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Robin Douglass

Senior Lecturer in Political Theory

douglassPostal Address:

Department of Political Economy
King’s College London
Strand Campus
Bush House (North East Wing)
30 Aldwych
London WC2B 4BG



Telephone: +44 (0)20 7848 1688

Room number: 8.12 Bush House (North East Wing)

Office Hours (semester two):

Thursdays: 14.30 - 16.30


Dr Robin Douglass joined the Department of Political Economy in July 2012. He previously studied at the University of York for both his BA in History and Politics and his MA in Political Philosophy, and then at the University of Exeter for his PhD.


In 2017/18 Robin is teaching 'Introduction to Political Theory', ‘Contemporary Issues in Political Theory’ and 'Commerce, Liberty and Virtue: Commercial Society and its Critics'.

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

  • History of modern political thought, especially 17-18th century
  • Hobbes, Mandeville, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Adam Smith (amongst others)
  • Liberalism
  • Political legitimacy
  • Republicanism
  • Social contract theory.


Robin’s expertise is in the history of modern political thought and he is especially interested in assessing how interpretations of historical thinkers continue to influence and structure debates in contemporary political philosophy.

Most of Robin’s research to date has focused on the thought of Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Future plans include a monograph on Bernard Mandeville's political philosophy. 

Robin is a co-founder and the current President of the European Hobbes Society, and serves on the board of the Rousseau Association. He is co-editor of the European Journal of Political Theory.



Hobbes’s On the Citizen: A Critical Guide, ed. with Johan Olsthoorn, under contract with Cambridge University Press.

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

Rousseau and Hobbes: Nature, Free Will, and the Passions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). Reviewed in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Contemporary Political Theory, Review of PoliticsThe Philosophical ForumHobbes Studies.



Morality and sociability in commercial society: Smith, Rousseau—and Mandeville’, The Review of Politics, 79:4 (2017), 597-620.

'Hobbes and political realism', European Journal of Political Theory, online first.

'Control, consent and political legitimacy'Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 19:2 (2016), 121–40.

'Leviathans old and new: what Collingwood saw in Hobbes'History of European Ideas, 41:4 (2015), 527–43

‘Thomas Hobbes’s changing account of liberty and challenge to republicanism’History of Political Thought, 36:2 (2015), 281–309

‘The body politic “is a fictitious body”: Hobbes on imagination and fiction’, Hobbes Studies, 27:2 (2014), 126–47

‘Rousseau’s critique of representative sovereignty: Principled or pragmatic?’, American Journal of Political Science, 57:3 (2013), 735–47

‘Montesquieu and modern republicanism’Political Studies, 60:3 (2012), 703–19

‘Rousseau’s debt to Burlamaqui: The ideal of nature and the nature of things’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 72:2 (2011), 209–30

‘Free will and the problem of evil: Reconciling Rousseau’s divided thought’, History of Political Thought, 31:4 (2010), 639–55

Review essays

‘Tuck, Rousseau and the sovereignty of the people'History of European Ideas, 42:8 (2016), 1111–14

'What's wrong with inequality? Some Rousseauian perspectives'European Journal of Political Theory, 14:3 (2015), 368–77

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