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Professor Panikos Panayi

Job: Professor of European History

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 2078681




Personal profile

Panikos Panayi is Professor of European History. He has worked at De Montfort University since 1990 and has held a personal Chair since 1999. He has published widely and his research fits into the follwoing areas: the history of immigration and interethnic relations; the history of food; the First World War; German history; the history of London; and the history of the Cypriot people.

Research group affiliations

History Research Group

Publications and outputs

  • Migrant City: A New History of London
    Migrant City: A New History of London Panayi, Panikos The first history of London to show how immigrants have built, shaped and made a great success of the capital city London is now a global financial and multicultural hub in which over three hundred languages are spoken. But the history of London has always been a history of immigration. Panikos Panayi explores the rich and vibrant story of London– from its founding two millennia ago by Roman invaders, to Jewish and German immigrants in the Victorian period, to the Windrush generation invited from Caribbean countries in the twentieth century. Panayi shows how migration has been fundamental to London’s economic, social, political and cultural development. Migrant City sheds light on the various ways in which newcomers have shaped London life, acting as cheap labour, contributing to the success of its financial sector, its curry houses, and its football clubs. London’s economy has long been driven by migrants, from earlier continental financiers and more recent European Union citizens. Without immigration, fueled by globalization, Panayi argues, London would not have become the world city it is today.
  • Enemies in the Empire: Civilian Internment in the British Empire during the First World War
    Enemies in the Empire: Civilian Internment in the British Empire during the First World War Panayi, Panikos; Manz, Stefan During the First World War, Britain was the epicentre of global mass internment and deportation operations. Germans, Austro-Hungarians, Turks, and Bulgarians who had settled in Britain and its overseas territories were deemed to be a potential danger to the realm through their ties with the Central Powers and were classified as 'enemy aliens'. A complex set of wartime legislation imposed limitations on their freedom of movement, expression, and property possession. Approximately 50,000 men and some women experienced the most drastic step of enemy alien control, namely internment behind barbed wire, in many cases for the whole duration of the war and thousands of miles away from the place of arrest. Enemies in the Empire is the first study to analyse British internment operations against civilian 'enemies' during the First World War from an imperial perspective. The narrative takes a three-pronged approach. In addition to a global examination, the volume demonstrates how internment operated on a (proto-) national scale within the three selected case studies of the metropole (Britain), a white dominion (South Africa), and a colony under direct rule (India). Stefan Manz and Panikos Panayi then bring their study to the local level by concentrating on the three camps Knockaloe (Britain), Fort Napier (South Africa), and Ahmednagar (India), allowing for detailed analyses of personal experiences. Although conditions were generally humane, in some cases, suffering occurred. The study argues that the British Empire played a key role in developing civilian internment as a central element of warfare and national security on a global scale.
  • Internment during the First World War: A Mass Global Phenomenon
    Internment during the First World War: A Mass Global Phenomenon Panayi, Panikos; Manz, S.; Stibbe, Matthew Although civilian internment has become associated with the Second World War in popular memory, it has a longer history. The turning point in this history occurred during the First World War when, in the interests of ‘security’ in a situation of total war, the internment of ‘enemy aliens’ became part of state policy for the belligerent states, resulting in the incarceration, displacement and, in more extreme cases, the death by neglect or deliberate killing of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. This pioneering book on internment during the First World War brings together international experts to investigate the importance of the conflict for the history of civilian incarceration.
  • Internment during the First World War: A Mass Global Phenomenon
    Internment during the First World War: A Mass Global Phenomenon Manz, S.; Panayi, Panikos; Stibbe, Matthew This article introduces the globalisation of internment during he First World War
  • The Internment of Civilian Enemy Aliens in the British Empire
    The Internment of Civilian Enemy Aliens in the British Empire Panayi, Panikos; Stibbe, Matthew The article examines the global nature of interment within the British Empire during the First World War.
  • The Uniquness of London
    The Uniquness of London Panayi, Panikos While, superficially, London may seem just another destination for migrants, it has a series of unique characteristics, which my proposed essay will outline. First, its long history of immigration, due to the duration of its existence as a major city, meaning that it would be impossible to find any metropolis which can compare, including other apparently global capitals such as Frankfurt, New York or Paris. At the same time, the volume of migrants since the eighteenth century means that it differs from all other British cities. For much of the past two centuries London has counted about 50 per cent of all foreign settlers in Britain. Third, it also now has a unique level of diversity (or super-diversity), especially within the British context, which has become prominent over recent decades, although this also has longer term origins.
  • Work, Leisure, and Sport in Military and Civilian Internment Camps in Britain, 1914–1919
    Work, Leisure, and Sport in Military and Civilian Internment Camps in Britain, 1914–1919 Panayi, Panikos This article examines the work, leisure and sporting activities of Germans interned in Britain during the First world War.
  • The Germans in India: Elite European Migrants in the British Empire
    The Germans in India: Elite European Migrants in the British Empire Panayi, Panikos Based on years of research in libraries and archives in England, Germany, India and Switzerland, this book offers a new interpretation of global migration from the early nineteenth until the early twentieth century. Rather than focusing on the mass transatlantic migration or the movement of Britons towards British colonies, it examines the elite German migrants who made their way to India, especially missionaries, scholars and scientists, businessmen and travellers. The volume outlines the reasons for migration, in which networks played a central role, and then moves on to examine the everyday lives of Germans in India. It tackles the concept of German community and outlines the interaction between Germans, Britons and Indians, which the First World War completely transformed. The history of the Germans in India is contextualised against the background of nineteenth-century globalisation as a result of imperialism and the internationalisation of German migrant identities. The story told here questions, for the first time, the concept of Europeans in India. Previous scholarship has tended to ignore any national variations in the presence of white people in India, viewing them either as part of a ruling elite or, more recently, white subalterns. The German elites undermine these conceptions. Developing into a distinct group before 1914, especially in the missionary compounds, the Government of India marginalised and expelled them during the First World War, when for the first time, many of them realised they had a distinct German national identity.
  • Afterword
    Afterword Panayi, Panikos This article provides a summary of the contributions to the book edited by Hannah Ewence and Tim Grady on 'Minorities and the First World War'
  • Refugees and the End of Empire
    Refugees and the End of Empire Panayi, Panikos The major Empires that collapsed during the twentieth century produced successor states which developed new forms of exclusivist nationalist ideologies which identified, and often expelled, sectors of their populations that did not possess the right ethnic ‘credentials’. This process first manifested itself with the end of the Ottoman Empire, where successor states in the Balkans ‘exchanged’ populations while the newly nationalist rump Turkey eliminated or expelled its Armenian and Greek populations. These processes continued after 1945 because the collapse of the British and French colonial Empires were accompanied by population ‘exchanges’ and expulsions, especially in the case of India/Pakistan. Finally, the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Empire triggered a new mass refugee crisis. This chapter examines the relationship between imperial collapse, the emergence of successor nationalism, and the exclusion of ethnic groups with the wrong credentials.

