David Brydan

Lecturer in Modern European History

David is Lecturer in Modern European History at Birkbeck. His background is in modern Spanish history, and his work explores the transnational history of fascist, conservative and religious movements. He is currently completing a monograph on the role of health and welfare experts in promoting Franco’s Spain as a ‘social state’ on the international stage.

David’s new project explores the role of Catholic internationalism in the post-war era, and particularly in the development of the post-war West. It explores the history of a group of religious NGOs such as Caritas and Pax Christi, known at the time as International Catholic Organisations (ICOs), which played a central but overlooked role in the post-war world. The project asks how the humanitarian activities of these organisations, which often focused on the victims of communism and the defence of a spiritually-rooted vision of Western civilization, helped to forge the transnational ties which underpinned the Western bloc, both in Europe and beyond, and to promote a popular understanding of the Cold War West as a spiritual community united by its shared Christian heritage.