Professor Richard Bourke FBA

Elected 2018

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

Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin Visiting Fellow

Jan 2018 -

Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin Fellow

Jan 2014 - Jan 2015

Queen Mary University of London Professor in the History of Political Thought

Jan 2012 - Jan 2018

School of History, Queen Mary University of London Reader

Jan 2010 - Jan 2012

Historicum, Ludwig Maximilians Universität München Visiting Fellow

Jan 2006 - Jan 2007

Queen Mary University of London Senior Lecturer

Jan 2005 - Jan 2010

School of History, Queen Mary University of London Lecturer

Jan 2004 - Jan 2005

School of English, Queen Mary University of London Lecturer

Jan 1993 - Jan 1994

University College Dublin Lecturer

Jan 1990 - Jan 1993

Top picks

Burke was no conservative


Richard Bourke explains how Edmund Burke’s support for the American Revolution, and opposition to the French, have been misunderstood.

The concept of sovereignty


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

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