Skip to main content
School of History

Professor Georgios Varouxakis


Professor of the History of Political Thought

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 7476
Room Number: ArtsTwo 2.05


I grew up and went to school in Crete. I studied History in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, and then completed an MA in Legal and Political Theory offered by the Department of History, 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, comparative and transnational history and mutual perceptions (particularly Franco-British and Franco-German). I have also focused on political thought on nationalism and cosmopolitanism, empire, international political thought, and on the intellectual history of ideas of “Europe” and “the West”, as well as of attitudes towards the EEC/EU. My books include Liberty Abroad: J.S. Mill on International Relations (Cambridge University Press – “Ideas in Context” series, 2013)Victorian Political Thought on France and the French (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), Mill on Nationality (Routledge, 2002), and Contemporary France: An Introduction to French Politics and Society (Arnold, 2003, co-authored with David Howarth)I am currently completing the monograph "Occident: History of the Idea of the West", to be published by Princeton University Press. I am the Co-Director of the QMUL Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought. 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, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.


Research Interests:

My research interests include:

• History of nationalism and political thought on nationalism, internationalism, patriotism, and cosmopolitanism

• Intellectual history of ideas of ‘the West’ • Transcultural intellectual history, 19th-20th centuries

• Political thought on empire and imperialism

• Intellectual history of ideas of ‘Europe’ (C.18th-21st) and attitudes towards the EEC/EU

• History of international political thought/political thought on international relations

• The political and international thought of thinkers including Germaine de Staël, Joseph de Maistre, Henri de Saint-Simon, Auguste Comte, Alexis de Tocqueville, François Guizot, Francis Lieber, John Stuart Mill, Walter Bagehot, Matthew Arnold, Ernest Renan, Arthur de Gobineau, Rabindranath Tagore, Jane Nardal, Henri Massis, René Guénon [Abd al-Wāḥid Yaḥyá], Simone Weil, Albert Camus, Walter Lippmann, W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, Raymond Aron, Cornelius Castoriadis.

Recent research funding:

• Senior Research Fellowship at Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (1st October 2017 – 31st July 2018). Title of project: “The West: The History of an Idea”

• Senior Research Fellow at Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (second Fellowship, 1st October 2020 – 31st July 2021). Title of project: “The West: The History of an Idea”.



Single-authored monographs

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).

Co-authored books

1. Contemporary France: An Introduction to French Politics and Society, co-authored with David Howarth (London: Arnold, 2003)
2. Αλληλεγγύη: δοκιμές [(in Greek): Solidarity: trials], co-authored with Gregoris Molivas (Athens: Nisos, 2016)

Co-edited books

1. Utilitarianism and Empire, co-edited with Bart Schultz (Lanham, ML: Lexington Books, 2005)
2. John Stuart Mill: Thought and Influence – The saint of rationalism, co-edited with Paul Kelly (London and New York: Routledge, 2010)
3. Happiness and Utility: Essays Presented to Frederick Rosen, edited by Georgios Varouxakis and Mark Philp (London: UCL Press, 2019). 

Guest-edited Journal Special Issue

1. Patriotism and Nationhood in Nineteenth-Century European Political Thought, Special Issue (guest-edited by Georgios Varouxakis) of the European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 5, No. 1 (2006). ‘Introduction: Patriotism and Nationhood in 19th-Century European Political Thought’, pp. 7-11, written by Georgios Varouxakis.

Articles (selection):

