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School of History

Professor Gareth Stedman Jones


Professor of the History of Ideas

Room Number: ArtsTwo 2.30


As a history undergraduate at Oxford I was particularly interested in political thought and economics in the 19th century. My doctoral research concerned casual labour in Victorian London.

I became a History Fellow at King’s College, Cambridge and subsequently Reader and Professor of the History of Political Thought at the University of Cambridge. I was also a founder editor of the History Workshop Journal (link is external).


Research Interests:

My major research interest is the history of British and European political thought from the aftermath of the French Revolution to the First World War.

My aim has been to situate such thought in its particular historical context. I have written on the emergence of social security as solution to problems of poverty from the 1790’s to the 20th century, on the origins of Utopian Socialism, and on the genesis of the Communist Manifesto. I am currently writing an intellectual biography of Karl Marx.

  • Political thought since 1770, concentrating upon the impact and legacy of the French Revolution
  • Marx and nineteenth-century socialism
  • British and European History 1770-1970
  • History of political economy


Principal publications

Recent Articles

  • ‘Radicalism and the Extra-European World: the case of Marx’ in Victorian Visions of Global Order : Empire and International Relations in Nineteenth Century Political Thought, Cambridge University Press, ed. Duncan Bell, 2008, pp. 186-214
  • ‘The Redemptive Powers of Violence? Carlyle, Marx and Dickens’ in Charles Dickens, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and the French Revolution, eds. Colin Jones, Josephine McDonagh & Jon Mee, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, pp. 41-63
  • ‘Religion and the Origins of Socialism’, in Religion and the Political Imagination, eds. Gareth Stedman Jones and Ira Katznelson, Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp.171-189
  • ‘The return of language: radicalism and the British historians 1960-1990’, in  Political Languages in the Age of Extremes, ed. W. Steinmetz, Oxford University Press, 2011, pp.331-349
  • ‘The Young Hegelians, Marx and Engels’, in The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Political Thought, eds. Gareth Stedman Jones and Gregory Claeys, Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 556-600
  • ‘Il Socialismo nella Storia Religiosa Europea’ (The Place of Socialism in the Religious History of Western Europe), pp. 113-154, in Pensare la Contemporaneità Studi di Storia Italiana ed Europea per Mariuccia Salvati, Viella, Rome, 2011, pp.113-154
  • ‘Scripting the German Revolution – Marx and 1848’, pp. 169-180,  in Scripting Revolution: A Historical Approach to the Comparative Study of Revolutions, eds. Keith M. Baker and Dan Edelstein, Stamford, 2015        

  • ‘L’impossible anthropologie communiste de Karl Marx’, in La Nature du Socialisme. Pensée Sociale et Conceptions de la Nature au XIXe Siècle, eds. Vincent Bourdeau and Arnaud Macé, Presses Universitaires du Franche-Comté, 2017

  • ‘Millennium and Enlightenment: Robert Owen and the Second Coming of Truth’ in Markets, Morals, Politics. Jealousy of Trade and the History of Political Thought, eds. Béla Kapossy, Isaac Nakhimovsky, Sophus A. Reinert and Richard Whatmore, Harvard University Press, 2018

  • ‘Elusive Signifiers: 1848 and the Language of “Class Struggle”, pp. 429-451, in The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought, eds. Douglas Moggach and Gareth Stedman Jones, Cambridge, 2018

  • ‘European Socialism from the 1790s to the 1890s’, pp. 196-231, in The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought: Volume I, The Nineteenth Century, eds. Warren Breckman and Peter E. Gordon, Cambridge, 2019

Editorial Positions 


I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research in the following area:

  • Political Thought in Britain
  • France and Germany from the French Revolution through to the twentieth century

Current PhD Students

  • Conor Bollins - The Eighteenth-Century Population Debate in Relation to Theories of Social and Political Stability
  • Adela Halo - Ending the French Revolution: Madame de Staël and the Birth of Liberalism in France
  • Catherine Hulse - Popular sovereignty, law, and ideology: Rousseau and the French Revolution after the Terror
  • Cathleen Mair - Madame de Staël and the Theory of Emotion