Dr Robert Watt

Dr Robert Watt

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Lecturer

Contact details

Address
Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

 

Qualifications

  • 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.

Teaching

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

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

Research

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

Books

  • (2019 forthcoming) ‘With my Face to my Bitter Foes’: Nana’s War 1880-1881. (Helion & Company Ltd: Solihull)
  • (2018 forthcoming) ‘Horses Worn to Mere Shadows’: The Victorio Campaign 1880. (Helion & Company Ltd: Solihull)
  • (2017), ‘I Will Not Surrender the Hair of a Horse’s Tail’: The Victorio Campaign 1879. (Helion & Company Ltd: Solihull)
  • (2014), Apache Warrior 1860-1886 Warrior Series No.172 (Osprey Publishing: Oxford)
  • (2012), Apache Tactics 1830-86, Elite Series No.119 (Osprey Publishing: Oxford)

Journal Articles

  • ‘“An Exodus to Nowhere?”: Victorio’s Tres Castillos Campaign, September-October 1880’ The Journal of Military History, Vol. 80, No. 4, October 2016, 1037-1072.  Awarded a Moncado Prize awarded for an outstanding article published in the 80th volume of The Journal of Military History
  • ‘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
  • “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) 197-222
  • “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
  • ‘Chiricahua and Janos: Communities of Violence in the Southwestern Borderlands, 1580-1880’ by Lance R. Blyth in The Journal of Arizona History Vol.54, No. 2 Summer 2013, pp.221-222

External Papers

I organised a panel for the Society for Military History annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday 6 April, 2018. The panel was called ‘Archaeology, Archives and Apaches’ and was designed to show how both Archaeologists and Historians can aid each other in their research. I gave one of the papers on this panel entitled:

  • “The Perils of Dihydrogen Monoxide: A Reinterpretation of the Hembrillo Canyon Operation, New Mexico, March-April 1880”. Paper given to the 85th Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History, Louisville, Kentucky 5-8 April, 2018
  • ‘“He Don’t Mean to Fight You…He only Means to Kill You’: The Significance of the Victorio Campaign” Paper given to the War Studies Department, Kings College, London, 27 March, 2018
  • ‘Victorio: A Great Apache Leader?’ Paper given to the 36th Annual Order of the Indian Wars, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 1-4 October, 2015
  • Victorio’s Strategy and Tactics’ Paper given to the Hillsboro Historical Society, Hillsboro, New Mexico, 3 July, 2014
  • ‘Victorio vs. Grierson, July-August 1880’ Paper given to the Texas State Historical Association, 118th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, 7 March, 2014.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘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.

University of Birmingham/West Midlands Papers

  • ‘Treasure of the Sierra Goodsights: The Role of Archaeologists and Historians in the Discovery of the Apache Wars’ Paper given to the War Studies Seminar, Department of History, The University of Birmingham, 21 November, 2017
  • ‘Treasure Hunt in the Sierra Goodsight: From Archive to Field Survey; Discovering and Re-interpreting the Goodsight Mountain Campaign of September 1880’. Paper given to the Military History Society of the West Midlands Police 6 July, 2016
  • ‘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.
  • ‘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.’ War and Society seminar series, Dept. of History, The University of Birmingham, 10 January, 2002.


*Prof. Robert Wooster’s book ‘The American Military Frontiers: The United States Army in the West, 1783-1900’ 2009 references this article on p.350. He states that: “Watt, “Izisgo At’ee: Victorio’s Military and Political Leadership of the Warm Springs Apaches,” offers the best treatment of Victorio’s military leadership.” (p.313 note 18) The change in title reflects the subsequent editorial process before final publication.

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Expertise

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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