Dr Jonathan E Gumz

Department of History
Reader in Modern History

I am originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and came to Birmingham after teaching in the History Department at West Point.  My intellectual interests focus on Modern Central and Eastern Europe, modern international history, global insurgency and counterinsurgency, as well as international law and the regulation of war.


  • PhD, University of Chicago, 2006


I joined the University of Birmingham in autumn of 2012, after teaching in the History Department in West Point.  My first book was on the Habsburg occupation of Serbia during the First World War and I continue to work on issues at the intersection of modern Central and Eastern Europe, international history, and war and society.  I am also interested in broader issues of global order and international law in the contemporary era.  At West Point, I taught on war and society in the modern era, the history of strategy, and modern Central and Eastern European history.  I received my Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2006.



  • Second Year Core: The Rise of Modern War
  • Second Year Option: Occupation and Counterinsurgency in the Modern Era
  • Third Year Special Subject: America and Its Wars in the 20th Century
  • Third Year Special Subject: The History of Grand Strategy


  • Convenor: MA British First World War Studies

Postgraduate supervision

Modern Central and Eastern Europe
Contemporary Insurgency
The Era of the World Wars
International Law
War and Society in 20th Century America
War and Society in Modern Europe

Find out more - our PhD History  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My current research has several areas of focus. First, I am working with John Deak from the University of Notre Dame on a book on the collapse of the Habsburg Empire in the First World War with an emphasis on the Army’s war against internal enemies and the transformation of the Habsburg state. Second, I am writing a book on the rise and fall of the norm of military occupation from the late 19th century through the early 21st century.

Other activities

I am the University of Birmingham Principal Investigator (PI) for the European Union CENDARI (Collaborative European Digital Archive Infrastructure) Project. This project is creating a digital research infrastructure for the history of the First World War and medieval European culture.


Recent publications


Gumz, J 2009, The Resurrection and Collapse of Empire in Habsburg Serbia, 1914-1918. Cambridge University Press.


Gumz, J 2018, 'International law and the transformation of war, 1899-1949: the case of military occupation', The Journal of Modern History, vol. 90, no. 3, pp. 621-660. https://doi.org/10.1086/698960

Deak, J & Gumz, J 2017, 'How to break a state: the Habsburg Monarchy's internal war', The American Historical Review, vol. 122, no. 4, pp. 1105–1136. https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/122.4.1105

Gumz, J 2013, 'Norms of war and the Austro-Hungarian encounter with Serbia, 1914–1918', First World War Studies, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 97-110. https://doi.org/10.1080/19475020.2012.761391

Gumz, J 2009, 'Reframing the Historical Problematic of Insurgency: How the Professional Military Literature Created a New History and Missed the Past', The Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 553-588. https://doi.org/10.1080/01402390902986972

Gumz, J 2001, 'Wehrmacht Perceptions of Mass Violence in Croatia, 1941-1942', The Historical Journal, vol. 44, no. 4, pp. 1015-1038.

Gumz, J 1998, 'German Counterinsurgency Policy in Independent Croatia', The Historian, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 33-51.


Gumz, J 2014, Losing control: the norm of occupation in Eastern Europe during World War I. in J Boehler, W Borodziej & J von Puttkamer (eds), Legacies of Violence: Eastern Europe's First World War. Europe's east in the 20th century: Writings of Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena, R. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich, pp. 69-87. https://doi.org/10.1524/9783486857566

View all publications in research portal