Centre for European and International Studies Research


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Dr Richard McMahon

  • Role Title: Lecturer in European Studies
  • Address: Park Building, King Henry 1 Street, Portsmouth PO1 2DZ
  • Telephone: 023 9284 6121
  • Email: richard.mcmahon@port.ac.uk
  • Department: School of Languages and Area Studies
  • Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Dr. Richard McMahon is a Lecturer in European Studies. Previously, he worked as a Brussels-based journalist of EU affairs, taught politics at the University of Bath and at University College Cork, EU Studies and Chinese history. He was also an ESRC post-doc at Bristol University, working with the English School IR scholar Prof. Richard Little. As a Marie Curie Senior Research Fellow at the University of Portsmouth, he collaborated with Prof. Wolfram Kaiser. He has published numerous articles and an edited interdisciplinary book (Post-identity? Culture and European Integration, Routledge 2013) on European identity and culture. He has also published a monograph (The races of Europe: construction of national identities in the social sciences 1839-1939, Palgrave 2016) and several articles on race anthropology and edited several journal special issues. Dr. McMahon defended his PhD in 2007 at the European University Institute in Florence, where his thesis was a historical study of the community of anthropologists and other scientists who classified European races in the 1830s-1940s. His MA in international relations is from University College Cork.   



My main research area is political identity narratives, with a particular focus on academics and Europe. Empirical focus: 

  1. EU studies narratives of European integration and especially narratives about political geography
  2. EU-China relations, including Chinese narratives of European integration
  3. National identity discourse in the nineteenth and early twentieth race classification of Europeans by physical anthropologists. 

I research transnational networks of scholars, asking how the positions of scholars in particular disciplines, geographical locations, cultural contexts and power relations affect their narratives and practices. I am also interested in the interface of politics and culture more broadly, differentiated integration in the EU and the histories of Central and Eastern Europe and of China.

Research Cluster

  • Transnational Europe

Discipline Areas

  • History
  • Political science/IR

Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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