University of Nottingham Ningbo China
School of
International Studies
  • Intranet

Dr Christian Müller, FRHistS

Associate Professor of European and International History, School of International Studies

 15-Christian Mueller-2(1)

Personal details


Room 313, Trent Building
199 Taikang East Road Ningbo, 315100   

+86 (0)574 8818 0000 (Ext. 8074)

+86 (0)574 8818 0125

Qualifications and Honors

Master of Studies (M.Stud.), University of Oxford, University College, UK
Magister Artium (M.A.), Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany
Dr. phil. (PhD), Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany

2018 Vice-Chancellor’s Medal of the University of Nottingham

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS)

Visiting Fellow, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford

Visiting Fellow and SCR Member, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


I am a historian focusing in 19th and 20th century European, International and Global History. My special interest lies with comparative and transnational history, the connections of imperial and transnational spaces, and the history of ideas and concepts in political practice.  After my PhD in History, I was elected Mellon Prize Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for History and Economics and at King’s College, Cambridge. Before coming to UNNC, I have taught and researched as Lecturer and Research Fellow at the Universities of Muenster, Ghent and Goettingen-Hildesheim. I am currently working on monographs on personal networks in the rise of modern internationalism in Europe, on the relations between European imperialism and humanitarianism in East Asia from a global perspective, and on a transnational biography of Gustave Moynier, the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross. For these projects, I was elected Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford, The Rothermere American Institute, for the academic years 2016/17 and 2018/19, and Visiting Fellow and SCR Member of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

Note: I am on project leave as Visiting Fellow in Oxford for the winter 2018/19.

Teaching and learning


  • INTS1005 Understanding the West: Europe Cradle of Western Civilization (autumn – 2018 on leave)
  • INTS3002 Dissertation I Preliminary Analysis (autumn, team-taught)
  • INTS2029 Transnational History and Politics (spring)
  • INTS3006 The Rise and Fall of the British Empire (spring)


  • INTS4001 Core Concepts in International Relations and World History
  • INTS4020 The Rise and Fall of the British Empire (spring)


Expertise Summary

  • Britain, Europe and the Wider World since 1600
  • Global, Transnational, Imperial and International History since 1750
  • Connections and Transfers between Europe and East Asia since 1800
  • Comparative Political and Social History of Europe and North America
  • The Rise of Modern Internationalism
  • Approaches to History - Comparisons, Transfers, Histoire Croisée
  • Transnational personal networks, international NGOs and organisations
  • Transnational history of political and social reform
  • International and global civil society
  • History of political and social thought
  • History of International law, imperial and colonial thought.

Research Interest

My main working interest is the rise of international policy networks and agendas in different fields of professional expertise in social and political reform and international and colonial law in the 19th century. I am working on book manuscripts on “The Politics of Expertise – The Invention of Modern Internationalism 1840-1914” and “Humanitarianism and Empire. European Imperialism and the Politics of Philanthropy in East Asia, 1860-1930”. I have received numerous fellowships and grants for the projects, among others Fellowships at the Rothermere American Institute and St Antony’s College in the University of Oxford. The research projects finish previously funded research completed with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a Post-Doctoral Scholarship at the Centre of History and Economics, King’s College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (UK) and an extensive grant from the German Research Council (DFG) on the world views, personal links, political initiatives and building of institutional ties of selected reformers and transnational actors in late 19th century Europe. In my book projects I follow up on eleven transnational and colonialist agents from different European countries with the aim of understanding how their policies of European social reform, peace building, international law and colonial agendas are translated organisationally into the world of international, transnational and eventually global associations between the 1840s and the Interwar period. This includes looking at the marketing and management of expert knowledge in international politics, organisational and congress culture, international exhibitions, fairs, and congresses.

Furthermore, I specialise on the role of individual agency in forging imperial and transnational spaces, transfer and exchange of knowledge, and the use of rhetoric in designing outward-looking agendas. Working with Gustave Moynier’s private and public archival collections, I am writing a critical biography to intersect individual transnational agency in the fields of social liberalism, charity and benevolence, and normative regulation of international conflicts with a specific European agenda of global civilisation through Christian values and norms.

