Modern European History

Research theme

Cambridge has a long and vibrant tradition of researching European History. Our research spans the breadth and depth of Europe from the 18th century to the 21st, from the Caucasus to the Atlantic, from the Mediterranean to the North Sea, and beyond. Our interests are diverse, but all of us share a commitment to looking at the history of Europe beyond national boundaries. In recent years, our research has continued to address essential longstanding issues in the lives of Europeans while also expanding to understanding Europe's contested position within the wider world.  

Our work in this area

Our research covers a variety of geographical areas, with particular strengths in the history of Germany, France, Russia, central Europe and the Mediterranean. We are brought together by common thematic interests, which include revolutionary moments from 1848 to 1968, ideas and intellectual history, work and inequality, media and temporality, gender and activism, migration and internationalism, popular culture, contemporary history since the 1970s, and the impact of colonialism on European societies. 

Research Culture

This combination of deep local specialism with transversal interests is reflected in our research culture. The Modern European History research seminar, and the graduate-run Workshop, provide a central platform to provide conversations across specialisms, hear ongoing research by faculty and research students, and bring in outside speakers to hear of the latest new approaches. Cambridge is also host to a rich variety of specialised seminars, like the DAAD-funded reading group in German history, the seminar in 19th century French studies, the 18th century seminar, or the interdisciplinary Italian Research Network, sometimes run by colleagues in the Modern Languages faculty with whom we have strong contacts. 

We have strong partnerships with other universities across Europe. In particular, we have a collaborative PhD Seminar on the Contemporary History of Global Europe, run with Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, and we have regular exchanges of doctoral students with Sciences-Po Paris.  

We are at the forefront of academic research through a number of award-winning monographs, our involvement in several leading journals and our regular hosting of international conferences in Cambridge. Our research also engages with the wider public both in Britain and in several other European countries through widely-read books, media and public culture projects, and our involvement in public policy.

Research Area Contacts

Convenor: Professor Chris Clark

Graduate Comms Officer: Helena Stolnik Trenkić

Research projects


"Global Histories of the Portuguese Revolution", in collaboration with Universidade de Coimbra and Universidade  Nova de Lisboa - Dr Pedro Ramos Pinto

"The Rise and Fall of Liberal Internationalism", in collaboration with Cambridge DAAD hub (2021 - 2024) - Dr Celia Donert with Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann and Michal Kopeček

"SPAZId’TALIA. Material and immaterial spatiality of the Italian national construction from the Cisalpine Republic to the end of Fascism", in collaboration with the École française de Rome (Jan 2022 - Dec 2026) - Dr Fernanda Gallo
"From Race to RumourPro Futura Scientia Fellowship, funded by the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies (2021-2024) - Dr Arthur Asseraf
'Mesure du temps, chimie et cuisine: formalisation des pratiques au XVIIe et au XVIIIe siècle', in collaboration with Université de Neuchâtel - Dr Emma Spary
CALM – Cambridge-LMU PhD Training Collaboration in the Contemporary History of Global Europe, led by Pedro Ramos Pinto, Cambridge and Kiran Klaus Patel, LMU. Details here:
Mediterranean History Research Cluster - coordinated by Dr Fernanda Gallo
“National historical documentation centre on left wing terrorism”, in collaboration with the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education), Germany  - Dr Hanno Balz
"Poder y Representaciones Culturales en la Época Moderna (PyRCEM)", in collaboration with the University of Barcelona - Dr Melissa Calaresu. Details here:



Regius Professor Sir Christopher Clark received the Honorary Prize of the Bavarian Minister-President, in the context of the Bavarian Book Prize. The official statement explaining the award reads as follows:

"Sir Christopher Clark schreibt als exzellenter Historiker brillant und äußerst fundiert, insbesondere auch über die deutsche Geschichte. Es gelingt ihm in bemerkenswerter Weise, zahlreiche historische Details in Beziehung zu den großen Linien unserer Zeit zu setzen, so etwa in seinem jüngsten Werk ›Gefangene der Zeit: Geschichte und Zeitlichkeit von Nebukadnezar bis Donald Trump‹. Sir Christopher Clark erzählt Geschichte höchst anschaulich und lebhaft, als Leser klebt man geradezu an seinen Büchern. Darüber hinaus bringt er einem breiten TV-Publikum die Bedeutung geschichtlicher Ereignisse mit Bezug auf unsere Gegenwart auf äußerst unterhaltsame Weise näher". Ministerpräsident Dr. Markus Söder