Dr Thomas Beaumont

Humanities and Social Science

Senior Lecturer in European History

My research falls into two broad areas. I am a historian of modern and contemporary France with a particular interest in left-wing politics and the history of labour and trade unionism. I also work on the history of international communism in the era of the Communist International (Comintern), 1919-43.

My first book, 'Fellow Travellers: Communist Trade Unionism and Industrial Relations on the French Railways, 1914-1939', was published by Liverpool University Press in 2019. This work examines the shifting practices and strategies adopted by communist militants as they sought to build and maintain support on the railways in the years stretching from the First World War through to the end of the 1930s. In this period, French communists set down deep and lasting roots among France's railway workers, building a bastion of support for the Communist party which in many areas continues to endure.

My second book project explores the history of international communism through the lens of the web of global communist activity organised and directed through France, and its capital, Paris. While we are familiar with the significance of Moscow in the transnational history of communist activism, the crucial role played by other global centres in the everyday functioning of the Communist International remains largely unexplored. This project sheds important light upon this lost landscape of communist internationalism, and points towards a more multi-polar interpretation of Comintern history.

As part of this project I am working with Dr Tim Rees (University of Exeter) to examine the global webs of communist activity which do not readily fit into the traditional 'Moscow-Periphery' model of Comintern activity.

I am happy to supervise PhD students in any areas broadly related to my specialisms.


Beaumont T. 2019. Fellow Travellers Communist Trade Unionism and Industrial Relations on the French Railways, 1914-1939 Liverpool University Press 9781789620801 Publisher Url


Beaumont TW. 2014. International Communism in interwar France, 1919-36 Carrol A, Broch L. France in an Era of Global War, 1914-1945 Occupation, Politics, Empire and Entanglements :9-110 Palgrave Macmillan 9781137443489 DOI Publisher Url

Journal article

Beaumont TW. 2014. 'Extending Democracy: Railway Workers and the Popular Front in France, 1936-38.' European History Quarterly, :458-479 DOI Public Url

Beaumont TW. 2013. Communists and French Railway Workers, 1920-34: The Parisian Leadership of the Cheminots Unitaires Twentieth Century Communism: A Journal of International History, :65-84