In parallel, I am interested in comparative political and social history and political thought in every-day practice in 19th century Western Europe with a particular focus on Germany, Britain, France, Italy and the Dutch-speaking countries. This project stems from my German excellence grant research on suffrage discourses in the 19th century, completed between 2003 and 2007 (German national academic scholarship foundation), and from a grant by the German Research Council to research the special collections of the Camera dei Deputati Library in Rome, Italy. This research interest has grown out of the question what kind of political system develops in countries that combine Western concepts of government for the people, through the people, and by the people – both in the past and in the future. I follow a historical and comparative approach that traces dynamics within states and societies to identify transfer processes of party formation, nation- and state-building, and inner and outer peace building in combination. I am now interested in comparative and transfer perspectives of voting systems since 1750 that crossed boundaries and borders in the 19th and 20th centuries when the transfer of political ideas was considered an integrative part of both imperialism and post-imperialist theory in the East and the West alike. My special focus here is on the different procedures of how to make the individual vote count in systems of majority constituencies all over the world with a historical view on proportional representation since the discourse on Thomas Hare and John Stuart Mill before the 1867 Second Reform Act in England and Great Britain, and its repercussions on the European continent and world-wide ever since. The main question is which majority will rule in modern democracy – the majority of the caucus, the calculation, the rich, or the enlightened?

I am also interested in cultural and industrial heritage and the invention of industrial pasts as a tool for regional and environmental development plans. My recent collective volume enquires into the topic in a bi-lateral comparative perspective. Furthermore, I consider Cultural Heritage and the Invention of the Past as vital keys to understanding modern global historiography and history teaching. This project builds upon a research grant from the German Fritz Thyssen Foundation and a collective volume with Peter Itzen from the University of Freiburg i.Br., Germany. Our recent book publication enquires into German and British industrial heritage sites in the long 19th and short 20th centuries in comparative analysis, and our new and forthcoming article and book projects reach out further to provide a more far-reaching concept of the use of industrial heritage sites for marketing new economies and shaping different memories. In the long run, Peter and I plan to explore in-depth the usage of selected heritage sites and their popular culture for the marketing, economisation and historical re-invention of formerly industrialised regions around the world.

PhD supervision

  • UNNC Ningbo:
  • Leilei Zhang (Second Supervisor – link to project)
  • Craig Simon (Second Supervisor – link to project)  
  • Recent PhD co-supervision – Viva in February 2017: Matthias Voigt, M.A., “Re-Inventing the Warrior – Native Men in Struggle 1968-1973” (US-American History, University of Frankfurt/Main, Germany) – informal tutoring and supervision (PhD project – submitted September 2016).   
  • 7 Finished PhD projects in Münster and Ghent.

Informal supervision for scholarships/ PhD students within the network (First Generation Academics Network Germany, NGO) on a voluntary non-financial basis around the world.



Christian MÜLLER, Das Wahlrecht als Waffe. Die Wahlrechtsdiskussionen in Deutschland zwischen Revolution und Reichsgründungszeit, 1848-1881 [English: The Suffrage as a Political Weapon. Parliamentary Reform, Political Rhetoric and Nation-Building in Germany, 1848-1881] (Düsseldorf, 2020). 

Thies SCHULZE, Christian MÜLLER (Eds.), Grenzüberschreitende Religion. Vergleichs- und Kulturtransferstudien zur neuzeitlichen Geschichte (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014). [English title: Religions crossing borders. Modern History Case Studies in Comparative and Transfer Methods on Religion and Politics]

Christian MÜLLER, Peter ITZEN (Eds.), The Invention of Industrial Pasts. Heritage, political culture and economic debates in Great Britain and Germany, 1850-2010 (Augsburg: Wißner Publishers, 2013).   

