Professor Sir Laurence Martin, director of Chatham House in the post-Cold War era, who warned of the dangers of appeasing Russia – obituary

He remained in the United States as, successively, an instructor at Yale, an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an assistant professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a research associate at the Washington Center of Foreign Policy Research. .

In 1964 he returned to the UK as Woodrow Wilson Professor of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, where he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences in 1966. Two years later, he took up the chair of war studies at King’s College. London, replacing Professor Sir Michael Howard.

Martin was not only a gifted scholar, but proved to be a brilliant and popular administrator and committee member. During his years at King’s, the War Studies department steadily increased the number of students. In 1998, his administrative gifts earned him the appointment of Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, where he remained for 12 years before taking over as director of Chatham House.

He was appointed Second Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear in 1987.

Chatham House had lost core government funding during the 1980s, so Martin set out to secure its financial position by modernizing its approach to fundraising. As a result, he raised funds for the renovation of the institute’s premises and for the development of its presence on the Internet, helping to reach new audiences and better communicate its ideas to policy makers.

In addition to his role at Chatham House, he has served on the boards of several international institutes for strategic studies.

His books include Peace without Victory (1958), Arms and Strategy (1973), Strategic Thought in the Nuclear Age (1979) and The Changing Face of Nuclear Warfare (1987). His Reith Lectures have been published as The Two Edged Sword: Armed Force in the Modern World.

He was knighted in 1994.

In retirement, Martin enjoyed fishing, gardening, going to exhibitions and entertaining at the RAF Club. He also became a frequent contributor to the Daily Telegraph’s letters page.

In 2012 he recalled that while he did not admire former Labor leader Jim Callaghan’s job as Prime Minister, he came to admire the man himself after a reporter asked him to approaching the Falklands War, if that weren’t unbelievable. that Britain should consider war: “He received the acerbic response that when national security was at stake, no sacrifice was too great.”

His respect, Martin continues, “became affectionate when I was appointed Warden of Chatham House. The institute had three honorary presidents… Lords Grimond, Carrington and Callaghan.

“I felt I should pay them a courtesy visit and wrote offering one. Grimond replied that he was too busy. Carrington invited me to his house for tea. Callaghan replied: “I I’m sure you’re busier than me these days” and called me.

Laurence Martin married Betty Parnall, a teacher, in 1951, and they had a daughter and a son. His wife and daughter predeceased him, and in their memory he established the Lady Betty Martin Fund, which provides scholarships to young North East artists, and an annual Jane Martin Poetry Prize, run by the Girton College of Cambridge.

Professor Sir Laurence Martin, born July 30, 1928, died April 24, 2022

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