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James Harrington: Beyond the Republican Paradigm

Project description

This project offers a new interpretation of the influential seventeenth-century political thinker James Harrington.

Harrington's innovative constitutional proposals exercised a profound influence on political debate during the English Revolution and for at least two centuries thereafter, and his insights - particularly on democracy - remain relevant today.

Yet recent accounts of Harrington have focused on his status as a republican, obscuring other aspects of his thought.

Thanks to funding from the British Academy I was able to explore Harrington's approach to and use of history, his role as a religious controversialist, his engagement in scientific and philosophical debates, and his experimentation with literary genre.

I also gave a public lecture, organised a workshop on the relevance of early modern political thought today and wrote a series of blogposts to bring Harrington and his ideas to a wider audience.

The project will result in an intellectual biography of Harrington, which is under contract with Oxford University Press.

For more information see my website

Dates: 2015-2019 (Funding 2017-18)

Sponsors: British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship Scheme

James Harrington