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Professor Peter Thomas
Head of Department / Professor - History of Political Thought

Marie Jahoda 229

Research area(s)

  • History of political thought
  • History of philosophy
  • Italian political philosophy
  • Marxist philosophy and theory
  • Contemporary political theory

Research Interests

Dr Thomas is an historian of political thought, an historian of philosophy and a political theorist.

As an historian of political thought, his major contributions have been in the history of Italian political thought in the early twentieth century, particularly the thought of Antonio Gramsci. He has also co-edited volumes on Karl Marx’s political-economic thought in historical context, and on the development of the thought of Louis Althusser.

As an historian of philosophy, he has published on the history of German philosophy in the mid nineteenth century and Italian philosophy in the twentieth century, the history of Marxist philosophy, philosophies of history and theories of plural temporality.

As a political theorist, his work has focused on concepts of political organization, forms of socio-political transformation, and theories of subalternity, inclusion/exclusion and citizenship.

He is currently working on a study of central themes in contemporary radical political thought, including notions of the nature of politics and processes of politicization, the relationship between politics and the political, and the concept of the political subject. He is also working on a collection of documents and critical essays related to Gramsci’s time in Russia (with Professor Craig Brandist of the University of Sheffield, funded by a British Academy grant).

In addition to his own research, he has also translated the work of Roberto Finelli, Antonio Negri and Massimiliano Tomba, among others.

He is a member of the Editorial Board of Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory, and co-editor of the Historical Materialism Book Series.

Research grants and projects

Project details


2017 – 2018 Member in the School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton for project “When the Subaltern Speaks” (40 000 USD) Dr Peter D. Thomas (PI).

2015 – 2016 Università degli Studi di Cagliari Visiting Scientists Programme for project “A Gramscian Approach to James Joyce: Ulyssesand the Subaltern” (6 000 EUR) Dr Peter D. Thomas (co-PI) in collaboration with Prof. Mauro Pala.



2011 – 2012 British Academy Small Research Grants Scheme Antonio Gramsci in Russia 1922-25 (£7,360) Dr Peter D. Thomas (co-PI) in collaboration with Prof. Craig Brandist of Sheffield University.

2009 – 2011 Finnish Academy Research Grant The Concept of Conjecture in Media Studies and the Social Sciences (300,000 EUR) Prof. Dr Esa Väliverronen (PI) Dr Peter D. Thomas (CI) In collaboration with Dr Juha Koivisto and Dr Mikko Lahtinen.

2009 – 2011 Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, Encountering Althusser (21,750 EUR) Dr Peter D. Thomas (co-PI) in collaboration with Dr Katja Diefenbach, Dr Gal Kirn and Dr Sara R. Farris.