Michael Loriaux Professor

Research Interest(s):  Critical Theory, European Unification, Post-Nationhood

Program Area(s):  Methods; International Relations; Comparative Politics

Regional Specialization(s):  Europe

Department Strength(s):  Critical Theory; International Theory

I study European unification from the perspective of critical theory. My books include France After Hegemony: International Change and Financial Reform (Cornell, 1991), Capital Ungoverned (co-authored: Cornell, 1997), European Union and the Deconstruction of the Rhineland Frontier (Cambridge, 2008; winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for best book employing interpretive methods), and Europe Anti-Power (Routledge, Interventions, 2016). I have begun work on a new book entitled The Ashes of Christ: Personalism, Catholic Renewal, and European Unification. I am active in the Critical Theory Graduate Studies Cluster, and direct the undergraduate Paris Program in Art, Literature, and Contemporary European Thought. I co-founded and, until 2012, co-directed the French Interdisciplinary Group, and remain active in various French partnership programs, including the dual PhD programs with Sciences Po, Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle, and the École Normale Supérieure.


  • Europe Anti-Power: Ressentiment and Exceptionalism in EU Debate (London: Routledge Interventions, 2016).
  • European Union and the Deconstruction of the Rhineland Frontier. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008).
  • Law and Moral Action in World Politics.  Edited with Cecelia Lynch (University of Minnesota Press, 2000).      
  • Capital Ungoverned: The Dismantling of Activist Credit Policies in Interventionist States.  Co-authored with Meredith Woo-Cumings, Kent Calder, Sylvia Maxfield, and Sofia Perez (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997)
  • The Past as Prelude: History in the Making of the New World Order.  Edited with Meredith Woo-Cumings.  (Boulder: Westview, October, 1992)
  • France After Hegemony: International Change and Financial Reform. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991)

Select Publications

  • Translation of Marc Crépon, The Thought of Death and the Memory of War, University of Minnesota Press, 2013.
  • "Hermeneutics," a 6000-word article in The Encyclopedia of Political Thought, Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming August, 2014.
  • "The Illusion of Power and the Disruption of Moral Norms: Thucydides' Critique of Periclean Policy," with Sara Monoson, in Beate Jahn, ed., Classical Theory in International Relations, Cambridge University Press, 2006 (reprises 1998 APSR article).
  • "France: A New "Capitalism of Voice?" in Linda Weiss, ed., States in the Global Economy, Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  • "International Law and Moral Action in International Relations Thought," in Cecelia Lynch and Michael Loriaux, Law and Moral Action in World Politics (University of Minnesota Press, 2000).
  • "The French Developmental State as Myth and Moral Ambition," in Meredith Woo-Cumings, ed. The Developmental State (Cornell University Press, 1999).
  • "Saint Augustine and the Realists: Skepticism, Psychology, and Moral Action in International Relations Thought," International Studies Quarterly, December, 1992. 

Courses taught

  • PS 240 Introduction to International Relations
  • PS 308 Critical Theory and the Study of Politics
  • PS 408 Interpretive and Critical Approaches to the Study of Politics
  • PS 447 Critical Studies in World Politics