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Academic Staff

Dr Russell Foster

Foster_RussellLeverhulme Early Career Fellow

Address Department of European & International Studies
King's College London
Room 4.12 Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway 
London WC2B 6LE





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; a discourse which is manifest in the EU’s cartography and iconography. During the PhD he was ESRC Visiting Scholar at Virginia Tech, USA. The 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 Sklodowska-Curie International Fellow in the Department of European Studies, University of Amsterdam and he commenced at KCL as a Leverhulme Fellow in May 2016.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • European identity
  • Political theory
  • Sovereignty in Europe
  • New nationalisms in Europe

Dr Foster’s research focuses on whether and how a European identity exists, and how European identities clash or co-exist with existing and new identities based on nation, race, and class. His research investigates how the clash between sub-national, national, and meta-national identities in Europe shapes policy decisions. He is particularly interested in the recent rise of Euroscepticism and populism in European nations, and how imaginations of Europe influence voting behaviour and responses to European policies.

Dr Foster is currently researching how European identity is mediated through textual, visual, and material cultures in the elite and everyday realms, and how reforming the EU’s symbols and cultural policies can help narrow the gulf between European leaders and European citizens.

Dr Foster has a broader interest in the EU in the international system, the EU as empire, and the relationship between the EU and sovereignty. 

Selected Publications
  • 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.

Dr Foster 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 dissertations on themes linked to his research interests. Russell is currently module convener for: 


Russell is available for media appearances and analysis on identities, nationalism, and crisis in the European Union. He has experience working with civil society groups and has offered regular analysis of the European crisis for international newspapers and television, including Sky News and CNN. Russell is currently co-curator of the Brexit section of E-International Relations ( and 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 at: (

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