  • When did Britain join the Occident? On the origins of the idea of “the West” in English’, History of European Ideas, Vol. 46, No. 5 (2020), pp. 563-581.
  • ‘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:
  • ‘“Negrophilist” Crusader: John Stuart Mill on the American Civil War and Reconstruction’, History of European Ideas, Vol. 39, No. 5 (2013), 729-754.
  • ‘“Patriotism”, “Cosmopolitanism” and “Humanity” in Victorian Political Thought’, European Journal of Political Theory, 5/1 (2006), 100-118.
  • 'Guizot’s Historical Works and J. S. Mill’s Reception of Tocqueville’, History of Political Thought, Vol. 20, No. 2 (1999), 292-312.
  • John Stuart Mill on Intervention and Non-Intervention’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1 (1997), 57-76.
  • National Character in John Stuart Mill’s Thought’, History of European Ideas, Vol. 24, No. 6 (1998), pp. 375-91.
  • The Public Moralist versus Ethnocentrism: John Stuart Mill’s French Enterprise’, European Review of History, Vol. 3, No. 1 (1996), pp. 27-38.
  • John Stuart Mill on Race’, Utilitas, Vol. 10, No. 1 (1998), pp. 17-32.
  • French radicalism through the eyes of John Stuart Mill’, History of European Ideas, Vol. 30 (2004), pp. 433-61.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘Mid-Atlantic Musings: The “Question of Europe” in British Intellectual Debates, 1961-2008’, in: Justine Lacroix and Kalypso Nicolaïdis (eds), European Stories: Intellectual Debates on Europe in National Contexts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 147-166.
  • ‘“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.
  • ‘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), pp. 16-37.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘“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.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘Introduction’ (co-authored), in: B. Schultz and G. Varouxakis (eds), Utilitarianism and Empire (Lanham, ML: Lexington Books, 2005), pp. 1-32.
  • ‘Introduction: John Stuart Mill – A Timely Reappraisal’ (co-authored), in: Georgios Varouxakis and Paul Kelly (eds), John Stuart Mill: Thought and Influence – The Saint of Rationalism (London and New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 1-18.
  • ‘State and Individual in Political Thought’, in: Gregory Claeys (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Nineteenth-Century Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 8-30.
  • ‘Mill on democracy revisited’, in: Christopher Macleod and Dale E. Miller (eds), A Companion to Mill (Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2017), pp. 454-471.
  • ‘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.
  • 'Introduction: Happiness, Utility and the Republic of Letters’, co-authored with Mark Philp, in: Happiness and Utility: Essays Presented to Frederick Rosen, (London: UCL Press, 2019), pp. 1-19.

Shorter articles and encyclopaedia entries

• ‘Blanc, (Jean Joseph) Louis’, in: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2005.
• 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.
• 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.
• ‘Benjamin Constant’, in: Gregory Claeys (ed.), Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought (CQ Press, 2013), Vol. I, pp. 185-186.
• 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.
• ‘Η Ηχώ της Μασσαλιώτιδας στη Βαλκανική’ [in Greek: ‘The Echo of the “Marseillaise” in the Balkans’] (review article), Histōr, Vol. 6 (1993), pp. 155-160.
• ‘How cosmopolitan can patriotism be?’, The ASEN Bulletin, No 16 (1999), pp. 3-7.


Current PhD supervisees:

• Atlanta Neudorf (‘Temporality and Revolution in Exile: The Political Thought of Félix Pyat, 1849-1871’)

• Thomas Musgrove (‘British and Imperial Perspectives on the Balkans, 1856-1914’)

• Richard Knight (‘The Case for the South: Pro-Confederate Arguments in Britain during the American Civil War’) [co-supervised with Dr Robert Saunders].

Before the above-named current PhD researchers, I have so far supervised five (5) PhD candidates to successful completion.

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

• Intellectual history of ideas of ‘the West’

• Intellectual history of ideas of ‘Europe’ (C.18th-21st) and attitudes towards the EEC/EU

• History of Francophilia and Francophobia

• French and French-speaking, British, American, German-speaking or modern Greek and transnational political thought/intellectual history, C.19th–20th

• Intellectual history of African-American or/and Francophone African or Caribbean attitudes towards ‘Western Civilization’, Afrocentrism, and Pan-Africanism

• History of international political thought/political thought on international relations.

• Political thought on empire and imperialism.

• Political thought on nationalism, internationalism, patriotism, or cosmopolitanism

• History of mutual perceptions or cultural/intellectual transfers between and across cultural, national or linguistic groups, C.19th-20th

• History of historiography

• History or social/cultural anthropology.

Public Engagement

  • Radio or television interviews to programmes such as “The Today Programme” (BBC Radio 4), “Analysis” (BBC World Service), Sky News (Sky TV), Axess TV (Sweden), Seven X (Greece)
  • Interviews to Open Democracy web-network (interview released in three parts [10, 17 and 28 Oct. 2013] on issues of contemporary significance raised by my recently-published book: Liberty Abroad: J.S. Mill on International Relations)
  • Keynote Lecture on Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”, delivered to; “The Academy”, Institute of Ideas, 20 July 2015
  • Panel speaker in public debate: “Is solidarity in Europe fading?”, Freiblickinstitut, Berlin, 1st October 2015
  • Speaker in Keynote Controversy: “Reassessing paternalism: is autonomy a myth?”, Battle of Ideas, The Barbican, London, 17 October 2015
  • Lecture on J. S. Mill’s “On Liberty”, Battle of Ideas, The Barbican, London, 18 October 2015
  • Contributor of book reviews to publications such as Times Literary Supplement [TLS], Standpoint, The Political Quarterly.
Back to top