Russell has a background in multiple disciplines. From 2003-2006 he read history at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, specialising in modern European political history and imperial history. From 2008-2010 he took MA degrees in international politics and human geography at Newcastle University. Russell’s PhD, funded by the ESRC, modelled the EU as a benevolent empire. During the PhD he was the first ESRC Visiting Scholar to 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 a Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Fellow in the Department of European Studies, University of Amsterdam, researching the relationship between the EU’s symbols and European identity. From 2016-2019 he was a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Department of European and International Studies, King’s College London, researching the relationship between nationalism, European identity, and Brexit. He commenced as a lecturer in British and European Politics in May 2019.
Russell is currently researching cultural and fictional portrayals of Europe in pre- and post-Brexit British pop culture; the legacy of the Empire in contemporary British politics; and the changing relationship between identity and politics in the UK, the EU, and the world.
In 2022 Russell was awarded the first Academic Staff Award as the highest-performing colleague in the Department of European and International Studies.
- European and national identities
- Brexit, Euroscepticism, and Europhilia
- European integration and disintegration
- The EU and Brexit in culture
- The far right and new right
- Empire and imperialism
- Games and gameplay in education
Russell’s research is multidisciplinary, influenced by his background in history, international relations, human geography, political science, and European Studies. PhD and postdoctoral candidates are strongly welcomed.
- Russell Foster (2022) ‘Imperial Gothic 2.0: Brexit, Brex-Lit, and everyday Euroscepticism in British popular culture.’ Journal of Contemporary European Studies.
- Russell Foster and Xander Kirke (2022) “‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’: Radical right attempts to appeal to the British LGBTQ+ community.” British Journal of Politics and International Relations.
- Hartmut Behr and Russell Foster (forthcoming 2023) Studying International Relations: A Companion Guide. Montreal: McGill-Queens' University Press.
- Russell Foster and Matthew Feldman (2021) ‘A Plague on Both Your Houses. Populism v. technocracy in the post-Brexit British New Right’, in Russell Foster, Monika Meislova, and Jan Grzymski (eds.) ‘Revisiting the legitimization of EUropean politics beyond populism and technocracy.’ Journal of Contemporary European Research (2021).
- Russell Foster and Oliver Daddow (2021) ‘The UK, the World, and Europe’, chapter in Bill Jones, Philip Norton, and Isabelle Hertner (eds.) Politics UK. London: Routledge.
- Matthew Johnson and Russell Foster (2020), ‘Which ideas should guide US Foreign Policy? Holding fundamentalist policy paradigms to account’. International Politics [accepted 14 January 2020]. 23pp.
- Russell Foster, Nick Megoran and Matthew Dunn (2017), ‘Towards a Geopolitics of Atheism: Critical geopolitics post the War on Terror’. Political Geography 60, pp.179-189.
Russell has experience teaching modules in politics, 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 module convener for:
Russell is a Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom; convener of the EIS research group Europe's Borderlands; and co-convener of the IHR Rethinking Modern Europe seminar series. He co-convenes the UACES network The Limits of EU-rope and is co-host of the KCL podcast series Breaking Britain. He regularly provides political analysis for international media such as BBC, Sky, CNN, MSNBC, Euronews, The Economist, Financial Times, CBC, France24.