School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Nick Hostettler, BSc (SOAS), MSc (SOAS), PhD (SOAS)


Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

Telephone: 020 7882 2985
Room Number: Arts One, 2.35
Office Hours: Mondays 2.30-3.30pm & Friday 1-2pm


Before becoming a mature student at the age of 30, Nick spent ten years working as a furniture porter and being active in the Labour and Trade Union movement. During this time he organised election and recruitment campaigns, became a full time shop steward at Harrods and served on the National Executive of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers. It was after this that he went to the Department of Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where he completed his BA, MSc and PhD.

While an undergraduate, Nick’s reading of Edward Said’s classic Orientalism, confirmed his deep concern with the intellectual and political problems of Eurocentrism in modern thought and society. He set about trying to better understand Eurocentric Modernity with the help of a wide range of theoretical resources, including those provided by the Marxian tradition and Critical Realist philosophy and dialectics. An ongoing project, this gave a strong sense of purpose to his continuing studies and led on to his book: Eurocentrism.

Nick has a varied teaching career of over 20 years. He began teaching at the City Literary Institute where he taught adult education classes on European and African modern history. He also taught classical sociology and psychoanalysis to access students. His first university teaching was at SOAS, where he lectured on the Politics of Development and Critical Theories of Modernity. At Queen Mary Nick has been running the International Relations and Politics courses for students on the International Foundation Programmes. He has also been lecturing on Political Theory and International Relations. He has now taken on a leading role in developing support and training for Post-Graduate Teaching Assistants.

Undergraduate Teaching

POL100 Introduction to Politics

POL105 Political Analysis

IFP3807/IFP3907 International Relations and Politics


Research Interests:

Nick’s work is a contribution to political and theoretical debates over the nature of Modernity. It has primarily been an investigation of the deep structures of modern, Western, traditions and of how they are built around the contradictions of their illicit universalism and related processes of universalisation. It also shows how the Marxian tradition is predominantly anti-Eurocentric. While acknowledging that the contradictions of Modernity also run through it, this tradition is nevertheless the locus of one, if not the, most significant critiques of the contradictory structures of Eurocentric Modernity. Nick’s recent work includes drawing on Marcuse’s account of human nature for a paper on Eurocentrism and Alienation.



Eurocentrism: A Marxian and Critical Realist Critique, Routledge, June 2012. (Awarded International Association of Critical Realism Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize in 2013.)

Articles and discussion pieces

Response to Heikki Patomaki’s ‘After Critical Realism’. Journal for Critical Realism. 2009.

‘Recovering Modernity’s Past and Outside: Rajani Kanth’s Against Eurocentrism’, Journal of Critical Realism, Vol. 5, No. 2, Summer 2006.

'Form and Substance in Capital: Theses on the relation between Capital and Dialectic', Journal for Critical Realism, 1:2, May 2003.

'Odyssey of a Beautiful Soul’, Review of Roy Bhaskar, From East to West: odyssey of a soul, London, Routledge, 2000. In Alethia 3.2 November 2000: 2-8 (Now Journal for Critical Realism). With Prof. Alan Norrie.

'Did Ludwig Wittgenstein really understand Roy Bhaskar?'. Review of Nigel Pleasants, Wittgenstein and the Idea of a Critical Social Theory: A Critique of Giddens, Habermas and Bhaskar, Routledge, London, 1999. In Alethia 3.1 (Now Journal for Critical Realism) (April 2000): 22-28.

Book Review

Ato Quayson, Postcolonialism, Polity, Cambridge, 2000. Africa. Vol: 72. No. 3, 2002.

Book Chapters

Foreword to The Challenge of Eurocentrism, Edited by Rajani Kanth, Palgrave, 2009.

‘Dialectics of realist theory and the Eurocentric problematic of the discourse of modernity’. In Realism, Discourse and Deconstruction, J. Joseph (ed.), London, Routledge, 2003.

“Are Critical Realist Ethics Foundationalist?”,  In Realism: The Difference it Makes, J. Cruickshank (ed.), London, Routledge, 2003: 30-53.

Dictionary Entry

‘Sociology of knowledge’, Encyclopaedia of Critical Realism, Routledge, London, 2006.

Public Engagement

Nick is on the Editorial Board of the Journal for Critical Realism.