Dr Luke Cooper

Course Leader, BA (Hons) Politics;

Senior Lecturer, International Politics

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Politics and international relations

Courses taught: Politics

Luke is a historical sociologist interested in processes of political and social transformation within and across societies. His research offers new insights into the role of nationalism and national identity in social change and explores the possibilities for a politics 'beyond the nation state'.

Twitter: @lukecooper100



Prior to joining Anglia Ruskin in the summer of 2015, Luke worked in the department of History, Politics and International Relations at Richmond University in London. He previously taught on International Relations courses at the University of Sussex. Luke has presented his research widely at national and international conferences, including the International Studies Association (ISA), the British International Studies Association (BISA), International Political Science Association (IPSA) and the British Sociological Association (BSA). He is currently undertaking research on the role of political identity in the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

Luke is a board member of the campaign group Another Europe Is Possible and has extensive contacts with civil society and political practioners in the global justice movement. He has recently won an Independent Social Research Foundation grant to explore tangible alternatives to TTIP and the corporate investment consensus in regional and international institutions.

Research interests

  • Nationalism and national identity
  • Protest and social movements 
  • Non-eurocentric international history/theory
  • Politics 'beyond the nation state'
  • Marxism and uneven and combined development
  • Globalisation and its critics

Areas of research supervision

  • International theory
  • Social movements
  • Nationalism and identity
  • Marxism
  • Globalisation
  • Europe/EU


  • Global Political Issues
  • Capitalism, Power and the Discontented
  • Contemporary European Politics
  • Sociology of Globalisation
  • Protest and Activism


  • PhD International Relations, University of Sussex
  • MSc Comparative Politics (Research), London School of Economics
  • BA (Hons) Political Studies, University of Leeds

Memberships, editorial boards

Selected recent publications

Journal articles

Cooper, L., 2017. The Global Transformation: Critical reflections on the historical sociology of the Long Nineteenth Century, Journal of Historical Sociology.

Cooper, L., 2015. The international relations of the ‘imagined community’: Explaining the late nineteenth-century genesis of the Chinese nation. Review of International Studies, 41/3.

Cooper, L., 2013. Can contingency be ‘internalised’ into the bounds of theory? Critical realism, the philosophy of internal relations, and the solution of uneven and combined development, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 26/3.

Edited volume

Cooper, L., and Law, W., 2017, Citizenship; Identity and Social Movements in the 'New Hong Kong'; Localism after the Umbrella Movement. Routledge.

Book chapters

Cooper, L., forthcoming. Rationalist or nationalist? The eighteenth century public sphere, in Christie, J., and Degirmencioglu, N., (eds) Cultures of Uneven and Combined Development, Brill.

Cooper, L., 2017, 'You have to fight on your own' Self-alienation and the new Hong Kong nationalism in Cooper, L., and Lam, W., (eds) Citizenship, Identity and Social Movements in the New Hong Kong; Localism after the Umbrella Movement, Routledge.

Cooper, L., 2017, Europe’s problem with nationalism, in Hudson, K., (eds) Brexit Britain (Public Reading Rooms: London).

Cooper, L., forthcoming. Asian sources of British imperial power: the Mysorean rocket and the Opium War, in Anievas, A., and Matin, K., (eds) Historical Sociology and World History: Uneven and Combined Development over the Longue Durée, Rowman and Littlefield International.

Book reviews

Cooper, L., 2015. Book review: Joseph, J., 2012 The Social in the Global; Social Theory. Governmentality and Global Politics. The Journal of Critical Realism, 14/5.

Cooper, L., 2014 Book review: Smith, A., A., 2014 The Oxford handbook of the history of communism. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 27/4.

Co-authored books

Cooper, L. and Hardy, S., 2013. Beyond Capitalism? The Future of Radical Politics. Zero Books: Winchester, UK and Washington, US.

Recent presentations and conferences

Cooper, L., and Rosenberg, J., 'Rethinking the politics of uneven and combined development', British International Studies Association, Bath, 13-15 June 2018.

Cooper, L., Rationalist or nationalist? The British public sphere of the eighteenth century, International Political Studies Association Annual Convention, Baltimore, 22-25 February 2017.

Cooper, L., The (Geo)Political Constitution of an Imagined Community: The Case of the "New Hong Kongers", International Political Science Association World Congress, Poznan, 23-28 July, 2016.

Cooper, L. How Britain usurped Asia: the case of the Mysorean rocket. International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, New Orleans, 18-21 February 2015.

Cooper, L. The international relations of the ‘imagined community’: explaining the late nineteenth century genesis of the Chinese nation. Presented at British International Studies Association (BISA), Dublin, 18-20 June 2014, the British Sociological Association (BSA), Leeds, 23-25 April 2014, and Chinese Civilization Tradition and Modernity, Kiev, 6 December 2013.

Cooper, L. Military and financial imperialism in late Qing China. Historical Materialism (HM) Annual Conference, London, 7-10 November 2013.

Cooper, L., and Hardy, S. Capitalist realism: challenges for the left. HM Annual Conference, 8-11 November 2012.

Cooper, L. Uneven and combined development in modern world history: Chinese economic reform in the longue durée of capitalist modernity. ISA Annual Convention, San Diego, 1-4 April 2012.

Cooper, L. Theorising ‘the international’: the potential of Critical Realism and the Law of Uneven and Combined Development. ISA Annual Convention, San Diego, 1-4 April 2012.

Cooper, L. Uneven and combined development in modern world history: state formation in the People’s Republic of China, 1949 – 1979. HM Annual Conference London, 10-13 November 2011.

Cooper, L., Theorising necessity and contingency in social change: the potential of critical realism for the law of uneven and combined development. HM Annual Conference, London, 11-14 November 2010.

Media experience

Luke has written for various blogs and websites, including Open Democracy, Red Pepper, Theory, Culture, and Society, the New Statesman, LSE Democracy Audit, the Disorder of Things, and is available for comment and appearances on contemporary social and political issues.