Francine McKenzie

Chair, Department of History

PhD, University of Cambridge, 1995
Telephone: 519-661-2111 ext. 84964
Office: Lawson Hall 2201B
Office Hours:
Tuesdays 1:00pm-3:00pm or by appointment.

Research Interests

Professor McKenzie is an international historian who works on the history of international organizations, global trade, and the British Commonwealth – especially on Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Teaching Philosophy

I have two main pedagogical aims: to teach students to think about the past in interesting and rigorous ways and to develop skills in writing, research, and critical thinking. These skills are essential to the study of history; they are also valuable when students enter the workforce.

I teach courses on the history of international relations in the 19th and 20th centuries, examining conflicts and cooperation that have defined the evolution of the international community. I have also taught in the International Relations program, including the capstone seminar, IR4701E.

I supervise M.A. and Ph.D students whose research is related to international trade, international relations, Canada’s international history, and the history of the British Commonwealth. I welcome inquiries from students interested in post-graduate study at Western.

Major Research Projects

I am completing a history of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade called Accidental Organization: The GATT and Global Geopolitics, 1947-1994. I explain how the main geo-political fault lines that emerged after 1945, including the Cold War, the North-South divide, and the rise of regional blocs, turned the GATT into a contested political space and a microcosm of global international relations. The working title of my new research project is The World They Wanted and the World They Feared: Planning for Peace during the Second World War. It is a collective biography in which I examine how a select group of influential individuals saw the possibility to construct a new and better future after the war.

Recent Publications


Dominion of Race: Rethinking Canada’s International History book cover

(2017) Laura Madokoro, Francine McKenzie and David Meren, eds, Dominion of Race: Rethinking Canada’s International History (UBC Press), 321 pp.

A Global History of Trade and Conflict Since 1500 book cover

(2013) Lucia Coppolaro and Francine McKenzie, eds, A Global History of Trade and Conflict Since 1500 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 252 pp.  

Parties Long Estranged: Canada and Australia in the 20th Century book cover

(2003) Margaret MacMillan and Francine McKenzie, eds, Parties Long Estranged: Canada and Australia in the 20th Century (UBC Press), 320 pp.

Redefining the Bonds of Commonwealth 1939-1948: The Politics of Preference  book cover

(2002) Redefining the Bonds of Commonwealth 1939-1948: The Politics of Preference (Palgrave MacMillan), 368 pp.

Book Chapters

(2017) ‘Where was Trade at Bretton Woods?’, in Giles Scott Smith and Simon Rofe, eds, Global Perspectives on the Bretton Woods Conference and the Post-War World Order (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 163-180.

(2017) ‘Race, Empire and World Order: Robert Borden and Racial Inequality at the Paris Peace Conference 1919‘ in Madokoro, McKenzie and Meren, eds, Dominion of Race: Rethinking Canada’s International History (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, June 2017), pp. 73-93.

(2016) ‘Imperial Solutions to International Crises: Alliances, Trade and the Ottawa Imperial Economic Conference of 1932’ in R. Smith, E. Pedaliu, and J. Fisher, The Foreign Office, Commerce and British Foreign Policy 1900-2000 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 165-187.

(2014) ‘Free Trade and Freedom to Trade: Exports, Markets and the Development Challenge to GATT, 1948-1968’ in Frey, Unger and Kunkel, eds, International Organizations and Development: Shifting Visions of a Contested Paradigm, (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014), pp. 150-170

(2013) ‘The Intersection of Trade and Conflict since 1500’, in Coppolaro and McKenzie, eds, A Global History of Trade and Conflict since 1500 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), pp. 1-19

(2013) ‘Trading Blocs and Trading Blows: GATT’s Conflictual Path to Trade Liberalisation, 1947-1967’ in Coppolaro and McKenzie, eds, A Global History of Trade and Conflict since 1500 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), pp.163-187

(2013) 'The Last Ditch Defender of National Sovereignty at Geneva': The Realities Behind Canadian Diplomacy During the Ethiopian Crisis’ in G. Bruce Strang, ed., Collision of Empires: Italy’s Invasion of Ethiopia and its International Impact (Ashgate, 2013), pp. 165-184. (refereed)

(2013) 'Trade, Dominance, Dependence and the End of the Settlement Era in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, 1920-1973' in Christopher Lloyd, Jacob Metzer and Richard Sutch, eds, Settler Economies in World History (Leiden: Brill 2013), pp. 463-489.


Digital Publications

(2012) Short Biographical essay on, 'Eric Wyndham White' in The Biographical Dictionary of Secretaries - General of International Organizations, Bob Reinalda and Kent Kille, eds

Journal Publications:

(2014) ‘Faith, Fear and Free Trade’, International Journal, 2014, Vol. 69 (2): 233-245

(2014) ‘The conundrum of Canadian-American relations', Review of Denis Stairs, The Diplomacy of Constraint: Canada, the Korean War, and the United States (Toronto: University of Toronto Press 1974), International Journal, 69 (1), March 2014: 110-117.

(2010) 'The GATT-EEC Collision: The Challenge of Regional Trade Blocs to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, 1950-1967', The International History Review (June 2010) Vol. 32, No. 2: 229-252.

(2008) 'GATT in the Cold War: Accession Debates, Institutional Development, and the Western Alliance, 1947-1959' Journal of Cold War Studies Vol. 10, No. 3 (Summer 2008), pp. 78-109. This article was reviewed in H-Diplo. Please go to:

Awards and Distinctions

2012-13 - Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies, Department of History, Harvard University
2009-10 - USC Teaching Honor Roll, Award of Excellence in Teaching, UWO 

Professional Service

I am on the editorial board for the series "New Approaches to International History" at Bloomsbury Press

Conferences Organized

“Race and Canada’s International History: Identity, Interests, and Interactions”, a workshop sponsored by the Weatherhead Centre for International Relations, Harvard University, 1-3 May 2013. 

"Unpeaceable Exchange: Trade and Conflict in a Global Economy, 1000-2000." A Joint Workshop Between The University of Western Ontario and the Instituto de Ciências Socias. ICS - University of Lisbon. 16-17 July 2010.