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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)



Christopher Bickerton is University Lecturer in politics at POLIS and an Official Fellow at Queens’ College, Cambridge. He obtained his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2008 and since then has held teaching positions at Oxford, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Sciences Po in Paris. He has published numerous books and articles that span a number of different fields within social and political science. These include two research monographs, European Union Foreign Policy: From Effectiveness to Functionality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011; paperback in 2015) and European Integration: From Nation-States to Member States (Oxford University Press, 2012). His 2012 book on state transformation was awarded the Best Book prize by the University Association of Contemporary European Studies. His articles have been published in the Journal of Common Market Studies (JCMS), Political Studies, International Politics and the Revue Française de Science Politique. In 2011, he co-edited a special issue in JCMS on the EU’s security and defence policy (with Bastien Irondelle and Anand Menon). In 2016, he published the best-selling The European Union: A Citizen’s Guide with Penguin, which was submitted for the Baillie-Gifford prize, the UK’s leading non-fiction literary prize. He is currently under contract with Oxford University Press for a third research monograph, on the topic of populism, technocracy and the crisis of party democracy (co-authored with Carlo Invernizzi Accetti) which will be published in 2018. Beyond academic publishing, he has written articles for the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, New York Times, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The Big Issue and is regularly interviewed for national and international radio.


His research interests span the disciplines of international relations, comparative politics and European studies. The focus of his research is a comparative study of state-society relations, looking in particular at dynamics of state transformation in Europe, the relationship between regional integration and the transformation of national political and party systems, and the challenges presented to representative democracy by growing disenchantment with democracy in advanced industrialised societies. He is currently working on two collaborative projects. One investigates, theoretically and empirically, the relationship between populism and technocracy in contemporary political life. A second is on the nature of post-Maastricht European integration and its implications for our understanding of states, institutions and interests in the process of European integration. A longer term project, currently in the planning stage, is on the theme of political mediation and looks historically and conceptually at the changing practices and meanings of political mediation in modern political life.


Key publications: 

(2016) The European Union: A Citizen’s Guide (Penguin)

(2015) (co-edited with Dermot Hodson and Uwe Puetter) The New Intergovernmentalism: States and Supranational Actors in the Post-Maastricht Era (Oxford University Press)

(2012) European Integration: From Nation-States to Member States (Oxford University Press)

(2011) European Union Foreign Policy: From Effectiveness to Functionality (Palgrave-Macmillan)

(2007) (co-edited with Philip Cunliffe and Alex Gourevitch) Politics Without Sovereignty: A Critique of Contemporary International Relations (UCL Press)


(2015) ‘The New Intergovernmentalism: European Integration in the Post-Maastricht Era’, co-authored with D. Hodson and U. Puetter, Journal of Common Market Studies, 53:4, pp703-22

(2014) ‘Democracy Without Parties? Italy After Berlusconi’, co-authored with C. Invernizzi Accetti, The Political Quarterly, 85:1, pp23-28

(2011) ‘Towards a social theory of European foreign and security policy’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 49:1, pp170-190

(2011) ‘Security Beyond the Nation-State: The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy’, co-authored with B. Irondelle and A. Menon, Journal of Common Market Studies, 49:1, pp1-21

(2011) ‘Europe’s neo-Madisonians: rethinking the legitimacy of limited power in a multi-level polity’ Political Studies, 59:3

(2010) ‘Une Europe néo-madisonienne? Pouvoir limité et légitimité démocratique’, Revue Française de Science Politique, 60:6, pp1077-1090

(2010) ‘Functionality in EU foreign policy: towards a new research agenda?’ Journal of European Integration 32:2, pp213-228.

(2009) ‘From Brezhnev to Brussels: Transformations of Sovereignty in Eastern Europe’ International Politics 46, pp732-52 [ISI ranking 2011: International Relations 57/80; Political Science: 97/148; 2011 Impact Factor: 0.413]

(2007) ‘The Perils of Performance: Legitimization in EU Foreign Policy’ Perspectives: The Central European Review of International Affairs 28 pp24-42

Other publications: 

‘Neither Left Nor Right in France’, with Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, Foreign Affairs, 18 February 2016


‘Britain’s non-debate on Europe’, Wall Street Journal, 14September, 2015


‘How Britain fell out of love with Europe’, Wall Street Journal, 23July, 2015


‘The real sins of Varoufakis’, Le Monde Diplomatique, 9 July 2015


‘It won’t be an accident if Britain leaves the EU’, Wall Street Journal, 10 June, 2015


‘European democracy cannot be a clubby world of familiar faces’, with Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, Financial Times, 6 January 2015


‘The ironies of European democracy’, with Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, Le Monde Diplomatique, 5 June, 2014,


‘In search of the new Berlusconi’, with Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, Al Jazeera, 27 December 2013,


‘The meaning of Merkel’s victory, Le Monde Diplomatique, October 2013, (with accompanying podcast)


‘Austerity and its critics’, Le Monde Diplomatique, July 2013,


‘Italy: populism versus technocracy?’, with Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, Le Monde Diplomatique, March 2013,


‘Dutch Culture Wars’, New York Times, 23-24 October, 2010


Reader in Modern European Politics
University Teaching Officer
Queens' College
Office hours: Tuesdays 11.00-12.00pm
Dr Christopher  Bickerton

Contact Details
01223 767254 (POLIS) / 335558 (College)