University of London Institute in Paris

9-11 rue de Constantine
75007 Paris


The University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) are pleased to welcome Professor Georgios Varouxakis, Professor of the History of Political Thought at QMUL, for the first of the ULIP-QMUL Paris Lectures. Professor Varouxakis will be inaugurating this series by addressing the prominent role of the city of Paris in the shaping of the idea of ‘the West’.

The lecture will first offer a brief genealogy of the idea of “the West” as a socio-political idea. The different uses of the term throughout its history will be analyzed and the contexts and reasons for its several metamorphoses will be scrutinized. The differences between the employment of “the West” in English and “l’Occident” in French will be focused on and the impact of French on English uses will be explored. Then the lecture will focus on the most explicit, thorough and systematic elaboration of a concrete idea of “the West” as a self-description (in preference to “Europe” or “Christendom”) and as a political project, in the mid-nineteenth century -- with particular emphasis on the thought of the founder of Positivism and Sociology, Auguste Comte. Finally, the lecture will highlight the prominent role of the city of Paris in that story.


18:00 - Lecture and discussion

19:30 - Drinks reception


Professor Georgios VarouxakisGeorgios Varouxakis is Professor in History of Political Thought at Queen Mary University of London, where he is also Co-director of the Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought. During the academic year 2017-2018 he is Senior Research Fellow at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. His research interests include the history of political thought (British, French and American, 19th-20th centuries), with particular emphasis on political thought on nationalism, patriotism and cosmopolitanism, the intellectual history of ideas of ‘the West’ and of ideas of ‘Europe’, and political thought on international relations, empire and imperialism. His books include Liberty Abroad: J.S. Mill on International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2013), Mill on Nationality (Routledge, 2002), Victorian Political Thought on France and the French (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), and Contemporary France: An Introduction to French Politics and Society (Arnold, 2003, co-authored with David Howarth). He is currently writing a major study on The West: The History of an Idea for Princeton University Press.


In partnership with Queen Mary University of London