Department of Political Science


Dr Richard McMahon

Lecturer in EU Politics
 3.11, 36-38 Gordon Square
Email: r.mcmahon@ucl.ac.uk



Before teaching at UCL, I was a researcher, funded by the European Commission’s Marie Curie scheme, and then a senior lecturer in European studies at the University of Portsmouth. Before then, I lectured on EU studies and Chinese history at University College Cork in Ireland. I have also taught a very wide range of subjects (from international law to racial and geopolitical subtexts in literature) at the universities of Bath, Chichester and Siegen (Germany), and at Birkbeck College, interspersed with research fellowships at the universities of Bristol and Siegen. My PhD in History and Civilisation at the European University Institute studies a transnational community of scientists who attempted to classify Europeans by race. Before my academic career, I worked as a journalist of EU affairs in Brussels, focusing on enlargement and relations with the Western Balkans. I have published a monograph, numerous articles and book chapters, and edited seven special issues and edited books with leading journals such as National Identities and European Societies, and with publishers such as Routledge.


My research and publications concentrate on the ways that people think about Europe and nations and how this affects politics. At present, China-EU mutual representations are my key focus. I am currently working on two journal special issues. One, co-edited with Professor Wolfram Kaiser (University of Portsmouth) on narratives and counter-narratives of the European Union, will appear in Journal of Contemporary European Studies in early 2021. The other, co-edited with Professor Hongsong Liu (Shanghai Jiaotong University) on Chinese representations of the EU, should be published a year later. My previous work has examined the nationalist and geopolitical identity narratives of transnational communities of race scientists and geneticists, and various aspects of culture-politics relations in the EU, addressing prominent political issues such as Brexit and enlargement.



Edited books

Journal articles

Edited journal special issues

  • McMahon, R. and Liu, H. (eds.) (Submitted) Making sense of the European Union: Chinese Representations (special issue of Journal of Common Market Studies).
  • McMahon, R. and Kaiser, W. (eds.) (2022) Counter-narratives of Europe (special issue of Journal of Contemporary European Studies).
  • Kasier, W. and McMahon, R. (eds.) (2017) Narrating European Integration: Transnational Actors and Stories (special issue of National Identities).
  • McMahon, R and Murphy, J. (eds.) (2013) Russian-East European Relations: From Tsarism to Gazprom (special issue of Irish Slavonic Studies).
  • McMahon, R. (ed.) (2012) Post-identity? Culture and the Politics of European Integration (special issue of European Societies).
  • McMahon, R., Vincze, O. and Stancu, E. (eds.) (2009) Cultural Communication: New Perspectives in European History (special issue of European Review of History).
Book chapters
Blog articles


I currently teach on ‘Introduction to Politics’, ‘How to Argue about Politics’, and two policy studies modules. In previous years, my teaching has mostly focused on EU politics and on democracy.

I can best help supervise students on subjects related to the EU and European politics more broadly, China, populism and Euroscepticism, and on the various ways that culture and identity intersect with politics.