Christin MÜLLER, Edgar J. FEUCHTWANGER, Königin Viktoria und ihre Zeit (Gleichen-Zürich; Muster-Schmidt Verlag Göttingen, 2004). [English title: Queen Victoria and the Victorian Age]


Christian MÜLLER, ‘Between Adoption and Resistance. China’s Efforts of ‘Understanding the West,’ the Challenges of Transforming Monarchical Legitimacy, and the Rise of Oriental Exceptionalism, 1860-1910,’in: David O’Brien, Faith Chan, Hing Kai Chan et al. (Eds.), International flows in the Belt and Road Initiative: Business, Peoples, Ideas and History, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2019.

Christian MÜLLER , ‘“And What Do We Know about China”? The International Labour Office, Albert Thomas and Republican China, 1919 – 1930,’ Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society China 78,1 (2018), pp. 111-123.

Christian MÜLLER, ‘The vital importance of being “civilised”. The International Scramble for Humanitarianism and the ‘Peculiarities’ of Late Qing China, 1870-1910,’ forthcoming (2018/19).

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Incompatible Languages of Reform. Parliamentary Reform, Proportional Representation, and Party Retrenchment in Britain and Western Europe, 1850-1880’, forthcoming (2018).

Christian MÜLLER, Ch. 6: ‘The Politics of Expertise: The Association Internationale pour le Progrès des Sciences Sociales, Democratic Peace Movements and International Law Networks in Europe 1850-1875‘, in: Davide Rodogno et al. (Eds.), Shaping the Transnational Sphere. Experts, Networks and Issues from the 1840s to the 1930s (New York – Oxford: 2015), pp. 131-151.

Christian MÜLLER, ‘“It has been a wordy war”. Die Frühphase des Schulstreits in Belgien, Frankreich und den Niederlanden im Vergleich und die Transnationalen Grundlagen der “Culture Wars”, 1857-1870‘, in: Thies SCHULZE, Christian MÜLLER (Eds.), Grenzüberschreitende Religion. Vergleichs- und Kulturtransferstudien zur neuzeitlichen Geschichte (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), pp. 116-139. [English translation: “It has been a wordy war.” The origins and early phases of the school conflict in Belgium, France and the Netherlands in comparative perspective and the transnational foundations of the “Culture Wars”, 1857-1870]

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Industrial Heritage in a Post-Industrial Age. Heritage Debates and Perspectives in Britain and Germany, 1880 to the present,’ in: Peter Itzen, Christian Müller, The Invention of Industrial Pasts. Heritage, Political Culture and Economic Debates in Great Britain and Germany, 1850–2010 (Augsburg: Wißner, 2013), 3-13 [together with Peter Itzen].

Christian MÜLLER, Jasmien VAN DAELE, ‘Peaks of Internationalism in Social Engineering: A Transnational History of International Social Reform Associations and Belgian Agency, 1860–1925 ‘ in: Beyond Belgium, Special Edition of the Revue Belge de Philologie et d’Histoire RBPH/BTFG  90, 4 (2012), pp. 1297-1320.

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Von spezifischen Christenrechten zu universalen Menschenrechten? Überlegungen zur Genese, Definition und Durchsetzbarkeit von Menschenrechten in der internationalen Ordnung, 1780-1950‘, in: Karl GABRIEL et al. (Eds.), Umstrittene Säkularisierung. Soziologische und Historische Analysen zur Differenzierung von Religion und Politik (Berlin: BUP, 2012), pp. 378-407. [English translation: From Christian rights to universal human rights? Considerations on the genesis, definition and legal implementation of human rights in the international order, 1780-1950].

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Designing the model European – Liberal and republican concepts of citizenship in Europe in the 1860s: The Association Internationale pour le Progrès des Sciences Sociales’ in: History of European Ideas 37, 2 (2011), pp. 223-231.

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Contested Memories of the Revolution. The Remembrance of Revolutionary Suffrage Laws (1848/49) as Political Arguments in German Discussions on Constitutional Reform, 1860-1875’, in: “Remembering and Forgetting.” Yearbook Young Legal History 2 (2007), pp. 292-311.

