Photo of Professor Iain Hampsher-Monk

Professor Iain Hampsher-Monk

Research Interests

My general research interests are in the history of political thought, particularly, but not exclusively in the C17th and C18th and in the methodology of the history of political ideas, in contemporary political theory, especially aspects of the market and toleration, and the methodology of social explanation.

Im currently working on a number of articles and chapters, and a monograph on Edmund Burke, together with pieces on Paine, Eighteenth-century radicalism, the linguistic resources of Republicanism, and egalitarianism in John Rawls.

I shall be preparing a second edition of my History of Political Thought, now in its eleventh reprint, and a companion anthology of sources. I am preparing the Cambridge Texts edition of Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, and participating as an editor in the exciting project of the Cambridge Dictionary of Political Thought.

More generally, in the field of methodology I am interested in relations between the history of political discourses and the emerging Anglophone field of conceptual history, and in pursuing the relationship between the history of political thought and the activity of political theorising itself. In the exciting diversity provided by the political theory group at Exeter I expect to be exploring, with others, the interface between our different approaches, which largely reflects the diversity within the field at large.

Research Supervision

I am interested in supervising in most areas of the history of political thought – especially, but not exclusively the early modern period, but also in methodological issues in the history of political thought and in selected aspects of contemporary political philosophy.

Previous research topics supervised include:

The Political Ideas of Mehdi Bazargan

Trotsky and the Trades Unions

Hobbes's Dialogue between a philosopher and a student of the Common Law of England

Multiculturalism and the Liberal State

The will in the contract theory of Locke and Rousseau

Averroes and Kant as exemplars of enlightenment thinking

History as Magistra Vitae : the idea of history as a spur to political action


Research Students

I am currently supervising three Ph.D. students:  Mike Cailes, who is working on the conception of the just war in the late renaissance and reformation, Robert Douglass (AHRC funded) on Hobbes's influence on Rousseau and Chris Fear (AHRC funded) on Victorian Historiography.

Recent completions include Ben Thompson on conceptions of the will in the contract theories of Locke and Rousseau, Nikola Regent on the idea of history as an inspiration to action in Machiavelli, Guicciardini, Burkhardt and Nietzsche, and Saud Al Tammamy on comparing Averroes and Kant as exemplars of enlightenment. Recent PhD students holding  academic posts include, Nafiz Tok in Nigde (Ankara), Robert Lamb here at Exeter, Saud Al Tammamy at King Saud University, and Ben Thompson St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. Earlier generations of my Exeter political theory students now hold chairs at Berkely (Mark Bevir), Harvard (Glyn Morgan) and Sheffield (Andrew Vincent).