Research

I am interested in the history and development of political ideas in Europe, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  One strand of my research has focused on the Scottish Enlightenment and especially on Adam Ferguson; this work resulted in a book on Ferguson published by Harvard University Press (2013).  I have also written more generally about the themes of empire, war and peace, democracy and commerce in the period of the Enlightenment.  More recently I have been working on the topic of “Caesarism” in the political thought of nineteenth-century Europe, especially in France and Germany.  Other recent projects have encompassed the history of political economy, the conceptual history of “ochlocracy,” and debates about political resistance