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Dr Ross Carroll

Senior Lecturer

Amory B215

 B.A. (University College Dublin), M.S.C (London School of Economics), PhD (Northwestern University)

Extension: 3383

My teaching and research are primarily in the history of early modern political thought with a particular focus on the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Edmund Burke, David Hume, the Third Earl of Shaftesbury, and Alexis de Tocqueville. Thematically my work mainly deals with issues surrounding the passions, ridicule, fanaticism, religious toleration, and censorship.  My current book project is titled Uncivil Mirth: Ridicule in Enlightenment Britain. 




Research group links

Research interests

My research interests lie mainly in the history of early modern political thought. I have published (or have work forthcoming) on Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, the Third Earl of Shaftesbury, and Alexis de Tocqueville, and the history of moral concepts. At the moment my work centres on a range of interconnected themes including toleration, ridicule, and censorship.

My current and future publication projects include the following: 

  • A book manuscript entitled Uncivil MirthRidicule in Enlightenment Britain (under contract with Princeton University Press)
  • Democracy under Empire: the Political Thought of Gustave de Beaumont. This research project aims at recovering Gustave de Beaumont (best known as Tocqueville's travelling companion) as a immanent critic of European settler colonialism within the French liberal tradition. 
  • An introductory book on the political thought of Edmund Burke (under contract with Polity Press).


Research supervision

 I am available to supervise PhD students in any theme of early modern political thought including the passions, toleration, civility, republicanism, constitutionalism, and poltitical economy. 


My early education was in my native Ireland. I completed a BA in politics and philosophy at University College Dublin before leaving for England to complete a Msc in International Relations at the London School of Economics.  Following a period working in Brussels I travelled to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship and received a doctorate in political science from Northwestern University in 2013 for a dissertation on the politics of enthusiasm in Shaftesbury, Hume, and Burke.  From 2009 to 2012 I served as Assistant Editor of Political Theory: an International Journal of Political Philosophy. Before arriving at Exeter in the autumn of 2015 I spent two years as Visiting Assistant Professor of Government at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. 

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