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Peter Frankopan

speaker location icon U.K.

Professor of Global History at Oxford University

Named one of the World's 50 Top Thinkers by Prospect Magazine in 2019.

Author of 'The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World‘ (2020)

Peter is ‘the history rock star du jour’, according to Tim Shipman, Political Editor of the Sunday Times.

Peter is Professor of Global History at Oxford University, where is also Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research. He has been Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford since 2000. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Asiatic Society, the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Anthropological Institute Peter read History at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he was Foundation Scholar, Schiff Scholar and won the History Prize in 1993. He was Senior Scholar at Corpus Christi College before moving to Worcester College as Junior Research Fellow.

Peter has held visiting Fellowships at Dumbarton Oaks (Harvard) and Princeton, and has lectured at universities all over the world including Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Princeton and NYU. He is on the board of the Delphi Academy of European Studies. In 2018, Peter was a judge of the Runciman Award, the EBRD Literature Prize and the Cundill Prize, and was a Guest Curator of the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Since 2016, Peter has been involved with the ‘Bridge for Cities’ Programme of  UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development  Organisation). In 2017, Peter was appointed Senior Advisor and Academic Expert to a major project for the World Bank and Department for International Development (DFID) on Transport Corridors in South Asia. In 2017, he was Scaliger Visiting Professor at Leiden University. In 2017, he was Presidential Scholar at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

He has published a number of books, the most recent is ‘The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World‘ (Bloomsbury Publishing), published in 2018.

He chairs the Frankopan Fund, which has granted more than two hundred and ninety scholarships and awards to outstanding young scholars from Croatia to study at leading academic institutions in the UK, USA and Europe.

Peter was named one of the World’s 50 Top Thinkers by Prospect Magazine in 2019.   He is Chair of the Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature and the Cundill History Prize and he is Chair of the Judges for the Runciman Award 2020-21. In 2020, Peter joined the Advisory Council of the British Library.

Recent Talks Include;

  • Rethinking Narratives of China and the Middle East: The Silk Roads and Beyond
  • History, Maps and Changing the Way We Look at the World
  • Reclaiming History: Moving away from Eurocentrism
  • Reinventing Peace in an Age of Disorder
  • Re-calibrating Asia’s 21st century power dynamics,

The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World


The New Silk Roads – a brand new book by Peter Frankopan – takes a fresh look at the network of relationships being formed along the length and breadth of the Silk Roads today.

The world is changing dramatically and in an age of Brexit and Trump, the themes of isolation and fragmentation permeating the western world stand in sharp contrast to events along the Silk Roads, where ties have been strengthened and mutual cooperation established.

Following the Silk Roads eastwards from Europe through to China, by way of Russia and the Middle East, The New Silk Roads provides a timely reminder that we live in a world that is profoundly interconnected. In this prescient contemporary history, Peter Frankopan assesses the global reverberations of these continual shifts in the centre of power – all too often absent from headlines in the west.

This important – and ultimately hopeful – book asks us to reread who we are and where we are in the world, illuminating the themes on which all our lives and livelihoods depend.

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