Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Dr Geoff Andrews

Dr Geoff Andrews

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in Politics
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Social Sciences & Global Studies
  • Politics
  • geoff.andrews

Professional biography

Geoff Andrews was educated at Ruskin College, Oxford and University College, Cardiff, with a PhD from Kingston University. He joined The Open University as Staff Tutor in 2000, having previously been Senior Lecturer in Politics at The University of Hertfordshire. He has also taught for several years at the University of Oxford's Department for Continuing Education.

He served as the Social Science Faculty’s Media Fellow between 2011-2015, working on OU-BBC co-productions with colleagues from the Open Media Unit.

Research interests

Dr Andrews has researched and published widely on the history of political ideas and movements. His latest book The Shadow Man: at the Heart of the Cambridge Spy Circle (I.B. Tauris, 2015), explored the political commitments of those attracted to communism in Britain in the 1930s, and through the life of James Klugmann examined the conflicts of loyalties faced by communist intellectuals of the period. This drew on a range of different historical sources, personal archives and memoirs, and made critical use of MI5 and other security service files. He is now working on a research project investigating the question of contested loyalties among Oxford communists in the 1930s as well as a new book on John Cairncross, the so-called 'fifth man' of the Cambridge spy ring.

In addition to his ongoing research on the 1930s, Dr Andrews is preparing a monograph on the 19thCentury social commentator and skilled artisan Thomas Wright. Wright published important works from first-hand experience on the conditions of the working classes at important moments of social and political change. His writings go beyond simple categories and include profound social commentary on the key questions of the day.  Initially well-regarded among contemporaries, his work has since been forgotten or interpreted in very restrictive parameters, notably within the ‘labour aristocracy’ thesis. This book is intended to rediscover the life and work of Wright, offer fresh insight into his writings and situate his thought within a broader framework.

Dr Andrews's research has previously focused on political movements and ideas since the 1960s.  His earlier books include: The Slow Food Story: Politics and Pleasure (2008), (also published in Italian and North American editions): Not a Normal Country: Italy After Berlusconi (2005), (published in Italian as Un paese anormale (2006) and Endgames and New Times; the Final Years of British Communism (2004). 

He has written for a range of newspapers, has been a regular commentator on Italian politics and an occasional contributor to the Food Programme on BBC Radio 4.

PhD supervision

Geoff Andrews welcomes applications from PhD students working on contemporary political ideas and movements and aspects of labour history.

Teaching interests

Dr Andrews has been closely involved with the production of several Open University politics modules. These include Understanding Politics: Ideas and Institutions in the Modern World (DD211), which he currently chairs; Power, Dissent, Equality: Understanding Contemporary Politics (DD203) and Living Political Ideas (DD306). He has also contributed to other interdisciplinary modules, including Introducing the Social Sciences (DD102) and Investigating the Information Society: Social Science in Action (DXR220), a residential school module.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Citizenship, Identifies and Governance (CCIG)CentreFaculty of Social Sciences


Abe Lazarus and the Lost World of British Communism (2017-04-01)
Andrews, Geoff
History Workshop Journal, 83(1) (pp. 272-288)
The Shadow Man: At the Heart of the Cambridge Spy Circle (2015-09-29)
Andrews, Geoff
ISBN : 978-1-78453-166-9 | Publisher : I.B.Tauris | Published : London
Slow Food: Una storia tra politica e piacere (2010-04-09)
Andrews, Geoff
ISBN : 978-88-15-13707-4 | Publisher : Il Mulino | Published : Bologna, Italy
The Slow Food Story: Politics and Pleasure (2008)
Andrews, Geoff
ISBN : 978074532744 | Publisher : Pluto Press | Published : London
Not a Normal Country: Italy After Berlusconi (2005-07-20)
Andrews, Geoff
ISBN : 0-7453-2367-7 | Publisher : Pluto Press | Published : London
The Communist Party of Great Britain and Eurocommunism: A Brief Encounter (2016-12-01)
Andrews, Geoff
In: Di Palma, Francesco and Mueller, Wolfgang eds. Kommunismus und Europa: Europapolitik und -vorstellungen europäischer kommunistischer Parteien im Kalten Krieg (pp. 221-240)
ISBN : 978-3-506-77710-2 | Publisher : Ferdinand Schöningh | Published : Paderborn
Ramelson (former name Rachmilevitch), Baruch [Bert], (1910–1994) (2018-10-11)
Andrews, Geoff
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography