Gregory Claeys has been a Professor of History of Political Thought at Royal Holloway University of London since 1992. His teaching covers modern social and political thought from the mid-18th century to the contemporary era, focusing on revolutionary, radical, and socialist reform movements. 

Since receiving his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1983, he has published several leading works in the subject areas of socialist radicalism, finance, and environmentalism. Most notably, Machinery, Money, and the Millennium: From Moral Economy to Socialism (1992), Citizens and Saints: Politics and Anti-Politics in Early British Socialism (1989), The French Revolution Debate in Britain (2007), Imperial Sceptics: British Critics of Empire, 1850-1920 (2010), and Marx and Marxism (2018).  

Over the past decade, he has turned his attention to utopian and dystopian narratives, arguing that they can be useful mechanisms for imagining meaningful social and political change. His latest book, Dystopia: A Natural History (2016), won him the Cantemir Prize in 2018 for outstanding contributions to humanistic scholarship. In 2019 at TedxLinz, he spoke on the subject ‘Why are Utopias Important for Human Mankind?”. His talk for TEDxGoodenough is a response to his forthcoming publication, Utopianism for a Dying Planet (2021) that will address the role utopia can play in preparing us for the inevitable global catastrophe of climate change. 

Alongside his academic achievements, he can boast several other career highlights: being elected to the history section of The Academy of Europe (2015); elected chair of the Utopian Studies Society (2016 – 2019); and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (2019). He has been a visiting professor at several institutions: Keio University, Tokyo (1995), the University of Hanoi (2008), and the School of Government, Peking University (2009/2011). 

Email –

Twitter – @GClaeysHistory

  • Speaker Gregory Claeys
  • Talk Title After Consumerism: Utopianism for a Dying Planet
  • Category 2021 Speaker
  • Date August 7th, 2021