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Dr Niall O'Flaherty

Senior Lecturer in the History of European Political Thought

Research interests

  • History
  • Politics


Niall received his PhD from King’s College, Cambridge in April 2008, and his MA and BA from Queen Mary, University of London. His PhD was supervised by Professor Boyd Hilton with Professor Gareth Stedman Jones acting as a second supervisor. Niall has taught the history of political ideas at the University of Cambridge and Queen Mary, University of London.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • The Intellectual History of Britain in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
  • Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Britain
  • European Political Ideas

Niall’s research focuses on eighteenth and nineteenth-century social, religious and scientific thought in Britain with particular reference to Thomas Robert Malthus and Charles Darwin. It examines the changing nexus between theology, science and social thought, as well as questions relating to the secularisation of social discourse in the period. Niall’s thesis, which he is currently developing into a book, gives an historical account of political and religious thought in Britain at the end of the eighteenth century, focusing particularly on the most influential thinker of the period, William Paley (1743-1805). He is also more generally interested in European Political ideas in the Enlightenment.

Niall welcomes applications for PhD topics related to any of his research interests. 

For more details, please see his full research profile.