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Dr Adrian Blau


Senior Lecturer in Politics

Postal 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 1997

Twitter: @DrAdrianBlau Profile

Personal Blog

Room number: 9.06 Bush House (North East Wing)

Office Hours:
On Research Leave until September 2019


Dr Adrian Blau is Senior Lecturer in Politics in the Department of Political Economy and Director of Education. He works on democratic theory and practice, including deliberative democracy, deliberative policy-making, electoral systems and party systems; corruption, Hobbes, history of political thought, and research methods.

Adrian was an undergraduate at Cambridge, did his Masters and PhD at Oxford, and has worked at Oxford, at Queen Mary, University of London, and at Manchester, where he was a post-doc and then a lecturer.


Adrian is currently writing a book called Hobbes's Failed Science of Politics and Ethics. He works on rationality, and on research methods in political theory in general and the history of political thought in particular. He edited the first ever textbook on political theory methods: Methods in Analytical Political Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

His PhD research was on normative aspects of electoral systems and he still works and publishes on democracy in theory and practice.

Most of Adrian’s work involves bringing together ideas from political theory and political science.



  • Fundamentals of Politics Research
  • Philosophy and Practice of PPE
  • Race and Racism in Political Theory


  • Theories of Politics: Machiavelli to Bentham

Adrian has won two King's College London Teaching Excellence Awards, in 2013 and in 2016.

PhD Supervision

Adrian has supervised PhD dissertations in political science and political theory. He is happy to consider applications in any aspect of his research: democratic theory and practice, including deliberative democracy, deliberative policy-making, electoral systems and party systems; corruption, Hobbes, history of political thought, and research methods. Before contacting Adrian about potential PhD supervision, please read the DPE Guidance for Applicants.

Current PhD students supervised:

  • Charlie Mealings, 'Deliberative Democracy, Agonistic Democracy, and Participatory Design’

Recently completed PhD students supervised:

  • Elena Ziliotti, 'Democracy and the East Asian Meritocratic Challenge'
  • Donald Bello Hutt, 'Popular Constitutionalism and Deliberative Democracy'
  • Irena Schneider, 'Corruption and Trust in the Caucasus Region'
  • Simon Kaye, 'Democracy, ignorance and exclusion: a critique of the notion of public reason' (as second supervisor).
  • Elizabeth Morrow, 'Framing, counter-framing and mobilisation: an ethnographic study of the English Defence League'.


Journal articles:

Adrian Blau, ‘Cognitive corruption and deliberative democracy’, Social Philosophy and Policy (forthcoming).

Adrian Blau, 'History of political thought as detective-work', History of European Ideas 41:8 (2015), 1178-1194.

Adrian Blau, ‘Anti-Strauss’, Journal of Politics 74:1 (2012).

Adrian Blau, ‘Uncertainty and the history of ideas’, History and Theory 50:3 (2011), 358-72.

Adrian Blau, ‘Rationality and deliberative democracy: a constructive critique of John Dryzek’s democratic theory’, Contemporary Political Theory 10:1 (2011), 37-57.

Adrian Blau, ‘ Hobbes on corruption’, History of Political Thought 30:4 (2009), 596-616.

Adrian Blau, ‘The effective number of parties at four scales: votes, seats, legislative power and cabinet power’, Party Politics 14:2 (2008), 167-87.

Adrian Blau, ‘Against positive and negative freedom’, Political Theory 32:4 (2004), 547–53.

Adrian Blau, ‘A quadruple whammy for first-past-the-post, Electoral Studies
23:3 (2004), 431–53.

Adrian Blau, ‘Fairness and electoral reform’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations 6:2 (2004), 165–81. 

Adrian Blau, ‘Partisan bias in British general elections’, British Elections and Parties Review 11 (2001), 46–65.  

Edited Books:

Adrian Blau, ed., Methods in Analytical Political Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017). Available here (UK) and (USA).

Book Chapters:

Adrian Blau, ‘Methodologies of Interpreting Hobbes: Historical and Philosophical’, in Sharon Lloyd, ed., Interpreting Hobbes’s Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

Adrian Blau, ‘Reason, deliberation and the passions’, in A.P. Martinich and Kinch Hoekstra, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Hobbes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013-2016).

Adrian Blau, 'The irrelevance of (Straussian) hermeneutics', in Winfried Schröder, ed., Reading Between the Lines Leo Strauss and the History of Early Modern Philosophy (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015), 29-55.

Adrian Blau, ‘Instrumental reasoning’, in Sharon Lloyd, ed., The Continuum Companion to Hobbes (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 75-6.

Adrian Blau, ‘Majoritarianism under pressure: the electoral and party systems’, in Robert Hazell, ed., Constitutional Futures 2 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2008), 233-48.

Adrian Blau, ‘Electoral reform in the UK: a veto-player analysis’, in André Blais, ed., To Keep or to Change First-Past-The-Post: The Politics of Electoral Reform (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 61-89.

Adrian Blau, ‘Hobbes’, in Duncan Brack and Ed Randall, ed., The Dictionary of Liberal Thought (London: Politicos, 2007), 168-70.  

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