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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 history and Modern European political history. From 2008-2010 he took MA degrees in International Politics and Human Geography at Newcastle University. His PhD, funded by the ESRC, approached the EU as an 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 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 Russell 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 an AEP Lecturer in British and European Politics in May 2019.


  • European identities
  • Brexit and euroscepticism
  • European integration
  • The far right and new right
  • Nationalism and national identities
  • The EU and Brexit in culture
  • Empire and imperialism

Russell’s research focuses on political and national identities in a rapidly changing, and increasingly toxic, world. Old national identities based on nation-states or ethnicities increasingly compete with new group identities which transcend borders, and which borrow ideas and structures from across the political spectrum to create new ideologies that appeal to new groups of disillusioned, disenchanted people. At the same time, Brexit and rising Euroscepticism have demonstrated that multiple and mutually hostile “European” identities exist, which compete with each other and against old and new national identities. Identitarianism and white transnationalism are examples of new group identities which present new and significant challenges, and which require new understandings of politics in a rapidly polarising world. Russell welcomes PhD applications to study in this field.


  • R. Foster (2019) ‘Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George. Europe and the Limits of Integrating Identity’. Global Discourse (9:1), 67-87.
  • R. Foster and J. Grzymski (eds.) (2019) ‘The Limits of EUrope’, special edition of Global 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 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 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 currently module convener for: 

Expertise and Public Engagement

Russell is regular analyst for international newspapers, radio, and television, including BBC, CNN, Sky News, MSNBC, the Financial Times, and the Economist. Russell is currently co-convener of the Carlton House Network.

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