Click here for a full listing of Panikos Panayi‘s publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

With Stefan Manz, Enemies in the Empire: Civilian Internment in the British Empire during the First World War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).

Migrant City: a New History of London (London: Yale Univerity Press, 2020).

(Eds), With Stefan Manz and Matthew Stibbe (Eds), Internment during the First World War: A Mass Global Phenomenon (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018)

The Germans in India: Elite European Migrants in the British Empire (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017)

Fish and Chips (London: Reaktion, 2014).

(Ed.), Germans as Minorities During the First World War: A Global Comparative Perspective  (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014).

With Stefan Manz (Eds), Refugees and Cultural Transfer to Britain (Abingdon: Routledge, Hardback, 2013: Kindle 2013; Paperback, 2015).

Prisoners of Britain: German Civilian and Combatant Internees during the First World War (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012 [hardback]; 2014 [paperback]).

With Pippa Virdee (Eds), Refugees and the End of Empire: Imperial Collapse and Forced Migration during the Twentieth Century  (Basingstoke:Palgrave, 2011; Kindle, 2011).

An Immigration History of Britain: Multicultural Racism Since c1800 (London: Longman, 2010; Abingdon: Routledge, 2016).

Life and Death in a German Town: Osnabrück from the Weimar Republic to World War Two and Beyond (London: IB Tauris, 2007).

With Kathy Burrell (Eds), Histories and Memories: Migrants and their History in Britain (London: IB Tauris, 2006).

(Ed.) Weimar and Nazi Germany: Continuities and Discontinuities (London: Longman, 2001).

Ethnic Minorities in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Germany: Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Turks and Others (London: Longman, 2000).

An Ethnic History of Europe Since 1945: Nations, States and Minorities (London: Longman, 2000).

