Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Politics, History and International Relations

Department Staff

Helen Drake

Helen Drake

Professor of French and European Studies

Tel: +44 (0)1509 222989

Fax: Twitter: @FrancoBrit

Location: Manzoni Building


My first degree was in Linguistic and International  Studies (French and German) from Surrey University, and my MSc was in European Management  from Cranfield Institute of Technology. My PhD, in European Studies, is from Aston University.  This academic background has led me to conduct my teaching and research from a multi-disciplinary perspective. In 2010 I was named Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government for services to French culture and language, and since September 2012, I am Chair of the UK’s leading academic association for European Studies, UACES.  I was awarded a Jean Monnet Chair in European integration by the European Commission in September 2013 and am using this to support my teaching at Loughborough.



The study of France in its international context remains central to my research activity.  I am currently working solo on a monograph (Palgrave) on France’s relationship with the European Union, and in November 2015 I delivered my inaugural lecture at Loughborough by asking whether Europe has ‘unmade’ France.

In addition, I have recently collaborated with different colleagues on varied questions about France. Publications here include my work with Saskia Huc-Hepher on the contemporary French population in London; and with Aidan McGarry on the security discourse still stigmatising the Roma population in France. Questions of EU governance also continue to drive my research interest and I have recently launched a research project based on the transfer of 50 years’ worth of UACES archives to the Historical Archives of the European Union (European University Institute, Florence). 


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PhD supervision

I have supervised students across a broad range of subject areas relating to the study of the EU, particularly in its international dimension. The most recent examples include theses on: EU diplomatic actorness in its immediate neighbourhood in the East (Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine); the governance of European funds in new European member states (the absorption performance of Bulgaria and Romania, and their management and implementation of European Structural Funds during 2007-2013); the political and bureaucratic origins of the European External Action Service (EEAS); a critical discourse analysis of the EU’s counter-terrorism policy; the institutional response of the Czech state to EU membership; the socialisation of Polish members of the European Parliament; Johannes Althusius and the sui generis European Union;  EU consumer policy:  a critique (an examination of consumers’ economic rights across borders).



My most recent teaching at undergraduate level has been supported by the EU’s funding of my Jean Monnet Chair in European integration (2013-2017). Most recently I organised a visiting speaker programme onto my final year undergraduate module Britain and the European Union, and closed that course with a class debate (‘This House believes that the UK should leave the EU’).

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On 10 May 2016 I chaired a campus-wide student debate to prepare for the UK referendum on the EU; the legacy of that event (The EU and YOU) can be found here. In previous years I incorporated alumni presentations into my Introduction to the European Union core module and invited practitioner visiting speakers to work with final year students on my optional course on (Im)migration, Migration and the UK today.


Recent publications


Most recent articles and book chapters

Commentary and online

(2014) ‘Country Focus: France’, Political Insight 5, 3: 22-25. DOI: 10.1111/2041-9066.12071(December).

(2014) ‘The 2014 Israel-Palestine crisis has uncovered deep divisions within French society’ (LSE Blog EUROPP, European Politics and Policy, 15 October).

View all publications on central database



Contact us

Department of Politics, History and International Relations
Herbert Manzoni Building
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU, UK‌‌

Tel: +44 (0)1509 222983