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. Examining the intertwining of communist politics with the histories of immigration, anti-fascism and anti-colonialism, this project sheds important light upon a lost landscape of communist internationalism, and points towards a more multi-polar interpretation of Comintern history.

Alongside Dr Tim Rees (Exeter), I have recently been awarded an AHRC Network Grant to investigate the history of international communism during the Comintern era. Titled 'Rethinking International Communism', the project will bring together interested scholars to examine current trends and to develop new directions in the history of communist internationalism..

PhD Supervision:
The history of socialist and labour politics, and the history of communist activism, are highly popular - and very relevant - at the present time. There is significant scope for postgraduate research to examine various aspects of these histories. I am happy to supervise postgraduate research in the history of the British and West European Left, broadly conceptualised, from the latter part of the nineteenth century, through to the present day. I would also be very interested to hear from students considering pursuing research into the history of Communism and Communist activism.

Beyond these subjects, I would also welcome inquiries from those interested in studying the history of twentieth century France and the French empire.

Book

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

Chapters

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

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