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Zensur, Geheimnis und Öffentlichkeit. Der Journalismus des literarischen „Jungen Deutschland“ und dessen Politisierung durch den Deutschen Bund 1835/36’, in: Politischer Journalismus – Öffentlichkeiten – Medien im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, ed. Clemens Zimmermann (Stuttgart: Thorbecke, 2006), 41-60 [English translation: ‘Censorship, Secrecy and the Public Sphere. The Journalism of the literary Young German movement and its politicization in the German Confederacy in the 1830s‘].

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Lübeck und der Rheinische Städtebund 1254-1256. Formen und Möglichkeiten städtischer Politik an der Wende zum Spätmittelalter ‘, in: Zeitschrift des Vereins für Lübeckische Geschichte und Altertumskunde 80 (2000), pp. 143-165. [English translation: Lübeck and the Rhenish Town League 1254-1256. Forms and Chances of town politics at the turn from the High to the Late Middle Ages].


Christian MÜLLER, ‘Berlin Conference’ in: Mark DOYLE (Ed.), The British Empire: A Historical Encyclopaedia, 2 Vols. (Santa Barbara/CA: Greenwood, 2018), Vol. 2, 6-8.

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Boxer Rebellion’ in: Mark DOYLE (Ed.), The British Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia, 2 Vols. (Santa Barbara/CA: Greenwood, 2018), Vol. 2, 10-13. 

Christian MÜLLER, ‘China’ in: Mark DOYLE (Ed.), The British Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia, 2 Vols. (Santa Barbara/CA: Greenwood, 2018), Vol. 2, 203-205. 

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Free Trade’ in: Mark DOYLE (Ed.), The British Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia, 2 Vols. (Santa Barbara/CA: Greenwood, 2018), Vol. 1, 24-26.

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Gladstone, W.E.’ in: Mark DOYLE (Ed.), The British Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia, 2 Vols. (Santa Barbara/CA: Greenwood, 2018), Vol. 1, 241-243.

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Parliamentary System’ in: Mark DOYLE (Ed.), The British Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia, 2 Vols. (Santa Barbara/CA: Greenwood, 2018), Vol. 1, 56-58.

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Responsible Government’ in: Mark DOYLE (Ed.), The British Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia, 2 Vols. (Santa Barbara/CA: Greenwood, 2018), Vol. 1, 133-135.


Christian MÜLLER, ‘Manichaeism in American Culture’, in: Praxis Englisch 4-2016 (Munich-Braunschweig: Westermann Schroedel), pp. 43-45. [Didactic reflective essay for teachers and lecturers on Manichaeism and Civil Religion]

Christian MÜLLER, ‘All the world is on stage. Notions of behavior and non-verbal communication in the world of work’, in: Praxis Englisch 3-2015 (Munich-Braunschweig: Westermann Schroedel), pp. 44-47. [Didactic reflective essay for teachers and lecturers on non-verbal communication for grammar/ high school and undergraduate classes]

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Get inspired: Get a degree. How to apply for university in the UK‘, in: Praxis Englisch 3-2015 (Munich-Braunschweig: Westermann Schroedel), p. 25. [Didactic essay for teachers on how to teach students British application procedures]

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Selling with a Smile. The globalization of work’, in: Praxis Englisch 3-2015 (Munich-Braunschweig: Westermann Schroedel), pp. 22-23. [Didactic essay for teachers on how to incorporate work globalization in foreign language education]

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Radio Interview “Stichtag”’, 22 January 2011 – the 110th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s death, WDR 2, 22 January 2011 [German short version of the BBC4 broadcast “In our time” – West German Broadcasting Corporation, Station 2, Interview]

Christian MÜLLER, ‘Belgium and Beyond. Transnationale Geschiedenis in België vanuit een Duits Onderzeoks- en onderwijsperspectief.’ Interview with the Belgian History Association Bulletin / Mededelingenblad van de Belgische Vereniging voor Nieuwe Geschiedenis XXXV, 2013, 2, 26-31. [Interview in Dutch on the transnational perspectives of being an academic expat in Belgium and the perspective for students in the European Union as a study and research area beyond borders and boundaries]