Professor Michael Sutton

Professor Michael Sutton

Emeritus Professor of Modern
History and International Relations

Much of Michael Sutton’s early career was spent as an international economist in Brussels and London. He enjoyed a long association with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), part of The Economist newspaper group, specializing mainly in France.  Prior to coming to Aston in 1995, he taught for four years at Boston University’s London Graduate Centre, where he was adjunct professor in international relations; he was also visiting professor in international relations at the Maria-Curie Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland. His academic interests lie in two distinct broad fields: international relations within Europe and the history of political and religious thought. At Aston he became Head of Politics and International Relations in 2002, a position from which he stepped down in 2009. The title of professor emeritus was conferred upon him in the same year. Since 2009 he has been guest professor at Sciences Po Lille  and he has returned to teach anew in Lublin. In France he is a member of the Conseil de Direction of the Association Internationale Cardinal Henri de Lubac. 

Qualifications & Education

  • BA Political Economy with Politics and Modern History (UCD / National University of Ireland)
  • MSc (Econ) History of Political Thought (LSE / University of London)
  • PhD (LSE / University of London) 

Research Interests 

In the history of political and religious thought, Michael Sutton’s focus has been primarily on nineteenth and twentieth-century France. He is the author of Nationalism, Positivism and Catholicism: The Politics of Charles Maurras and French Catholics, 1890-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 1982; reissued in paperback, 2002). Published in the series Cambridge Studies in the History and Theory of Politics, it was translated into French as Charles Maurras et les catholiques français (1890-1914): Nationalisme et positivisme (Beauchesne, 1994). He has written extensively on the political and social thought of the French philosopher, Maurice Blondel, including a historical introduction to the re-edition of Blondel’s La Semaine sociale de Bordeaux (Editions Lessius, 2000). He is currently engaged in research relating to the life and thought of Gaston Fessard (1897-1978).

In the area of European international relations, he has had longstanding interests in the political economy and the geopolitics of post-war European integration. In his research as well as his teaching, he has focused on the durability of the nation-state and the continuing play of national interest. His France and the Construction of Europe, 1944-2007: The Geopolitical Imperative. (Berghahn, 2007; reissued in paperback in 2011) was the fruit of both academic research and more journalistic endeavour.

Recent Publications  

  • 'Nation and Nationalism' and 'Twentieth-Century French Catholic Thought', in Michael Moriarty and Jeremy Jennings (eds), The Cambridge History of French Thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019

  • 'Jews and Christians in Vichy France: new and renewed perspectives', French Politics, Culture & Society, vol. 35, no. 3, Winter 2017.
  • 'Henri de Lubac: reflections on atheist humanism, joachism and totalitarianism,' Gregorianum, vol. 97, no.1, 2016
  • ‘Présentation’, in Cardinal Henri de Lubac, La postérité spirituelle de Joachim de Flore, vols XXVII and XXVIII, Œuvres complètes, Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 2014
  •  ‘Libéralisme et ultramontanisme en Angleterre: quelques répercussions de la Révolution française: le “Second Printemps” de l’Église catholique romaine’, in Jacques Prévotat and Jean Vavasseur-Desperriers (eds), Les ‘chrétiens modérés’ en France et en Europe (1870-1960), Lille: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2013
  • ‘Political realism and Roman Catholic faith in the construction of Europe: Konrad Adenauer, Robert Schuman and Charles de Gaulle’, in Lucian N. Leustean (ed.), Representing Religion in the European Union: Does God Matter?, London and New York: Routledge, 2013
  • ‘The Cloyne Report and the Taoiseach’s speech: towards “Hibernian Catholicism”?’, Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, vol. 101, no. 403, Autumn 2012  
  • ‘Anthony Hartley et son idée de l’Europe’, Commentaire, vol. 35, no. 139, automne 2012 
  • France and the Construction of Europe, 1944-2007: The Geopolitical Imperative, New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2011 ( paperback edition)
  • 'Jacques Bainville: Profils et réceptions', H-Diplo Review Essay, 24 June 2010
  • ‘Le maurrassisme face aux philosophies bergsonienne et blondélienne’, in Olivier Dard, Michel Leymarie and Neil McWilliam (eds), Le maurrassisme et la culture. L'Action française: culture, société, politique (III), Lille : Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2010 
  • ‘Le maurrassisme de T.S. Eliot et le legs de T. E. Hulme', in Olivier Dard and Michel Grunewald (eds), Charles Maurras et l'étranger: l'étranger et Charles Maurras, Berne : Peter Lang, 2009
  • 'Des opposants à l'Action française: Maurice Blondel, son influence, et le repositionnement de Jacques Maritain', in Michel Leymarie and Jacques Prévotat (eds), L'Action française: culture, société, politique, Lille : Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2008  
  • 'Political theology and international relations: Maurice Blondel and Reinhold Niebuhr', in Jean Leclercq (ed.), La Raison par quatre chemins: en hommage à Claude Troisfontaines, Bibliothèque Philosophique de Louvain, vol. 73, Leuven : Peeters, 2007
  • France and the Construction of Europe, 1944-2007: The Geopolitical Imperative, New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2007
  • ‘La critique du nationalisme de la “Semaine Sociale de Bordeaux” à la “Lutte pour la civilisation et la philosophie de la paix”’, in Marie-Jeanne Coutagne and Pierre de Cointet (eds), Maurice Blondel: dignité du politique et philosophie de l’action, Paris : Parole et Silence, 2006
  • 'Elie Kedourie and Henri de Lubac: Anglo-French musings on the progeny of Joachim of Fiore', in Sylvia Kedourie (ed.), Elie Kedourie's Approaches to History and Political Theory: 'The Thoughts and Actions of Living Men', London and New York:  Routledge, 2006