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Russell Foster has a background in multiple disciplines which informs his approach to European and International Studies. From 2003-2006 he read History at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, specialising in imperial and Modern European political history. From 2008-2010 he took MA degrees in International Politics and Human Geography at Newcastle University, focusing on political theory, geopolitics and the shaping of identity through visual communications. His PhD, funded by the ESRC, approached the EU as the continuation of a historical theory of empire; an empire which is expressed through the EU’s cartography and iconography. During the PhD he was the first ESRC Visiting Scholar at the College of Liberal Arts, Virginia Tech, USA. His doctorate was awarded summa cum laude in 2013 and subsequently published as Mapping European Empire: Tabulae Imperii Europaie (London: Routledge 2015). From 2015-2016 Russell was Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Fellow in the Department of European Studies, University of Amsterdam. He commenced at KCL as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in May 2016.


  • European identity
  • Political theory
  • New nationalisms in Europe
  • The politics of the far-right
  • Brexit

Russell’s research focuses on different forms of pan-European identity, and how European identities clash or co-exist with existing and emerging identities based on nation, race, religion, and class. Russell also researches how European identities are formed through textual, visual, and material cultures in the elite and everyday realms, and how reforming the EU’s symbols can help narrow the gulf between European leaders and European citizens. His research also investigates the EU in the international system, the EU as empire, and the relationship between the EU and sovereignty.

Russell is currently researching the growth of Identitarianism, the far right, and the relationship between ‘Europeanness’ and white nationalism. 


  1. Foster and J. Grzymski (eds.) (2019) ‘The Limits of EUrope’, special edition ofGlobal Discourse(19:1).
  • R. Foster (2018) ‘These Are Those That Faustus Most Desires: Identity, Iconography and ‘Europe’ in the Crimea Crisis’, Journal of Contemporary European Research 14 (4): 253-272.
  • R. Foster, N. Megoran, M. Dunn (2017) 'Towards a Geopolitics of Atheism: Critical geopolitics post the War on Terror'. Political Geography (60:2), 179-189.
  • R. Foster (2017) 'The Concept of Empire', in W. Outhwaite and S. Turner (eds.) Sage Handbook of Political Sociology.
  • R. Foster (2015) Mapping the European Empire: Tabulae Imperii Europaei. London: Routledge.
  • R. Foster, M. Edward and M. Johnson (eds.) (2014) The Crisis of the Twenty-First Century: Empire in the Age of Austerity. Abingdon: Taylor and Francis.
  • R. Foster (2013) ‘Tabula Imperii Europae: A Cartographic Approach to the Current Debate on the European Union as Empire’, Geopolitics (18:2), 371-402.


Russell has taught a wide spectrum of modules and courses in political theory, European studies, human geography, political sociology, and political history. He is available to supervise BA, MA, and PhD dissertations on themes linked to his research interests. Russell is currently module convener for: 

Expertise and Public Engagement

Russell is available for media appearances and analysis on identities, nationalism, and contemporary political issues in the United Kingdom, European Union, and United States. He has experience working with civil society groups and has offered regular analysis of the European crisis for international newspapers, radio, and television, including BBC, CNN, Sky News, MSNBC, the Financial Times, France24, and RT. Russell is currently co-convener of the Carlton House Network, co-curator of the Brexit section of E-International Relationsand co-convener of the Political Studies Association’s “Art and Politics” research group. Russell’s website, with publications, media appearances, and contact information, can be found here.

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