Professor John M Hobson

Department of Politics and International Relations

Professor of Politics and International Relations

Profile image for academic staff member John Hobson
Profile picture of Profile image for academic staff member John Hobson
+44 114 222 1669

Full contact details

Professor John M Hobson
Department of Politics and International Relations
Modular Teaching Village
Northumberland Road
S10 1AJ

Professor Hobson gained his PhD from the LSE (1991), joined the Department in 2004 as Reader and became Professor of Politics and International Relations in 2005. Previously he taught at La Trobe University, Melbourne (1991–97) and the University of Sydney (1997–2004).

His main research interest concerns the area of inter-civilizational relations and everyday political economy. His work is principally involved in carrying forward the critique of Eurocentrism in World History/Historical Sociology, International Relations and IPE.

Research interests
  1. The critique of Eurocentrism: This forms the central theme of my work and as of 2015 forms the basis of 30 book chapters, 22 journal articles and 2 book monographs (2004, 2012).
  2. Historiography of IR/IPE: I have has contributed to this area of research with my 2012 book and my 2-part article in Review of International Political Economy, which came out in the 20th anniversary issue: Vol. 20, No. 5 (2013): 1024–1081.
  3. Global Historical Sociology of IR (GHSIR): I continue my interest in GHSIR, though since about 2000 I have combined this with my critique of Eurocentrism, both in empirical accounts of the rise of the West and of the development of world politics/economics, as well as in IR/IPE theory.

Current Research

I am currently working on a book that produces a non-Eurocentric analysis of the global political economy in the last 500 years.



Edited books

Journal articles


Book reviews

Conference proceedings papers

  • Hobson JM (2006) Revealing the cosmopolitan side of Oriental Europe The eastern origins of European civilisation. EUROPE AND ASIA BEYOND EAST AND WEST, Vol. 8 (pp 107-119) RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

I am keen to supervise promising research students in a range of areas including: Historical sociology of international relations, global political economy and especially civilisational analysis (East/West relations) in the context of the critique of Eurocentrism. I am currently supervising 4 PhD students.

Areas of past supervision include:

  • A social theory of the WTO (Jane Ford) Completed 2000
  • The Social Sources of Financial Power (Prof. Len Seabrooke) Completed 2003
  • State and Market in Korea (Shin Seung-hoon) Completed 2007
  • Reconstructing NATO after the Cold War (Yuke Abe) Completed 2009
  • Imperialism and the Globalisation of Production (John Smith) Completed 2010
Teaching interests

My teaching speaks directly to my own research, especially my inter-disciplinary focus on IR/IPE and global historical sociology, featuring both the theory and empirical practice of the world economy and global system; something that is traced in long-run historical perspective through to the present.

All three of my modules are based on a ‘pedagogical’ practice of ‘cumulative knowledge’, in which I begin with a range of key ideas that are then applied in different contexts as the module proceeds. This means that while students often find the first month challenging, by the second half they have understood the central theme that runs throughout.

I enjoy teaching and I seek to make my seminars open and informal principally to encourage lively debate among students; something which should be fun for all concerned. I was pleased to have been awarded the faculty teaching prize for teaching excellence at the University of Sydney in 1999.

His principal teaching commitments are currently:

  • POL111 The Politics of Globalisation
  • POL3005 Civilisation, Empire and Hegemony
  • POL6800 Theories and Issues in International Political Economy
Professional activities and memberships

Career Highlights

  1. In July 2015 I became a Fellow of the British Academy.
  2. In September 2015 I was interviewed for Theory Talks: ‘John M. Hobson on Eurocentrism, Historical Sociology and the curious case of Postcolonialism’, Theory Talks (No. 71).
  3. Since July 2014 I have been co-editor (with Prof LHM Ling) of a new book series, 'Global Dialogues: Developing Non-Eurocentric IR and IPE' (Rowman & Littlefield International).
  4. Alongside Cornelia Woll, I gave the Warwick/RIPE Annual Debate Lecture, University of Warwick (7 March, 2013).
  5. I have given 16 keynote lectures and public lectures around the world in: Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Korea, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK.
  6. I was a Visiting Professor at The University of Panteion, Greece (July, 2015), and The University of Durham (December, 2006). I was the Harry Lyman Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor at McMaster University, Canada (March, 2014).
  7. My 2012 book was awarded joint runner-up for the Francesco Guicciardini Award for best book in historical international relations (International Studies Association, 2014), and was shortlisted for the best book of the year by the Centre for Advanced International Theory, University of Sussex (2013).
  8. I won the prize for best blog post, awarded by the website The Duck of Minerva (Outstanding Achievement in International Studies Web-blogging Award, 2013). This was for my blog post: ‘Eurocentrism, Racism – What’s in a Word? Response to Bowden, Sabaratnam and Vucetic’.
Supervision Expertise
  • Race and Eurocentrism in IR, IPE, global history/historical sociology.

This comprises any issue related to the global economy or world politics. I'm also interested in non-Western IR theory.