skip to content

Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

Sabbatical and Research Leave 24-25 (Michaelmas, Lent and Easter Terms)


Professor Julie Smith (Baroness Smith of Newnham) is Professor of European Politics in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at Cambridge University.

A Fellow and Director of Studies in Politics at Robinson College, from 2013 to 2019 she was the Director of the European Centre at POLIS. Since 2016 she has been Co-Director of the MSt in International Relations, the two-year part-time Masters programme co-organised by POLIS and the University’s Institute for Continuing Education.

An expert in European politics, Julie was Head of the European Programme at Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) from 1999 until 2003. She has been a member of the House of Lords since 2014 and was a member of the Lords’ International Relations Committee from its creation in 2016 until 2021. Julie read PPE at Brasenose College, Oxford, and took both her MPhil and DPhil in Politics at St. Antony’s College, Oxford.

She was a Hanseatic Scholar in Hamburg and prior to coming to the Centre of International Studies in Cambridge in 1997, Julie taught in the International Relations and European Studies Department of the Central European University in Budapest.

Julie's main academic interests are in the history and politics of the EU. Her research focuses in particular on the UK's relations with the EU; parliaments and budgetary politics; and democracy in Europe, including referendums, elections to the European Parliament, and the role of the European and national parliaments in the EU.

She has been involved in many collaborative projects on democracy and EU institutions – mostly recently in Reconnect, a Horizon 2020 project focusing on democracy and the rule of law.

She is currently working on the Edward Elgar Advanced Introduction to the European Union (due out in 2022). In addition to her work on the EU, she has written on various aspects of Liberalism, including the official history of the Liberal International (1997) and is currently in discussions about writing a revised version for the 75th anniversary in 2022.

She was the Founding Editor of the Edward Elgar Series on New Horizons in European Politics (2011-17) and now edits a new series for Routledge: Europa EU Perspectives: Reform, Renegotiation, Reshaping.






The History and Politics of the EU; Democracy in Europe; aspects of British Politics


Key publications: 

Recent publications

The Palgrave Handbook of European Referendums, editor and contributor (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)

‘COVID, Brexit and the United Kingdom’, in Special Issue of The Round Table – The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 110, Issue 1, 2021, pp. 62-75

‘Gambling on Europe: David Cameron and the 2016 Referendum’, British Politics, Vol. 13, No. 1, April 2018, pp. 1-16

Co-editor and co-contributor to special section of Parliamentary Affairs on The Role of Parliaments in European Economic Governance after the Crisis (2017) The UK’s Journey’s Into and Out of the EU: Destinations Unknown (London: Routledge, 2017)

‘National Parliaments and the European Union – a View from Westminster’, in Davor Jancic, ed., National Parliaments after the Lisbon Treaty and the Euro Crisis: Resilience or Resignation? (Oxford: OUP, 2017)

‘David Cameron’s EU renegotiation and referendum pledge: a case of déjà vu?’, British Politics, September 2016, Vol. 11, Issue 3, pp. 324-46

The Palgrave Handbook of National Parliaments and the European Union (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2015), co-editor with Claudia Hefftler, Christina Neuhold & Olivier Rozenberg and contributor

‘Europe: The Coalition’s Poisoned Chalice’ in Anthony Seldon and Mike Finn, eds., The Coalition Effect, 2010-15 (Cambridge: CUP, 2015).


Other publications

Co-editor and contributor, Palgrave Handbook of National Parliaments and the European Union (2014)

‘Between ideology and pragmatism: Liberal party politics at the European level’ in Acta Politica Special Issue on Europarties (2014) ‘Between solidarity and separation - the EU in a time of crisis’ in Western Europe 2014 (Routledge: 2013)

Special Issue of International Affairs on Britain and Europe Forty Years on, editor and contributor, including article: Towards a More Comprehensive, Strategic and Cost-effective EU Foreign Policy: The Role of National Parliaments and the European Parliament, with Ariella Huff and Geoffrey Edwards (European Parliament, 2012)

‘Towards consensus? Centre-right parties and immigration policy in the UK and Ireland’, Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 15, No. 3, April 2008, pp. 414-430 In addition, Julie was the founding Series Editor of the New Horizons in European Politics Series for Edward Elgar.

Professor of European Politics
University Teaching Officer
Fellow, Robinson College
Director of Studies Robinson College
Co-Director of the MSt in International Relations
Sabbatical and Research Leave 24-25 (Michaelmas, Lent and Easter Terms)

Contact Details

Email address: