In the history of political and religious thought, Michael Sutton’s focus has been primarily on nineteenth and twentieth-century France. He is the author of Nationalism, Positivism and Catholicism: The Politics of Charles Maurras and French Catholics, 1890-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 1982; reissued in paperback, 2002). Published in the series Cambridge Studies in the History and Theory of Politics, it was translated into French as Charles Maurras et les catholiques français (1890-1914): Nationalisme et positivisme (Beauchesne, 1994). He has written extensively on the political and social thought of the French philosopher, Maurice Blondel, including a historical introduction to the re-edition of Blondel’s La Semaine sociale de Bordeaux (Editions Lessius, 2000). He is currently engaged in research relating to the life and thought of Gaston Fessard (1897-1978).
In the area of European international relations, he has had longstanding interests in the political economy and the geopolitics of post-war European integration. In his research as well as his teaching, he has focused on the durability of the nation-state and the continuing play of national interest. His France and the Construction of Europe, 1944-2007: The Geopolitical Imperative. (Berghahn, 2007; reissued in paperback in 2011) was the fruit of both academic research and more journalistic endeavour.