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Professor Robin Douglass
Professor Robin Douglass

Professor Robin Douglass

Professor of Political Theory

Research interests

  • Politics

Biography

Robin Douglass joined the Department of Political Economy in July 2012. His research focuses on the history of modern political thought. He is a co-founder of the European Hobbes Society and co-editor of the European Journal of Political Theory.

Office hours

Monday: 09.00 - 10.00

Tuesday: 13.00 - 14.00

Teaching and PhD Supervision

In 2023/24, Robin is teaching ‘History of Western Political Thought’, ‘Eighteenth-Century Political Thought’, ‘Twentieth-Century Political Thought’, and ‘Advanced Texts in Political Theory’.

Robin would welcome PhD applicants interested in political theory/history of political thought, especially focusing on:

  • History of modern political thought, especially 17-18th century
  • Thomas Hobbes, Bernard Mandeville, Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, Sophie de Grouchy, Judith Shklar (amongst others)
  • Liberalism

Publications

Books

Mandeville’s Fable: Pride, Hypocrisy, and Sociability (Princeton University Press, 2023).

Hobbes’s On the Citizen: A Critical Guide, ed. with Johan Olsthoorn (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Hobbes on Politics and Religion, ed. with Laurens van Apeldoorn (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Rousseau and Hobbes: Nature, Free Will, and the Passions (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Articles and book chapters

‘Egalitarian sympathies? Adam Smith and Sophie de Grouchy on inequality and social order’, European Journal of Philosophy, online first.

‘The dark side of recognition: Bernard Mandeville and the morality of pride’, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, online first.

‘Cruelty, injustice, and the liberalism of fear’, Political Theory 51, no. 5 (2023), 790–813.

‘Rousseau’s republican citizenship: The moral psychology of The Social Contract’, in The Cambridge Companion to Rousseau’s Social Contract, ed. David Lay Williams and Matthew W. Maguire (Cambridge University Press, 2023), 64–86.

‘A moral philosophy for commercial society?’, in Interpreting Adam Smith: Critical Essays, ed. Paul Sagar (Cambridge University Press, 2023), 124–41.

‘Bernard Mandeville on the use and abuse of hypocrisy’, Political Studies 70, no. 2 (2022), 465–82.

‘Mandeville on the origins of virtue’, British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28, no. 2 (2020), 276–95.

‘Hobbes and political realism’, European Journal of Political Theory 19, no. 2 (2020), 250–69.

‘Inequality’, in The Rousseauian Mind, ed. Eve Grace and Christopher Kelly (Routledge, 2019), 308–18.

‘Theorising commercial society: Rousseau, Smith and Hont’, European Journal of Political Theory 17, no. 4 (2018), 501–11.

‘Hobbes sur la représentation et la souveraineté’, in Les Défis de la représentation : Langages, pratiques et figuration du gouvernement, ed. Manuela Albertone and Dario Castiglione (Classiques Garnier, 2018), 91–114.

‘Authorisation and representation before Leviathan, Hobbes Studies 31, no. 1 (2018), 30–47.

‘Morality and sociability in commercial society: Smith, Rousseau—and Mandeville’, The Review of Politics 79, no. 4 (2017), 597–620.

‘Tuck, Rousseau and the sovereignty of the people’, History of European Ideas 42, no. 8 (2016), 1111–14.

‘Control, consent and political legitimacy’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 19, no. 2 (2016), 121–40.

Leviathans old and new: what Collingwood saw in Hobbes’, History of European Ideas 41, no. 4 (2015), 527–43.

‘What’s wrong with inequality? Some Rousseauian perspectives’, European Journal of Political Theory 14, no. 3 (2015), 368–77.

‘Thomas Hobbes’s changing account of liberty and challenge to republicanism’, History of Political Thought 36, no. 2 (2015), 281–309.

‘The body politic “is a fictitious body”: Hobbes on imagination and fiction’, Hobbes Studies 27, no. 2 (2014), 126–47.

‘Rousseau’s critique of representative sovereignty: Principled or pragmatic?’, American Journal of Political Science 57, no. 3 (2013), 735–47.

‘Montesquieu and modern republicanism’, Political Studies 60, no. 3 (2012), 700–19.

‘Rousseau’s debt to Burlamaqui: The ideal of nature and the nature of things’, Journal of the History of Ideas 72, no. 2 (2011), 209–30.

‘Free will and the problem of evil: Reconciling Rousseau’s divided thought’, History of Political Thought 31, no. 4 (2010), 639–55.

Research

Tower_Bridge_Sunset_HERO
Political Theory Research Group

The political theory group covers many topics and approaches, and affirms the central importance of political economy to political theory.

Fourth Annual Distinguished Lecture in Economics
Politics, Philosophy and Economics Research Group

The PPE research group studies questions spanning the disciplines of politics, philosophy, and economics.

News

Work of ground-breaking philosopher the focus of new book

The ground-breaking work of Bernard Mandeville is the subject of a forthcoming book authored by a King’s College London academic.

SPENewsStock

Top academic award for King's professor

A King’s professor has been awarded a top academic prize in recognition of his contribution to the community of political theorists in the UK and Ireland.

SPENewsStock

Is hypocrisy essential for peaceful society?

Is all hypocrisy malicious or are there strands of ‘good’ hypocrisy that are essential in order for humans to live together peacefully?

Philosophy Mobile Hero

Events

06JunMandeville's Fable

Book launch event: Mandeville’s Fable by Robin Douglass

Join us to celebrate the publication of Robin Douglass’s new monograph, Mandeville’s Fable: Pride, Hypocrisy, and Sociability.

Please note: this event has passed.

27AprLivingTogether

Living Together: A workshop

Join us at King’s College London to discuss the release of Dr David Schmidtz’s new book, Living Together: Inventing Moral Science.

Please note: this event has passed.

Research

Tower_Bridge_Sunset_HERO
Political Theory Research Group

The political theory group covers many topics and approaches, and affirms the central importance of political economy to political theory.

Fourth Annual Distinguished Lecture in Economics
Politics, Philosophy and Economics Research Group

The PPE research group studies questions spanning the disciplines of politics, philosophy, and economics.

News

Work of ground-breaking philosopher the focus of new book

The ground-breaking work of Bernard Mandeville is the subject of a forthcoming book authored by a King’s College London academic.

SPENewsStock

Top academic award for King's professor

A King’s professor has been awarded a top academic prize in recognition of his contribution to the community of political theorists in the UK and Ireland.

SPENewsStock

Is hypocrisy essential for peaceful society?

Is all hypocrisy malicious or are there strands of ‘good’ hypocrisy that are essential in order for humans to live together peacefully?

Philosophy Mobile Hero

Events

06JunMandeville's Fable

Book launch event: Mandeville’s Fable by Robin Douglass

Join us to celebrate the publication of Robin Douglass’s new monograph, Mandeville’s Fable: Pride, Hypocrisy, and Sociability.

Please note: this event has passed.

27AprLivingTogether

Living Together: A workshop

Join us at King’s College London to discuss the release of Dr David Schmidtz’s new book, Living Together: Inventing Moral Science.

Please note: this event has passed.