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Professor Mark Philp

philp 2012   

Office Hours:


Room H007, ground floor of the Humanities Building
+44 (0)24 76150927 (x50927) 
Mondays 3.30-4.30; Thurs 2-3


Research Interests

My research includes work in political theory and political sociology, most recently on justice in relation to ageing, political corruption and issues relating to standards in public life, as well as in the history of political thought and British history at the time of the French Revolution. I am currently working on issues relating to familial justice, political conduct and corruption, the re-imagining of democracy at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries, the Godwin Diaries, political realism and political ethics, and the history of political thought.

I chair the Research Advisory Board to the Committee on Standards in Public Life and contributed the paper Public Ethics and Political Judgment to the Committee's inquiry on Ethics in Practice in July 2014 which was launched by Michael Ignatieff on 14 July 2014 (

From 2007-2010 I ran a three year digitization project on the the Diary of William Godwin, 1788-1836, funded by a Levelerhulme Major Research Grant. The edited edition of the diary can be found at:

I co-direct the research project 'Re-imagining Democracy 1750-1850' see

  re-imag_book.jpg Reforming Ideas in Britain  


Academic Career

  • 2013-present: Professor of History and Politics, University of Warwick
  • 2014-present Director of Research, History
  • 2013-present: Director of the European History Research Centre
  • 2000-2005: Head of Department, Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford
  • 1983-2013: Fellow and Tutor in Politics and a Lecturer in Politics, Oriel College, University of Oxford



Recent publications include:

  • Reforming Ideas in Britain: Politics and Language in the Shadow of the French Revolution 1789-1815 (Cambridge University Press, November 2013)
  • ed. William Godwin, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (OUP, World's Classics, 2013)
  • ed. with J. Innes, Re-imagining Democracy in the Age of Revolutions (Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • ed. J Plamenatz, Machiavelli, Hobbes and Rousseau (Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • Political Conduct (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 2007)
  • Thomas Paine (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • ed., Resisting Napoleon: The British Response to the threat of invasion 1797-1815 (Aldershot, Ashgate, 2006)
  • Napoleon and the Invasion of Britain, with Alexandra Franklin, (Bodleian Library, Oxford, 2003)
  • ed., Thomas Paine Rights of Man, Common Sense, and other Political Writings (Oxford, World's Classics, 1995)
  • General Editor, Collected Political and Philosophical Writings of William Godwin, 7 Volumes (Pickering Masters 1993)
  • General Editor, Collected Novels and Memoirs of William Godwin, 8 Volumes (Pickering Maters, 1992)
  • ed., The French Revolution and British Popular Politics (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991)
  • Paine (Oxford University Press, Past Master Series, 1989)
  • Godwin's Political Justice (Duckworth (UK) and Cornell University Press (USA), 1986) (paper 1988)

 Recent articles include

  • 'Revolutionaries in Paris, Paine, Jefferson and Ddemocracy' in Simon P. Newman and Peter S. Onuf, eds., Paine and Jefferson in the Age of Revolutions, (University of Virginia Press, 2013)
  • ‘Representing America: Paine and the New Democracy’, in E. Dzelzainis and R. Livesey, The American Experiment and the Idea of Democracy in British Culture, 1776–1914 (Ashgate, 2013).
  • Preaching to the Unconverted: Rationality and Repression in the 1790s’ Enlightenment and Dissent 2013.
  • ‘Realism without Illusion’ Political Theory October 2012, 40: 629-649.
  • ‘Paine: Rights of Man’ in P. Clemit ed., Cambridge Companion to British Literature of the French Revolution in the 1790s (Cambridge University Press, 2011)
  • ‘Improper Levity: Sarah Elwes’s Calling’ Bodleian Library Record 24(1) 2011
  • ‘Godwin, Thelwall and the Means of Progress’ in Godwinian Moments, ed., Victoria Myers & Bob Maniquis, (University of Toronto Press, 2011).
  • ‘What is to be Done: Political Theory and Political realism’ European Journal of Political Theory October 2010 vol. 9 no. 4, 466-484.
  • The substance and the shadow: Tale of Two Cities and the French revolution, in C. Jones, J McDonagh and J. Mee Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, and the French Revolution (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2009).
  • ‘Delimiting Political Accountability’ Political Studies 2009, Vol 59 (1), 28-53.
  • ‘Political Theory and the Evaluation of Political Conduct’ Social Theory and Practice 34 (3) July 2008, 389-410.
  • ‘Peacebuilding and Corruption’ in International Peacekeeping 15(3) June 2008, 310-27.
  • ‘Political Theory and History’, in D. Leopold and M. Stears, Political Theory: Methods and Approaches (Oxford University Press, 2008).
  • 'Disconcerting Ideas: Explaining Popular Radicalism and Popular Loyalism in the 1790s' in G Burgess and M Festenstein eds., English Radicalism 1550-1850 (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007).
  • ‘Politics and Memory: Nelson and Trafalgar in Popular Song’ – in D. Cannadine ed., Trafalgar in History (Palgrave, 2006).
  • ‘Corruption Definition and Measurement’ in C Sampford et al Measuring Corruption (Ashgate, 2006).
  • ‘Modeling Political Corruption in Transition’ in Political Corruption ed., Von Allerman (Verlag, 2005).
  • New Dictionary of National Biography entries on William Godwin (5,000) and Thomas Paine (12,000) (Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • ‘Enlightenment, Republicanism and Radicalism’ in The Enlightenment World, ed., M Fitzpatrick, P. Jones, K. C. Knellwolf and I. McCalman (London, Routledge, 2004).