School of History

Professor Georgios Varouxakis


Professor of the History of Political Thought

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 7476


I grew up and went to school in Crete. I studied History in Athens, Greece, and then completed an MA in Legal and Political Theory at University College London (UCL) followed by a PhD in History at UCL. After eight years at Aston University, Birmingham, I joined Queen Mary in 2006. My work to date has concentrated on nineteenth- and twentieth-century intellectual history with a particular emphasis on cross-cultural exchanges and mutual perceptions and on the political thought of people such as John Stuart Mill, Walter Bagehot, Matthew Arnold, Auguste Comte, Alexis de Tocqueville, François Guizot, Ernest Renan, Rabindranath Tagore and Alfred Zimmern. I have also worked on political thought on nationalism and cosmopolitanism, empire, and on the intellectual history of ideas of ‘Europe’ and ‘the West’ and attitudes towards the EEC/EU. I am currently writing 'The West: The History of an Idea', to be published by Princeton University Press. I am Co-Director of the QMUL Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought. I also serve as Programme Director for the intercollegiate MA in the History of Political Thought and Intellectual History offered jointly by UCL and QMUL. In the past I have been Research Fellow at University College London, Visiting Research Fellow at Princeton University and Senior Research Fellow at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg, the Göttingen Institute of Advanced Study, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.


Research Interests:

My research interests include:

  • history of political thought (British, French and American, 19th-20th centuries)
  • history of international political thought/political thought on international relations
  • John Stuart Mill’s political thought and philosophy
  • political thought on nationalism, patriotism and cosmopolitanism
  • intellectual history of the idea of ‘Europe’ and attitudes towards ‘Europe’
  • history of the idea of ‘the West’
  • Anglo-French intellectual relations and mutual perceptions
  • political thought on empire and imperialism



1. Liberty Abroad: J. S. Mill on International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013 -- “Ideas in Context” Series)
2. Victorian Political Thought on France and the French (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002)
3. Mill on Nationality (London and New York: Routledge, 2002 –Routledge/PSA “Political Studies” Series).
4. Contemporary France: An Introduction to French Politics and Society, co-authored with David Howarth (London: Arnold, 2003)
5. Αλληλεγγύη: δοκιμές [(in Greek): Solidarity: trials], co-authored with Gregoris Molivas (Athens: Nisos, 2016)
6. Utilitarianism and Empire, co-edited with Bart Schultz (Lanham, ML: Lexington Books, 2005)
7. John Stuart Mill: Thought and Influence – The saint of rationalism, co-edited with Paul Kelly (London and New York: Routledge, 2010)
8. Happiness and Utility, co-edited with Mark Philp (forthcoming, 2019). 

Articles (selection):

