Professor in the History of Political Thought
Location Arts Two 4.05
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8345
Richard Bourke took his first degree at University College Dublin and completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He is co-director of the Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought, and previously co-directed the AHRC-funded Popular Sovereignty Network. In 2016 he was joint winner of the István Hont Memorial Book Prize in Intellectual History. He has held a number of visiting positions in Germany and the USA, most recently an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship at the Huntington Library in San Marino, and a Visiting Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study in Berlin. He has reviewed and commented on current affairs for The Financial Times, Prospect Magazine, Standpoint, The Nation, The Literary Review, The Times Literary Supplement and the BBC.
Richard Bourke’s work has focused on the history of political theory, particularly on enlightenment political thought, but also on ancient intellectual history and political ideas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has also written widely on Irish history, above all on the Troubles. In addition he has written on various issues in contemporary political thought, ranging from nationalism and conservatism to political judgment and popular sovereignty. His principal publications include Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke and Peace in Ireland: The War of Ideas . He has also co-edited Political Judgement, The Princeton History of Modern Ireland, and Popular Sovereignty in Historical Perspective. He is currently working on the philosophy of history since Kant, and on the history of democracy.
- Eighteenth-Century Political Thought
- Enlightenment Intellectual History
- Ancient Political Thought
- Twentieth-Century Political Ideas
- Political Judgement
- Modern Nationalism
- Irish History
Current PhD Students
Professor Bourke welcomes applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research in the following areas:
- History of Political Thought
- Enlightenment Intellectual History
- Modern Irish History
Recent Selected Publications
- Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2015), pp. xxiv + 1044 pp.
- Editor, with Quentin Skinner, and contributor, Popular Sovereignty in Historical Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016)
- Editor, with Ian McBride, and contributor, The Princeton History of Modern Ireland (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016), 448 pp.
- Peace in Ireland: The War of Ideas(London: Random House, Pimlico, 2003, 2nd edition with new Preface, 2012), xvi + 462 pp.
- ‘Party, Parliament and Conquest in Newly Ascribed Burke Manuscripts’, Historical Journal, 55:3 (September 2012), pp. 619–52.
- ‘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.
- ‘Pocock and the Presuppositions of the New British History’, Historical Journal, 53:3 (September 2010), pp. 747–70.
- Editor, with Raymond Geuss, and contributor, Political Judgement: Essays for John Dunn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), viii + 354 pp.
Fellowships and Awards
- Choice Outstanding Academic Title for The Princeton History of Modern Ireland (2017).
- Joint winner of the István Hont Memorial Book Prize in Intellectual History (2016).
- Book of the Year Award for The Princeton History of Modern Ireland from The Irish Times (2016).
- Book of the Year for Empire and Revolution from The Guardian, The Spectator, The Irish Times (2015).
- Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2014-15)
- James M. Osborn Fellowship in English Literature and History, Beinecke Library, Yale (2010).
- William Andrews Clark Memorial Library Fellowship, UCLA (2009).
- Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship, Historical Institute, University of Munich, Germany (2006–07).
- Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, Huntington Library, San Marino (2011).
- John Carter Brown Library Associates Fellowship, Brown University (2004).
Membership of professional associations or societies
- Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
Board of Advisors, Journal of British Studies, Cambridge University Press
Series Co-Editor, Ideas in Context, Cambridge University Press
European Advisory Board, Princeton University Press
- Editorial Board, History of European Ideas
Recent broadcasts, public lectures and interviews
- Edmund Burke (New Books Network)
- Sovereignty (In Our Time)
- What was the Old Regime?
- The Prudence, Principles and Passion of Edmund Burke: A Conversation with Richard Bourke
- Talking History (Edmund Burke)
- Edmund Burke (The National Review)
- Edmund Burke and the Origins of Conservatism
- Popular Sovereignty
- British Conservatism: The Grand Tour
- Edmund Burke (In Our Time)
- Edmund Burke on Politics
Appearances in the media
Richard Bourke has commented on both past and current affairs, particularly on British, Irish and European politics, as well as on the history of ideologies like democracy and conservatism, for a range of print and other media, including BBC television, the BBC World Service, BBC Radio, Press TV, RTÉ Radio, Financial Times, The Irish Times and Prospect Magazine. He has also written essays and reviews for such periodicals as the Times Literary Supplement, Political Quarterly, The Literary Review, Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte and Revista de História da Biblioteca Nacional.