Professor James Martin

Staff details

Position Professor of Political Theory
Email j.martin (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7754
Professor James Martin

James Martin is a political theorist with interests in public speech, argument, and their effects on subjectivity. These interests grew out of a longstanding focus on theories of ideology and discourse, which informed his published research on various Italian thinkers in the twentieth century, on Marxism and post-Marxist thought, and Continental philosophies. More recently, he has been working on rhetoric – the ancient arts of speech and persuasion – and its relationship to emotions and affects in contemporary politics. In this he draws upon the traditions of psychoanalysis and political psychology to explore the ways speech and language shape political feelings. He is currently working on the topic of ‘hate speech’ and preparing to write a short book on the ‘psychopolitics of speech’.

Between 2013 and 2015 James was a Leverhulme Research Fellow working on a project on affects and political speech. He is the convenor of the Rhetoric and Politics Specialist Group of the UK Political Studies Association and a founding member of the Association for Psychosocial Studies. He is a co-editor of the Palgrave journal, Contemporary Political Theory.

Academic qualifications

  • 1994 PhD on the political thought of Antonio Gramsci. University of Bristol
  • 1989 MA in Political Thought. University of Kent at Canterbury
  • 1988 BA Hons, Politics and Sociology. University of East Anglia


James arrived at Goldsmiths as a lecturer in politics after working for six years at Queen’s University, Belfast. There he taught modules on political theory, Italian politics, and fascism. At Goldsmiths he has taught democratic theory, the modern state, and he now teaches modules on rhetoric, Continental philosophy, and psychoanalytic perspectives on politics.

Current modules:

  • Rhetoric and Politics
  • Beyond All Reason
  • Psychopolitics (PG)

Areas of supervision

James has supervised a number of doctoral theses in political theory, political thought, cultural studies and psychology. He is especially interested in projects on: contemporary political theory; rhetoric and political speech; psychoanalysis and politics; and political psychology.

Featured works

  • Rhetoric in British Politics and Society (co-ed), Palgrave 2014
  • Politics and Rhetoric: A Critical Introduction, Routledge 2014
  • Piero Gobetti and the Politics of Liberal Revolution, Palgrave US 2008
  • Third Way Discourse (co-author), Edinburgh University Press 2003
  • Gramsci’s Political Analysis, Macmillan 1998

Research Interests

Professor James Martin's research lies broadly in the realm of Continental political theory, rhetoric and psychoanalysis. See his personal website linked above for further details of his research and publications as well as the Publications tab.



Martin, James. 2019. Psychopolitics of Speech: Uncivil Discourse and the Excess of Desire. Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript. ISBN 9783837639193

Martin, James. 2013. Politics and Rhetoric: A Critical Introduction. Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-70667-4

Martin, James. 2008. Piero Gobetti and the Politics of Liberal Revolution. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230602748

Bastow, Steve and Martin, James. 2003. Third Way Discourse: European Ideologies in the Twentieth Century. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0748615601

Martin, James. 1998. Gramsci’s Political Analysis: A Critical Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0312212438

Edited Book

Martin, James; Atkins, Judi; Finlayson, Alan and Turnbull, Nick, eds. 2014. Rhetoric in British Politics and society. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137325525

Martin, James, ed. 2013. Chantal Mouffe: Hegemony, Radical Democracy, and the Political. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-82522-1

Martin, James, ed. 2008. The Poulantzas Reader: Marxism, Law, and the State. London: Verso. ISBN 978 1 84467 199 1

Martin, James and Carver, Terrell, eds. 2005. Continental Political Thought. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1403903686

Martin, James and Cowling, Mark, eds. 2002. Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire: (Post)Modern Interpretations. Pluto press. ISBN 978-0745318318

Martin, James, ed. 2001. Antonio Gramsci: Critical Assessments of Leading Political Philosophers: Critical Assessments of Political Philosophers: 4 volume set. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415217477

Book Section

Martin, James. 2018. Rhetoric and the Emotions. In: Andreas Hetzel and Gerald Posselt, eds. Handbuch Rhetorik und Philosophie [Handbook of Rhetoric and Philosophy]. 9 Germany: Walter De Gruyter Mouton, pp. 607-623. ISBN 978-3-11-031819-7

Martin, James. 2018. Intersecting Planes: Futurism, Fascism, and Gramsci. In: J. London, ed. One Hundred Years of Futurism: Aesthetics, Politics and Performance. Bristol UK: Intellect Ltd, pp. 79-99. ISBN 9781783208425

Martin, James. 2015. The Rhetoric of the Manifesto. In: Terrell Carver and James Farr, eds. The Cambridge Companion to The Communist Manifesto. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University press, pp. 50-66. ISBN 9781107037007

Martin, James. 2015. Morbid Symptoms: Gramsci and the Crisis of Liberalism. In: Mark McNally, ed. Antonio Gramsci. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 34-51. ISBN 9781137334176

Martin, James. 2010. A post-secular faith: Connolly on pluralism and evil. In: , ed. Democracy and Pluralism: The political thought of William Connolly. London: Routledge, pp. 129-143. ISBN 9780415473507


Martin, James. 2019. The Post-Marxist Gramsci. Global Discourse, ISSN 2326-9995

Martin, James. 2018. Seeing voices: cinema, rhetoric, and subjectivity. Redescriptions, 21(1), pp. 7-22. ISSN 2308-0914

Martin, James. 2016. Capturing Desire: Rhetorical Strategies and the Affectivity of Discourse. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 18(1), pp. 143-160. ISSN 13691481

Martin, James. 2015. Situating Speech: A Rhetorical Approach to Political Strategy. Political Studies, 63(1), pp. 25-42. ISSN 0032-3217

Martin, James. 2012. Gramsci and Gobetti: a case of elective affinity. Journal of Romance Studies, 12(3), pp. 78-89. ISSN 1473–3536

Martin, James. 2010. A radical freedom? Gianni Vattimo's ‘emancipatory nihilism’. Contemporary Political Theory, 9(3), pp. 325-344. ISSN 1470-8914

Martin, James. 2009. Ontology and law in the early Poulantzas. History of European Ideas, 35(4), pp. 465-474. ISSN 0191-6599

Martin, James and Finlayson, Alan. 2008. 'It Ain't What You Say ...': British Political Studies and the Analysis of Speech and Rhetoric. British Politics, 3(4), pp. 445-464. ISSN 1746-918X

Martin, James. 2007. Piero Gobetti and the rhetoric of liberal anti-fascism. History of the Human Sciences, 20(4), pp. 107-127. ISSN 09526951

Martin, James. 2006. Piero Gobetti's Agonistic Liberalism. History of European Ideas, 32(2), pp. 205-222. ISSN 01916599

Martin, James. 2005. Ideology and Antagonism in Modern Italy: Poststructuralist Reflections. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 8(2), pp. 145-160. ISSN 13698230

Martin, James. 2002. The Political logic of discourse: a neo-Gramscian view. History of European Ideas, 28, pp. 21-31. ISSN 0191-6599

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