Dr John Chalcraft

Photo of John Chalcraft

Associate Professor in the History and Politics of Empire/Imperialism

Email: J.T.Chalcraft@lse.ac.uk 
Office: CON 5.16, Connaught House
Office Hours: Wednesdays 9:30 -11:00
Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6630
Website: personal.lse.ac.uk/chalcraft/


John Chalcraft graduated with a starred first in history (M.A. Hons) from Gonville and Caius college Cambridge in 1992. He then did post-graduate work at Harvard, Oxford and New York University, from where he received his doctorate with distinction in the modern history of the Middle East in January 2001. He held a Research Fellowship at Caius college (1999-2000) and was a Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History in the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Edinburgh University from 2000-05. He is currently Associate Professor in the History and Politics of Empire/ Imperialism in the Department of Government at the LSE.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • GV248: Power and Politics in the Modern World: Comparative Perspectives
  • GV4F2: Popular Politics in the Middle East
  • GV4G5: The History and Politics of the Modern Middle East

Research Interests

I work on the history and politics of the modern Middle East with special reference to Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, protest movements, migration, labour history, crafts and guilds, transnationalism, contentious politics, hegemony, and history from below. I am currently working on an ESRC-funded research project Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East. This research explores the role of popular movements in political, economic and social change in the region, drawing on theories of hegemony and consent, and paying particular attention to the role played by the diffusion and appropriation of ideas and of models for collective action across national and regional borders.

Current Research Students


Yasmine Laveille

Suzanne Morrison

Anastasia Nosova



Counterhegemony in the Colony and Postcolony
(Palgrave, 2007)

Capitalism seems to have conquered the world. Historians and social scientists increasingly elaborate on the ever-subtler forms of hegemony that control our lives. Resistance appears naïve, elusive or futile. Within this vexed context, this interdisciplinary volume represents an unusual attempt to think through the meaning of resistance and give new theoretical content to the oft-cited but underspecified concept of counterhegemony. Rather than proceeding in a Eurocentric manner from some principle of resistance at work in the world of 'advanced capitalism', and then generalizing to the so-called developing world, this work is grounded in theoretically informed but fine-grained studies of important but little-known cases of resistance in the global South.

With contributions from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Latin America, and reaching back to the Eighteenth-century, Counterhegemony in the Colony and Postcolony works through issues of colonialism, nationalism, statism, postcolonialism and neoliberalism. Attention is paid to politics and the state, intellectual formations, counterculture, and popular struggle. In doing so this volume goes beyond unexamined and naïve notions of resistance and gives a firmer conceptual basis for thinking counterhegemony.

Click here for the publisher's site

Recent Publications


The BDS movement and radical democracy
Chalcraft, John (2015) The BDS movement and radical democracy. In: Feldman, David, (ed.) Boycotts Past and Present. Palgrave, London, UK. (In Press)

The Arab uprisings of 2011 in historical perspective
Chalcraft, John (2015) The Arab uprisings of 2011 in historical perspective. In: Ghazal, Amal and Hanssen, Jens, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Middle-Eastern and North African History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199672530

Out of the frying pan, into the fire: protest, the state, and the end of the guilds in Egypt
Chalcraft, John (2015) Out of the frying pan, into the fire: protest, the state, and the end of the guilds in Egypt. In: Faroqhi, Suraiya, (ed.) Bread from the Lion's Mouth: Artisans Struggling for a Livelihood in Ottoman Cities. International studies in social history(25). Berghahn Books , Oxford, UK, pp. 278-292. ISBN 9781782385585

Egypt's 25 January uprising, hegemonic contestation, and the explosion of the poor
Chalcraft, John (2014) Egypt's 25 January uprising, hegemonic contestation, and the explosion of the poor. In: Gerges, Fawaz A., (ed.) The New Middle East: Protest and Revolution in the Arab World. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 155-179. ISBN 9781107028630

Egypt’s uprising, Mohammed Bouazizi, and the failure of neoliberalism
Chalcraft, John (2012) Egypt’s uprising, Mohammed Bouazizi, and the failure of neoliberalism. The Maghreb Review, 37 (3-4). pp. 195-214. ISSN 0309-457X

Go to LSE Research Online for full publications archive