 PhD University of Birmingham ‘Towards a Synthesised Network Approach: An analysis of UK Nuclear and Renewable (Wave) Energy Programmes 1939-1985’
  • 1993 BA (Hons) Applied Social Studies with Technology and Society (First Class) The University of Paisley.


Convenor and Lecturer on ‘Introduction to US Politics’ (2nd Year Module, POLSIS) and

‘Issues in Domestic US Politics (3rd Year POLSIS)

Lecturer on ‘North American Indian Wars’ (2nd Year Option, History Department)


Military History.

The interplay of politics and warfare. A key issue being Clausewitz’s argument that to remove the ‘political’ element from an act of war renders the act meaningless. The political manoeuvrings that surround conflict are crucial to the understanding of warfare.

The clash of cultures where two very different principles of war are deployed.

Power and Networks.

Abstract concepts of ‘what power is?’ and ‘how does it work?’ are crucial to the study of military history and politics. Political networks examine the means by which various actors and interest groups attempt to influence policy-making institutions. ‘Network’ ideas have great potential to aid an interpretation of events as they unfold in the light of abstract concepts of power.

I am also very interested in the study of situations where different cultural conceptions of warfare encounter each other in both war and peace. Therefore, my current research focuses upon the warfare between the Chiricahua Apaches, led by Victorio and Nana, and the USA and Mexico during the late 1870s and early 1880s. This leads on to a long-term project to analyse ‘American Indian’ policy-making processes in Washington D.C. during the period 1864-1890 with a view to drawing parallels with contemporary events.


  • Publications

(2014), Apache Warrior 1860-1886 Warrior Series No.172 (Osprey Publishing: Oxford)

‘A re-evaluation of Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson’s Trans-Pecos Campaign against Victorio, July-August 1880.’ Southwestern Historical Quarterly Vol. CXVIII, No.3, January, 2015, 241-261.

Apache Tactics 1830-89: Elite Series 119 (2012), Osprey Publishing, Oxford

“Victorio’s Military & Political Leadership of the Warm Springs Apaches” War in History Vol. 18, Issue 4, (November 2011) 457-494

“‘Horses Worn to Mere Shadows’: The Effects of Campaigning against Apaches upon the Ninth U.S. Cavalry Regiment in New Mexico Territory 1879-1881” New Mexico Historical Review (Spring 2011) 61-86

“Apaches Without and Enemies Within: The U.S. Army in New Mexico 1879-1881” War in History Vol. 18, Issue 2, (April 2011), 148-183

“Feeling the Full Force of a Four Front Offensive: Re-Interpreting the Red Army’s 1944 Belorussian and L’vov-Peremshyl’ Operations” Journal of Slavic Military Studies Vol. 21, No.4, 2008, 669-705

“Raiders of a Lost Art?: Apache War and Society” Small Wars and Insurgencies. Vol. 13, No.3 Winter 2002, 1-28

  • Published Papers

'A Historical Relationship between Agency and Structure: Synthesising Actor Network, Policy Network and Advocacy Coalition Interpretations of Policy-making.’ in: Stanyer, J. & Stoker, G. (1997) Proceedings of the Annual PSA Conference held at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Belfast April 8th-10th, 1997. Contemporary Political Studies Vol. 2, 896-904. Paper presented at Political Studies Association Conference 1997.

  •  Book Reviews

Forms of Power by G. Poggi in Democratization Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 2001, pp.201-202

Victorio: Apache Warrior and Chief by K.P. Chamberlain in The Journal of Arizona History Vol.49, No. 1 Spring 2008, pp.79-80

  • Papers

‘Apache Strategy and Tactics: The Victorio Campaign, 1879-1880’ Paper given to the War and Society seminar series, Dept of History, The University of Birmingham, 19 January, 2010.

‘Re-Interpreting the Lvov/Sandomierz Operation: The Decisive Red Army Operation of the 1944 Summer Campaign?’ Paper given to the War and Society seminar series, Dept. of History, The University of Birmingham, 14 November, 2006.

‘Managing Chaos: The Ninth Cavalry's Experience in New Mexico 1879-1881’ Paper given to the annual conference of the Organization of American Historians,Washington D.C. 21 April, 2006. 

‘The Enemy Within and Without: Political Constraints upon the U.S. Army’s Pursuit of Victorio 1879-1881.’ Paper given to the War and Society seminar series, Dept. of History, The University of Birmingham, 10 January, 2006.

'Red Army Deep Operations Theory and the 1944 Summer Campaign’ Paper given to the Military History Society of the West Midlands Police 11 May, 2005.

‘Ambush Attack and Evasion: Apache Guerrilla Warfare’ Paper given to the Military History Society of the West Midlands Police 4 February, 2004

‘Raiders of a Lost Art: Apache War and Society.’ Paper given to the Defence Studies Department at the Joint Services Command and Staff College 19 June, 2002.


American-Indian warfare; the Apaches; Red Army in World War II; political networks and power; UK energy policy 1939-1985; qualitative methods, particularly archive research

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