Dr Luke Cooper

Course Leader and Lecturer, BA (Hons) Politics

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

Department:Department of 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 is currently focused on the role of nationalism and national identity in social change.

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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) and the British Sociological Association (BSA). He is currently undertaking research on the role of political identity in the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

Research interests

  • Historical materialist accounts of social change 
  • Theory of uneven and combined development 
  • Nationalism and national identity 
  • Dynamics of contemporary protest movements 
  • Non-eurocentric international history 

Areas of research supervision

  • Historical sociology 
  • Protest and social movements 
  • Theories of nationalism and national identity 
  • Modern international history 
  • Marxism and historical materialism 


  • Global Political Issues
  • Sociology Special Subject


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

Memberships, editorial boards

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Selected recent publications

Journal articles
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.

Book chapters
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.

Cooper, L., forthcoming. Cultures of modernity: Jurgen Habermas and ‘the international’, in Christie, J., and Degirmencioglu, N., (eds) Cultures of Uneven and Combined Development, Brill.

Book reviews
Cooper, L., forthcoming. 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. How Britain usurped Asia: the case of the Mysorean rocket. International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, New Orleans, 18th – 21st 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, and the New Statesman, and is available for comment and appearances on contemporary social and political issues.