Paul is a historian of modern Europe and of international relations, chiefly in the 20th century and above all since 1945. His core interest is in the political development of Europe over the last century or so, and especially in the impact of Europe’s two most powerful states in that period, Germany and the Soviet Union, on the continent and the wider world. The modern history of Germany and the Soviet Union, together with the history of intelligence and security, are his particular fields of specialism. The history of Communism runs as a thread through all these interests. These core interests have also led Paul to take an interest in states that have felt threatened by Germany and the Soviet Union, such as Britain and the United States. Most of Paul's publications concern either Communist security and intelligence agencies, or British and Western intelligence collection during the Cold War on the German Democratic Republic and the Soviet Union.
Paul is currently researching into the history of the security and intelligence services of the former Communist Bloc, above all the East German Stasi and the Soviet KGB. Previously, he researched into the history of British and other Western intelligence agencies during the Cold War. This research led to his monograph, Spying on Science: Western Intelligence in Divided Germany, 1945-1961 (Oxford University Press, 2006).
He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. In 2008, Paul was for six months a visiting scholar at the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut of the Free University of Berlin.
The principal awards made to Paul in recent years have been:
- 2010: Aberystwyth University Research Fund: award of £1,150 for two research projects
- 2008: German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst): award of €5,970 for research in archives in Berlin, Germany, in 2008
- 2003: British Academy: Small Research Grant of £4,466
- 2003: Aberystwyth University Research Fund: two research grants worth £2,516
- 2003: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC): Research Leave Award of £13,153
For an introduction to recent research, see this recent conference paper.
Here are links to recent press articles and radio interviews about Paul's research:
- Article in 2013 in the German newspaper “Die Welt”
- Interview in 2012 with Radio 4’s “Today” programme
- Interview in 2011 at the International Spy Museum, Washington, DC
- Article in 2006 in the German newsmagazine “Der Spiegel”
Paul has taught at Loughborough University since 2012. Before that, he taught at Aberystwyth (2002-11) and Salford Universities (2000-2). Since 2000 he has designed and taught many undergraduate and Master’s courses on 20th-century European, German, Soviet, intelligence and international history. At Loughborough he teaches undergraduate courses on modern European, modern Soviet and modern German history, as well as a Master’s course on intelligence and security. He supervises PhD theses on 20th-century intelligence and international history. At Salford University he was part of the teaching team which, in the 2001 Quality Assurance Agency’s subject review of Politics, was awarded the maximum mark (24/24). He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
In July 2002 he gave an intensive course on the history of intelligence and security at the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, under the Socrates-Erasmus scheme.
Edited book (sole editor)
Edited book (co-editor)
- 2018: Spy Chiefs, Volume 2: Intelligence Leaders in Europe, the Middle East and Asia (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press) (co-editor with Christopher Moran, Ioanna Iordanou and Mark Stout)
- 2014: ‘Cooperation between the HVA and the KGB, 1951-1989’, Bulletin of the German Historical Institute, Washington, DC, Supplement No. 9: The Stasi at Home and Abroad: Domestic Order and Foreign Intelligence, pp. 171-192.
- 2013: ‘Im Fadenkreuz der Stasi: Westliche Spionage in der DDR. Die Akten der Hauptabteilung IX’, Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Vol. 61, No. 2, pp. 141-171. This article was used by members of the German Parliament from the German political party the Left Party (“Die Linke”) to support a question they put to the German Federal Government in December 2014: see Deutscher Bundestag, 04.12.2014; Kleine Anfrage der Fraktion DIE LINKE
- 2013: ‘The Economic Dimension of Cold War Intelligence-Gathering: The West’s Spies in the GDR’s Economy’, Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 15, No. 3(2013), pp. 76-107. See also the errata notice in the Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 16, No. 1 (2014), p. 3.
- 2005: ‘The Scientist Who Came In from the Cold: Heinz Barwich’s Escape from the GDR’, Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 608-630.
- 2005: ‘What we have discovered about the Cold War is what we already knew: Julius Mader and the Western secret services during the Cold War’, Cold War History, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 235-258.