Skip to main content
School of History

Professor Andrew Fitzmaurice


Professor of the History of Political Thought

Room Number: ArtsTwo 4.05


I completed my PhD at Cambridge and spent many years teaching at the University of Sydney, before joining Queen Mary in 2020. My research has focused upon the ideologies of European empires. My early work concerned the political ideas of early American colonisation. More recently I have been concerned with Europeans’ justifications for the appropriation of land and sovereignty in the non-European world from the sixteenth century through to the twentieth. My ongoing research interests include the political thought of non-state entities, particularly chartered companies.


Research Interests:

History of political thought

European empires

The political thought of non-state entities



King Leopold's Ghostwriter: The Creation of Persons and States in the Nineteenth Century (Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2021)

Sovereignty, Property and Empire 1500-2000 (Ideas in Context; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2014)

Humanism and America: An intellectual history of English colonisation, 1500-1625. (Ideas in Context; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003)

Edited Books

Andrew Fitzmaurice and Rachel Hammersley, eds., The Cambridge History of Rights: 1500-1700 (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)

David Armitage, Conal Condren and Andrew Fitzmaurice, eds., Shakespeare and early modern political thought (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009)

Guest Edited Journal:
The Intellectual History of Early Modern Empire, guest edited Special Issue of Renaissance Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4 (September, 2012)


Andrew Fitzmaurice, "The early modern corporation as nursery of democratic thought: the case of the Virginia Company and Thomas Hobbes", History of European Ideas, May 2021.

‘The expansion of international franchise in the late nineteenth century’, Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law, (2018) vol.28, 3, 101-115

‘Context in the History of International Law’, Journal of the History of International Law, (2018) vol.20, 1, 5-30

‘The Dutch Empire in Intellectual History’, BMGN - The Low Countries Historical Review, 132(2), (2017),97-109

‘Sovereign Trusteeship and Empire’ Theoretical Inquiries in Law, 16(2), (2015) 447-471

‘Liberalism and Empire in Nineteenth Century International Law’, American Historical Review, Vol. 117, No. 1 (February, 2012)

'Neither neo-Roman nor liberal empire', Renaissance Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4 (September, 2012)

‘The Commercial Ideology of Colonisation in Jacobean England: Robert Johnson, Giovanni Botero and the Pursuit of Greatness.’, William and Mary Quarterly, (October, 2007)

‘A genealogy of terra nullius’, Australian Historical Studies, (April, 2004)

'The ideology of early modern colonisation', History Compass, (February, 2004)

‘The Civic Solution to the Crisis of English Colonisation 1609 -1625’, Historical Journal, 42, I (1999)

‘Classical Rhetoric and the Promotion of the New World’, The Journal of the History of Ideas, 1997, 58

Book Chapters:

‘Law, property, trade, and empire’, chapter 27 in the Cambridge Companion to Hugo Grotius, edited by Randall Lesaffer and Janne Nijman (Cambridge, 2021)

‘The Company Commonwealth’, in James Horn and Paul Musselwhite, eds., Virginia 1619 Omohundro Institute for Early American History (University of North Carolina Press, 2019)

‘The equality of non-European states in international law’, in Inge van Hulle and Randall Lesaffer, eds., International law in the long nineteenth century (Brill: Leiden, 2019)

‘The problem of Eurocentrism in the thought of Francisco de Vitoria’, in Jose Maria Beneyto and Justo Corti Varela, eds., At the origins of modernity: Francisco de Vitoria and the discovery of international law (Springer, 2017)

‘Scepticism of the civilizing mission in international law’, Martti Koskenniemi, Walter Rech, and Manuel Jiménez Fonseca, eds., International Law and Empire: Historical Explorations (Oxford University Press, 2016)

'Powhatan legal claims', in Saliha Belmessous, ed., Native Claims: Indigenous Law against Empire (Oxford University Press, 2012)

‘Discovery, Conquest, and Occupation of Territory’ in The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law, edited by Bardo Fassbender, Anne Peters and Simone Peter (Oxford University Press, 2012)

‘The justification of King Leopold II’s Congo enterprise by Sir Travers Twiss’, in Ian Hunter and Shaunnagh Dorsett, eds., Law and Politics in British Colonial Thought (Palgrave, 2010)

‘The corruption of Hamlet’, in David Armitage, Conal Condren and Andrew Fitzmaurice, eds., Shakespeare and early modern political thought (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

‘The resilience of natural law in the writings of Sir Travers Twiss’, in Ian Hall and Lisa Hill, eds., British International Thinkers from Hobbes to Namier (Palgrave, 2009)

'Anti-Colonialism in Western Political Thought: The Colonial Origins of the Concept of Genocide', in A. Dirk Moses, ed., Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History (New York, 2008)

‘Moral uncertainty in the dispossession of native Americans’, in Peter Mancall, ed., Virginia and the Atlantic world, Omohundro Institute of Early American History, (Chapel Hill, 2007)

‘American corruption’, in John McDiarmid, ed., The monarchical republic in early modern England (Aldershot, 2007)

‘“Every Man, that Prints, Adventures”: The Rhetoric of the Virginia Company Sermons’, in Lori Anne Ferrell and Peter McCullough (eds.), The English Sermon Revised: Religion, Literature and History, 1500 - 1800, (Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2000)

Back to top