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Michael Loriaux


A.B.: University of Chicago; Ph.D.: Princeton University
Curriculum Vitae


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

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

Regional Specialization(s): Europe

Subfield Specialties: Critical Theory; International Theory


I study European unification from the perspective of post-national and post-sovereignty studies. 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; awarded 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 European Union and Vatican II: The Eclipse of Sovereignty. In it I use the intellectual and political history of mid-twentieth century Europe to question the commonsense of sovereignty in our era of pandemics, climate change, and general existential peril, and to discern the possible contours of a non-sovereignty world. I co-founded and direct the French Interdisciplinary Group and advise students in our various French partnership programs, including the dual PhD programs with Sciences Po and the École Normale Supérieure (ENS), both of which participate in Northwestern Buffett’s international partnership alliance. I am co-directing the FIG-Buffett-ENS faculty-doctoral student meditation on Covid-19, “Living With Plagues.” I also direct our Northwestern-Sorbonne Nouvelle undergraduate program in Art, Literature, and Contemporary European Thought, offered in Paris, and am active in the Critical Theory Graduate Studies Cluster. I teach graduate courses on international relations and interpretive methods.



  • 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, Murderous Consent, Fordham University Press, 2019, winner of French-American Foundation Prize for Best Translation of a Work of Non-fiction
  • "Hermeneutics," The Encyclopedia of Political Thought, Wiley-Blackwell, September, 2014.
  • Translation of Marc Crépon, The Thought of Death and the Memory of War, University of Minnesota Press, 2013
  • "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


  • Officier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques
  • Charles Taylor Award for the best book in political science that employs or develops interpretive methodologies and methods, awarded by the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference Group of the APSA, for European Union and the Deconstruction of the Rhineland Frontier
  • Gabriel A. Almond Award for best doctoral dissertation in Comparative Politics, by American Political Science Association
  • Tocqueville Fellow, The French-American Foundation
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