The Impact of Immigration: A Documentary History of the Effects and Experiences of Immigrants and Refugees in Britain Since 1945 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999).

Outsiders: A History of European Minorities (London: Hambledon, 1999).

(Ed.) Germans in Britain since 1500  (London: Hambledon Press, 1996).

With Klaus Larres (Eds) The Federal Republic of Germany Since 1949: Politics, Society and Economy Before and After Unification (London: Longman, 1996).

German Immigrants in Britain during the Nineteenth Century, 1815-1914 (Oxford: Berg, 1995).

Immigration, Ethnicity and Racism in Britain, 1815-1945 (Manchester: Manchester University Press 1994).

(Ed.) Racial Violence in Britain, 1840-1950 (Leicester:  Leicester University Press, 1993). Second Edition appeared as Racial Violence in Britain in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (London: Leicester University Press, 1996).

Minorities in Wartime: National and Racial Groupings in Europe, North America and Australia during the Two World Wars (Oxford:  Berg, 1993).

The Enemy in Our Midst: Germans in Britain During the First World War (Oxford: Berg, 1991). 

Research interests/expertise

The history of immigration and interethnic relations; the history of food; the First World War; German history; the history of London; and the history of the Cypriot people.

Areas of teaching

European history; German history; the history of immigrants in Britain; nationalism, racism and genocide in twentieth century Europe


BA History, Ph.D History

Courses taught

Panikos teaches on the following modules

Twentieth Century Europe

Germany during the Second World War

Englishmen and Foreigners: Immigration, Ethnicity and Racism in Britain during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Nationalism, Racism and Genocide in Twentieth Century Europe

Honours and awards

My numerous research projects have been funded, over many decades, by the following bodies, in some cases on several occasions: the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; the Arts and Humanities Research Council; the British Academy; the Gerda Henkel Foundation; the Higher Education Innovation Fund; the Leventis Foundation; the Leverhulme Trust; the Royal Historical Society; and the Scouloudi Foundation.

Membership of external committees

I sit on the editorial board of Immigrants and Minorities.

Membership of professional associations and societies

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


I am currently working on two projects.

1. 'The Cypriot Peasant', funded by the Leventis Foundation and De Montfort University, which takes a new approach to the history of Cyprus by focusing upon the population of the island, rather than seeing the inhabitants as victims of ethnic conflict. 

2. 'Immigrants in Britain during the Long Nineteenth Century: A Documentary History of Realities and Perceptions' consisting of four volumes commissioned by Routledge. 


Current research students

Jessica Cretney, 'The Concentration Camp, Spatial Experience and Architectural Modernism, 1933-1945'.

Pat Redmond, 'The Black and Minority Ethnic Footballer in Ireland (1958-2018): Racism, Identity and Migration'.

Externally funded research grants information

2020-21: €3,000 from the Leventis Foundation for a project on 'The Cypriot Peasant'.

2016-17: £5,980 from the British Academy for a project on ‘Real Londoners: Immigration and the Making of London’.

2016: £9,474 from the AHRC for a project on ‘Knockaloe in Local, National and Global Context’

2014-15: €13,000 from Gerda Henkel Foundation for a project with Stefan Manz (Aston) on ‘Interning German “Enemy Aliens” in the British Empire during World War I: Global, National and Local Perspectives’.

2014: €10,950 from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for a project on ‘The Germans in India, c1800-1918’

2009-10: £7,480 from the British Academy to fund research on ‘Prisoners of Britain: German Civilian, Military and Naval Internees during the First World War’

Internally funded research project information

2012-15: £30,000 from the Higher Education Innovation Fund for a project on ‘Internment during the First World War: Remembering, Forgetting and Experiencing on a Local, National and Global Scale’.

Newspaper Articles

'The Top Ten Books about Londoners', Guardian, 8 April 2020.

'Cod's Gift to British Cuisine’, Jewish Chronicle, 4 December 2014.

Immigration Has Made Britain a Stronger Country’, Mirror (7 February 2011).

‘Pride and Prejudice: The Victorian Roots of a Very British Ambivalence to Immigration’, Independent (2 July 2010).

‘Make Mine a “Full Muslim”’, The Times Higher (29 June 2007).

PhD Supervision

I welcome applications for Ph.D supervision in the following areas: the First World War; the history of migrants and ethnic minorities in Britain and Germany; Germany during the Second World War;  the history of food.