Robert Tombs's main area of research has been nineteenth-century French political history, and especially popular political culture. He has been particularly concerned with the Paris Commune of 1871 and with French nationalism from the 1830s to 1914. He has also worked on the history of the relationship between the French and the British, from the end of the seventeenth century to the present day, including the cultural and economic as well as the political and military spheres.
His most recent book is The English and Their History (2014), but he continues to work and publish on French history and on French attitudes to Britain.
Franco-British relations since the eighteenth century. Most aspects of modern and contemporary French history, including politics and political ideas; cultural identities (national, gender, religious etc); cultural representations; war.
Modern European history in general (from 1789 to the present); with particular (though not necessarily research-based) interest in nationalism and revolution. He teaches a Part II specified subject, 'France and the British problem', which covers French attitudes and policies towards Britain over the past three centuries