Much of Michael Sutton’s early career was spent as an international economist in Brussels and London. He has enjoyed a long association with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), part of The Economist newspaper group, specializing mainly in France. Prior to coming to Aston in 1995, he taught for four years at Boston University’s London Graduate Centre, where he was adjunct professor in international relations; he was also visiting professor in international relations at the Maria-Curie Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland. His academic interests lie in two distinct broad fields: international relations within Europe and the history of political and religious thought. At Aston he became Head of Politics and International Relations in 2002, a position from which he stepped down in 2009. The title of professor emeritus was conferred upon him in the same year. Since 2009 he has been guest professor at Sciences Po Lille and he has returned to teach anew in Lublin. He is chair of the LSS Advisory Board.
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.