Professor Robert Lamb
B.A. (Strathclyde), M.A. (York), PhD (Exeter)
Professor of Political Philosophy
My research and teaching interests lie in the history of political ideas and contemporary political philosophy/theory.
I took over as Head of the Department of Social and Political Sciences, Philosophy, and Anthropology in July 2023, having served previously as Head of Politics from 2017-2020.
Since 2020, I have served as chair of the Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought.
Research group links
My research interests lie in the history of political ideas and contemporary political theory/philosophy.
Most of my research has focused on the intellectual tradition of modern liberalism - construed very broadly, from the seventeenth century to the present - and its central political theorists, concepts, and normative (ethical and institutional) commitments. I brought these interests together in my first book, on the political thought of Thomas Paine. In other work, I have explored philosophical understandings of various moral and political ideas (such as human rights, property, equality, freedom, and impartiality) in the writing of historical and contemporary liberal theorists, from John Locke and William Godwin to John Rawls and Richard Rorty. I have also written a bit on philosophical issues related to historical interpretation/methodology, as well as an introductory text on the concept of property in political theory.
I am currently working on a book on Richard Rorty's understanding of political hope.