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Dr James Wolfreys

Reader in French and European Politics




Having studied English and French at Liverpool University and Paris 8 University, Jim completed a PhD in Liverpool on the resurgence of the far right in France: 'The Emperor's New Clothes: Fascism and the Front National'. He joined King's in 1994, where he helped to establish the BA and MA in European Studies and the department of European and International Studies. His first book, The Politics of Racism in France (with Peter Fysh) won the American Sociological Association Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award for Anti-Racist Scholarship. He has remained active in anti-racist politics and trade unionism throughout his career, representing colleagues as President of the UCU branch at King's for 14 years. His teaching and research reflects this wider social engagement. 

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • French History and Politics
  • Fascism
  • Racism
  • Islamophobia
  • Social Movements
  • Globalisation
  • Neoliberalism

Jim has worked extensively on the history of the French far right and the radicalisation of mainstream politics along racist lines, focusing on the development of an Islamophobic political culture in contemporary France. He has also written about political corruption, social movements and the radical left and the historiography of the French revolution. He has supervised around a dozen PhD students, working on subjects ranging from racism and the contemporary far right to neoliberal economics, the politics of policing and counter-cultural and 'altermondialiste' movements.


  • Nineteenth and twentieth-century French history
  • Contemporary French politics
  • Globalisation and social movements
  • Translation

Expertise and public engagement

Jim has contributed to a range of publications beyond academia, including The Guardian, Jacobin and Prospect. His media appearances include Channel Four News, Sky News, Radio Four, Europe 1, France Culture, France Inter, National Public Radio and Al-Jazeera.

Selected publications

Islamophobia in France: special issue of Modern and Contemporary France, May 2023. Guest editor (with Nadia Kiwan) and contributor. Other contributors: Nadia Kiwan, Fatima Khemilat, Ibrahim Bechrouri, Fraser McQueen, Olivier Esteves, Malika Hamidi and Nacira Guénif-Souilamas

Republic of Islamophobia: The Rise of Respectable Racism in France, London/New York: Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2018

History and Revolution: Refuting Revisionism, London/New York: Verso, 2007. Editor (with Mike Haynes) and contributor. Other contributors: Daniel Bensaïd, Geoff Eley, Marc Ferro, Florence Gauthier, Geoff Kennedy, Lars T. Lih and Enzo Traverso

The Politics of Racism in France (with Peter Fysh), revised and updated edition, Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.