Professor Richard Bourke
Location: Arts Two 4.05
Professor in the History of Political Thought
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7882 8345
Richard Bourke specialises in the history of political thought and intellectual history, focusing on enlightenment political ideas, having also published in literary and political history. He studied at Dublin, London, Oxford and Cambridge, and then taught at University College Dublin before moving to Queen Mary. He has been a Fellow of the John Carter Brown Library (2004), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2006–07), the Clark Memorial Library (2009), the Beinecke (2010) and the Huntington (2011). He recently co-edited Political Judgement (2009) with Raymond Geuss, and is completing Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke for Princeton University Press. He is a co-editor for the Cambridge University Press series Ideas in Context, and co-director of the Popular Sovereignty Network under the auspices of the Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought. He has commented on current affairs for BBC television, the BBC World Service, the Financial Times and The Irish Times, and reviews regularly for Political Quarterly and the Times Literary Supplement.
Richard Bourke’s research interests lie in the fields of the history of political thought, and modern Irish history. His work in the history of political thought concentrates on the Enlightenment, with a particular focus on the thought of Edmund Burke. His research in Irish history has centred on the Northern Ireland conflict, but has also dealt with the roots of the crisis since 1886.
Bourke has also published on the political theory of the ancients, and he is interested in the historiography of nationalism. In general, his work focuses on the issues of empire and democracy, specifically on the problem of conquest and ideas of equality. In this connection he is interested in the theme of civil conflict.
Current or recently supervised PhD theses:
‘The British Enlightenment and Ideas of Empire in India, 1756–1773’
‘British Counter-Insurgency Policy: the IRA, the Haganah, the Irgun and the LEHI Compared’.
‘Russia in Enlightenment Historiography’.
‘Languages of Political Participation in England, 1776–1861’.
'The Classical Tradition in Eighteenth Century Republicanism’.
'Political Economy and the 1801 Union between Great Britain and Ireland: The Debate over Ireland's Future in the Context of the Development of European Mercantile Empires’.
‘Party, Parliament and Conquest in Newly Ascribed Burke Manuscripts’, Historical Journal, 55:3 (September 2012).
‘Burke, Enlightenment and Romanticism’ in David Dwan and Chris Insole eds., The Cambridge Companion to Burke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 27–40.
‘Languages of Conflict and the Northern Ireland Troubles’, Journal of Modern History, 83:3 (September 2011), pp. 544–78.
‘Pity and Fear: Providential Sociability in Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry’ in Michael Funk Deckard and Koen Vermeir eds., The Science of Sensibility: Reading Edmund Burke's Philosophical Enquiry (Springer-Verlag GmbH: Heidelberg, 2011).
‘Pocock and the Presuppositions of the New British History’, Historical Journal, 53:3 (September 2010), pp. 747–70.
Political Judgement ed., with Raymond Geuss (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
‘Theory and Practice: The Revolution in Political Judgement’ in Political Judgement eds. Richard Bourke and Raymond Geuss (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 73–109.
'Enlightenment, Revolution and Democracy', Revolution and Democracy', Constellations, 15:1 (March 2008), pp. 10-32.
‘Edmund Burke and the Politics of Conquest’, Modern Intellectual History, 4:3 (November 2007), 403–432.
Peace in Ireland: The War of Ideas (London: Random House, 2003, 2012).
Postgraduate teaching:Method and Practice in the History of Political Thought and Intellectual History
Democracy: Ancient and Modern