1. ‘The Godfather of “Occidentality”: Auguste Comte and the Idea of “the West”’, Modern Intellectual History [31 pp.], forthcoming -- published online [First View]: 11 October 2017:
2. ‘“Negrophilist” Crusader: John Stuart Mill on the American Civil War and Reconstruction’, History of European Ideas, Vol. 39, No. 5 (2013), 729-754.
3. ‘“Patriotism”, “Cosmopolitanism” and “Humanity” in Victorian Political Thought’, European Journal of Political Theory, 5/1 (2006), 100-118.
4. ‘Guizot’s Historical Works and J. S. Mill’s Reception of Tocqueville’, History of Political Thought, Vol. 20, No. 2 (1999), 292-312.
5. ‘John Stuart Mill on Intervention and Non-Intervention’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1 (1997), 57-76.
6. ‘National Character in John Stuart Mill’s Thought’, History of European Ideas, Vol. 24, No. 6 (1998), pp. 375-91.
7. ‘The Public Moralist versus Ethnocentrism: John Stuart Mill’s French Enterprise’, European Review of History, Vol. 3, No. 1 (1996), pp. 27-38.
8. ‘John Stuart Mill on Race’, Utilitas, Vol. 10, No. 1 (1998), pp. 17-32.
9. ‘French radicalism through the eyes of John Stuart Mill’, History of European Ideas, Vol. 30 (2004), pp. 433-61.
10. ‘A Certain Idea of Greece: Perceptions of the Past and European Integration’, Synthesis: Review of Modern Greek Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1 (1997), pp. 32-42.
11. ‘1848 and British Political Thought on “The Principle of Nationality”’, in: Douglas Moggach and Gareth Stedman Jones (eds), The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought (Cambridge: CUP, 2018), pp. 140-161.
12. ‘Uncelebrated Trouble Maker: John Stuart Mill as English Radicalism’s Foreign Politics Gadfly’, in: K. N. Demetriou and A. Loizides (eds), John Stuart Mill: A British Socrates (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 126-53.
13. ‘Mid-Atlantic musings: The “Question of Europe” in British intellectual debates, 1961-2009’, in: Justine Lacroix and Kalypso Nicolaïdis (eds), European Stories: Intellectual Debates on Europe in National Contexts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 147-166.
14. ‘Cosmopolitan patriotism in J. S. Mill’s Political Thought and Activism’, in Nadia Urbinati and Alex Zakaras (eds), J. S. Mill’s Political Thought: A Bicentennial Reassessment (Cambridge: CUP, 2007), pp. 277-297.
15. ‘The international political thought of John Stuart Mill’, in: Ian Hall and Lisa Hill (eds), British International Thinkers from Hobbes to Namier (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp. 117-136.
16. ‘“Great” versus “Small” Nations: Size and “National Greatness” in Victorian Political Thought’, in Duncan Bell (ed.), Victorian Visions of Global Order: Empire and International Relations in Nineteenth-Century Political Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 136-158.
17. ‘Empire, race, Euro-centrism: John Stuart Mill and his critics’, in: B. Schultz and G. Varouxakis (eds), Utilitarianism and Empire (Lanham, ML: Lexington Books), 2005, pp. 137-54.
18. ‘The Idea of “Europe” in Nineteenth-Century Greek Political Thought’, in: Philip Carabott (ed.), Greece and Europe: Aspects of a Troubled Relationship (London: Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London, 1995), 16-37.
19. ‘Is the Forgetting of history a prerequisite for the emergence of a European “imagined community”?’, in: B. Axford, D. Berghahn and N. Hewlett (eds), Unity and Diversity in the New Europe (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2000), pp. 27-39.
20. ‘Milestones of Western Political Thought on Democracy’, in: Knud Erik Jørgensen (ed.), European Democracy: Foundations, Milestones, Future Perspectives (Copenhagen: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2009), pp. 33-47.
21. ‘Introduction’ (co-authored), in: B. Schultz and G. Varouxakis (eds), Utilitarianism and Empire (Lanham, ML: Lexington Books, 2005), pp. 1-32.
22. ‘Introduction: John Stuart Mill – A Timely Reappraisal’ (co-authored), in: G. Varouxakis and Paul Kelly (eds), John Stuart Mill: Thought and Influence – The Saint of Rationalism (London and New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 1-18.
23. ‘“Φαντασιακές Κοινὀτητες και Μεγάλη Ιδέα: Μια Συμβολή του Ν. Γ. Πολίτη’ [in Greek: ‘“Imagines Communities” and the Great Idea: A Contribution by N. G. Polités’], Μνήμων, Vol. 13 (1991), pp. 197-213.
24. ‘Ωφελιμισμός και διεθνείς σχέσεις: Η περί διεθνών σχέσεων ηθική των κλασικών ωφελιμιστών’ [in Greek: ‘Utilitarianism and international relations: the international ethics of classical utilitarians’], Υπόμνημα στη Φιλοσοφία, Vol. 3 (2005), pp. 199-216.
25. ‘Liberalism, democracy, and their challenges in nineteenth-century political thought’, in: Gregory Claeys (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Nineteenth-Century Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019, forthcoming).
26. ‘Mill on democracy revisited’, in: Christopher Macleod and Dale E. Miller (eds), A Companion to Mill (Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2017), pp. 454-471.
27. ‘Cosmopolitanism and Internationalism in Modern British Political Thought: Continuities and Discontinuities’, in: Dina Gusejnova (ed.), Cosmopolitanism in Conflict: Imperial Encounters from the Seven Years’ War to the Cold War (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), pp. 147-178.

Shorter articles and encyclopaedia entries

o Eight articles-entries in: Gregory Claeys (ed.), Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Thought (London and New York: Routledge), 2005:
o ‘Walter Bagehot’, pp. 28-31.
o ‘Rabindranath Tagore’, pp. 465-6.
o ‘Jules Michelet’, p. 333.
o ‘Louis Adolphe Thiers’, pp. 484-5.
o ‘Victor Hugo’, pp. 202-203.
o ‘Pierre Paul Royer-Collard’, p. 410.
o ‘Félicité de Lamennais’, pp. 269-70
o ‘Ernest Renan’, pp. 399-401.
o Five articles-entries in: A. S. Leoussi (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Nationalism (New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers, 2001):
o ‘Patriotism’, pp. 239-42.
o ‘The “Imagined Communities” Theory of Nationalism’ (co-authored), pp.136-9.
o ‘Mill’s Theory of Nationality and Nationalism’, pp. 178-82.
o ‘Citizenship and Nationality’ (co-authored), pp. 21-5
o ‘Nationality’, pp. 232-4.
o ‘Benjamin Constant’, in: Gregory Claeys (ed.), Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought (CQ Press, 2013), Vol. I, pp. 185-186.
o ‘Blanc, Louis’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed. by Lawrence Goldman et al., Oxford University Press, 2005 [on line edition].
o ‘É Échō tés “Massaliōtidas sté Valkaniké’ [in Greek: ‘The Echo of the “Marseillaise” in the Balkans’, Histōr, Vol. 6 (1993), pp. 155-160.
o ‘The discreet charm of “Southernness”’, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, Vol. 17, No. 5 (2012) [Special Issue: Nationality before liberty? Risorgimento Political Thought in Transnational Context], pp. 547-550.
o ‘How cosmopolitan can patriotism be?’, The ASEN Bulletin, No 16 (1999), pp. 3-7.

Editorial Positions

Member of the Editorial Committee of the journal Utilitas (link is external) (Cambridge University Press)


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

  • British or French political thought/intellectual history, 19th or 20th cent.
  • John Stuart Mill’s thought
  • History of international political thought/political thought on international relations.
  • Political thought on empire and imperialism.
  • Political thought on nationalism, patriotism, cosmopolitanism
  • History of historiography

Current PHD Students

  • Giuseppe Grieco – British imperialism and Southern liberalism: the quest for a Mediterranean order 1790s-1850s
  • Richard Knight – The case for the South: pro-Confederate arguments in Britain during the American Civil War