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Dr James Muldoon

Lecturer (Cornwall)

I work in the fields of political theory and the history of political thought. I focus on the history of socialism and 19th and 20th century European political thought. My next book, Building Power to Change the World: The Political Thought of the German Council Movements, will be published with Oxford University Press in 2021.

I offer courses on political theory and a variety of skills for social change such as political communication, public narrative, situation analysis and project planning. I am interested in how people can be empowered through greater skills and knowledge to act collectively and strengthen their communities.

I also create political theory videos on YouTube at the Political Philosophy channel.

Latest Books:

The German Revolution and Political Theory

Council Democracy: Towards a Democratic Socialist Politics


Research interests

My research examines political campaigning, social movements and political parties. My main body of research has examined a democratic socialist tradition in the European Labour movement. This has included a study of workers’ councils and the political thought of figures such as Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Kautsky, Anton Pannekoek, Karl Korsch and Richard Müller.


I have also analysed the rise of populism and the transformation of political dynamics in European democratic states due to the electoral success of the far right. I am interested in the role of social movements and political parties in articulating demands and struggling for transformative political programs.


I have also worked on synthesising the traditions of community organising and methodologies from the NGO sector for practical training purposes. My current work focuses on the British Labour Party, Momentum and the relationship between social movements and political parties.


In political philosophy, I have worked on German Idealism, in particular G. W. F. Hegel and Immanuel Kant; French post-structuralists such as Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, and Italian post-Marxists such as Maurizio Lazzarato and Antonio Negri. I am also interested in Hannah Arendt, Jacques Rancière and Karl Marx.


Research supervision

I am able to supervise research students in political theory and on topics related to democracy, populism, social movements and political parties. 

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