Bernard Gordon

Bernard Gordon

PhD Student

Department of International History

English, French, German
Key Expertise
Economic History, History of European Integration, History of Organisations

About me

Born in the UK and educated in France, Bernard Gordon holds degrees from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC Paris) and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA). With a personal interest for History, he completed a BA in History and an MA (Research) in Modern (Contemporary) History at the Sorbonne (Paris-IV). Bernard Gordon worked briefly for the United Nations as a researcher (UNIDO, Financing of Industry Department, Vienna), did his military service as Enseigne de Vaisseau in the French Navy, worked for the French Development Agency (AFD) as an expert in banking sector regulation and economic and monetary studies and, later, as Deputy Director General of a Development Bank, and, from 1992, held management positions in the Operations Directorate of the European Investment Bank (Luxembourg). Bernard Gordon took an early retirement in 2018 to complete a Master 2 research degree at Sorbonne University followed by one year as a PhD Student at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris). Bernard Gordon joined the LSE in September 2020 to prepare a Thesis on the UK-EU relationship under the supervision of Professor N. Piers Ludlow.

Provisional thesis title

Case studies on the UK and the European Investment Bank (EIB) - 1973-2019

My areas of interest are European integration history and the softer forms of influence (ideology, culture and know-how, personal and collective experience, networks, etc.) on the structure, processes and policies of public or private sector organisations, from a historical perspective.

The objective of my thesis is to demonstrate that, far from being a rule-taker, the United Kingdom has actively contributing in shaping EU policies and initiatives. My research will focus on the European Investment Bank (EIB), a European Institution that has remained relatively neglected by historians but whose direct financial impact on European economies and infrastructure and partner countries is far greater than the Commission’s. The EIB has also played a unique and decisive role in promoting European monetary units of account and the euro on the financial markets. Six case studies will highlight the role of HM Treasury, the Bank of England, UK market investors, operators and regulators, EIB’s British management and staff and other UK actors have had in influencing, promoting and implementing key European policies, such as EU external development mandates, the impact of Thatcherite neoliberalism, or the promotion of a common currency. The presidency of EIB’s only British President, Sir Brian Unwin, will also be analysed.

Expertise Details

Economic History; Financial and Monetary History; History of Technical Innovation; History of European integration; European Organisations; Banking; Development Aid


  • Bernard Gordon, 'Banking the European dream, the French presence and influence at the European Investment Bank (1958-2018)’,  in Lucia Coppolaro and Helen Kavvadia (Eds), Analysing the European Investment Bank, Routledge (2021)
  • Bernard Gordon, "Du Projet européen à l’Europe des projets: Soixante ans de présence et d’influence françaises à la Banque européenne d’investissement (1958-2018)’, Journal of European Integration History (December 2020)

Conference Papers

  • Bernard Gordon, “La Banque Européenne d’Investissement (BEI) et le financement de la grande vitesse ferroviaire en France et dans les pays limitrophes”,  “Le rail à toute(s) vitesse(s), deux siècles de vitesse sur rail, trente ans de grandes vitesses”, AHICF (Association pour l'histoire des chemins de fer / French Railways Historical Society),  Paris, 14-16 December 2011.
  • Bernard Gordon, “From the European Project to European Projects – Sixty years of French presence and influence at the European Investment Bank (1958-2018)”, “Analysing the European Investment Bank”, Robert Schuman Initiative for European Affairs, Institute of Political Science at the University of Luxembourg and the University of Padova, University of Luxembourg, 10-11 July 2019.

Honours and awards

  • Major de Promotion (History Masters, Sorbonne Université, 2017-2018)