Skip to main content

Research Interests

David Motadel works on the history of modern Europe and Europe’s global entanglements. He has a particular interest in international history and the history of empire. His research has brought him to more than fifty archives around the globe.

He is the author of a book on the history of Muslims under German rule in the Second World War (Harvard University Press, 2014; translated into nine languages), ranging from North Africa and the Balkans to the Caucasus and the Crimea, and the editor of a volume on Islam in the European empires (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Among his current projects is a global history of Europe’s empires in the era of the Second World War, 1935-1948, which is under contract with Penguin Press (Allen Lane). Some first results were published in ‘The Global Authoritarian Moment and the Revolt against Empire’ in the American Historical Review.

David Motadel has also a more general interest in global history. His co-authored article ‘The Futures of Global History’, published in the Journal of Global History in 2018, led to a lively debate in the field. He is the co-editor of The Global Bourgeoisie: The Rise of the Middle Classes in the Age of Empire (Princeton University Press, 2019) and the editor of Revolutionary World: Global Upheaval in the Modern Age (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

His articles have been published in a number of journals, including Past and Present, the American Historical Review, the Historical Journal, the Journal of Contemporary History, the Journal of Global History, and the Annales.

Taken together, David Motadel’s work seeks to study European history comparatively, and to enhance our understanding of the history of Europe’s entanglements with the wider world.

Research Prizes

∙ Philip Leverhulme Prize, 2018
∙ Fraenkel Prize, 2014
∙ Walter Laqueur Prize, 2014
∙ Prince Consort Prize and Seeley Medal of the University of Cambridge, 2011
∙ Doctoral Dissertation Prize of the British International History Group, 2011
∙ Doctoral Dissertation Prize of the German Historical Institute London, 2011
∙ Essay Prize of the German History Society and the Royal Historical Society, 2007


David Motadel regularly writes on history and current affairs for newspapers and magazines. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The GuardianThe Times Literary Supplement, The New York Review of BooksThe London Review of Books, and Literary Review, among others. From 2005 to 2010, he also acted as an advisor on international affairs for Der Spiegel.