Cecilia Notini Burch

Cecilia Notini Burch

Dr Cecilia Notini Burch is a historian working within the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. She is also a member of the Intelligence and International Relations Research Group.

Cecilia has developed an expertise on the Cold War, and particularly its impact on social relation relations and civil society in Scandinavia. Her research has specifically focused on the impact of the Cold War on refugees, foreigners and also surveillance and security issues in the region.

Cecilia’s current research is centred around her access to classified material from the Swedish Security Police, and the surveillance of foreigners during the 1950s and 1960s of individuals deemed to be a threaten to national security. Cecilia’s research was made possible by the result of a special permit issued by the Security Police and the National Archives of Sweden, alongside a postdoctoral research grant from the Swedish Wenner-Gren Foundation.

In May 2014, Cecilia published a book titled ‘A Cold War Pursuit’ which focuses on Sweden’s non-alignment during the Cold War and its management of Soviet refugees. Cecilia explores how the treatment of these refugees fluctuated in tandem with the bipolar international community, with the overall objective to assess how humanitarian policies were influenced by Cold War relations.


  • Scandinavia during the Cold War

  • Swedish security during the Cold War

  • Humanitarian implications of the Cold War

  • Soviet refugees


  • A Cold War Pursuit: Soviet Refugees in Sweden, 1945-54, Santérus Academic Press, Stockholm 2014

  • ‘Rights of the Refugee during the Cold War – a case study of Sweden 1945-54’ in Rights of the Individual during the Cold War, Kersti Brathagen, Rasmus Rasmus Mariager & Karl Molin (eds), Routledge, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon 2014

  • ‘Controlling the untrustworthy: Sweden’s Aliens’ Commission and Soviet Refugees, 1945-48′ in Reaching a State of Hope: refugees, immigrants and the Swedish welfare state, 1930-2000, Mikael Byström & Pär Frohnert (eds), Nordic Academic Press, Lund 2013

  • ‘Migration som en förutsättning för välfärd’ in Svenska Dagbladet, 13 July 2011

  • ‘Zimnowojenny pościg: szwedzkie reakcje wobec sowieckiego polowania na uchodźców politycznych, 1945-1960’ in Tajny oręż czy ofiary zimnej wojny? Emigracje polityczne z Europy Środkowej i Wschodniej, S. Łukasiewicz (ed.), Institute of National Remembrance, Lublin-Warsaw 2010