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About this Fellow

Richard Bourke’s work focuses on the history of political thought, particularly on the political ideas of the enlightenment, but he also has interests in ancient philosophy, and in political theory in the 19th and 20th centuries. He has written, in addition, on Irish history, above all on the Troubles. He has also published on various issues in contemporary political thought, ranging from nationalism and conservatism to political judgment and popular sovereignty. He is currently working on the philosophy of history since Kant, and on the history of democracy.




Current post

  • Professor of the History of Political Thought, University of Cambridge, 2019–
  • Fellow, King’s College Cambridge, 2018–

Past Appointments

  • Professor in the History of Political Thought, Queen Mary University of London, 2012 - 2018
  • Visiting Fellow, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin, 2018
  • Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 2014 - 2015
  • Reader, School of History, Queen Mary University of London, 2010 - 2012
  • Visiting Fellow, Historicum, Ludwig Maximilians Universität München, 2006 - 2007
  • Senior Lecturer, Queen Mary University of London, 2005 - 2010
  • Lecturer, School of History, Queen Mary University of London, 2004 - 2005
  • Lecturer, School of English, Queen Mary University of London, 1993 - 1994
  • Lecturer, University College Dublin, 1990 - 1993

Top picks

Article link-icon

Burke was no conservative

Richard Bourke explains how Edmund Burke’s support for the American Revolution, and opposition to the French, have been misunderstood. 22 Dec 2015
Video link-icon

The concept of sovereignty

Richard Bourke on political community, history of political philosophy, and the modern struggle over the location of sovereignty. 14 Jun 2017


Other Early Modern History to 1850 Fellows

Professor Deborah Howard

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History of science, 16th-19th centuries.: probability and statistics; scientific observation; objectivity; formal theories of rationality

Professor Denis Crouzet

Religions history, 'Histoire de l'imaginaire', Wars of religion, War & peace during the European Renaissance, astrology, early modern political thought.

Professor Joachim Whaley

The Holy Roman Empire in its European context from the fifteenth century to 1806; the legacy of the Holy Roman Empire in German-speaking central Europe from 1806 to the present