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European Centre @ POLIS

Department of Politics and International Studies


Dr Christopher Bickerton

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 StudiesInternational 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 TimesWall Street JournalThe GuardianNew York TimesForeign PolicyForeign AffairsThe Big Issue and is regularly interviewed for national and international radio.


Research Interests

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.