Professor of the History of Political Thought, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Professor John Robertson is the Professor of the History of Political Thought in the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge. His research interests cover political, social and historical thought across the 17th and 18th centuries.
He is the author of a major study of the Enlightenment in Scotland and Naples, which reconstructed the different social and intellectual contexts of Enlightenment in the two kingdoms, the better to understand their common intellectual concern with the history of sociability and the development of political economy. Recently he has published a Very Short Introduction to the Enlightenment, in which he sets out the different ways the Enlightenment has been constructed by historians and by philosophers.
He is now working on the conceptualisation of sociability in between c.1650 and 1800, and on the ways in which sacred history was used as a resource for addressing the problem, alongside natural law. A major dimension of the subject is the changing agenda of sacred history in Catholic Europe. This will re-open the question of the relation between pre-Enlightenment sacred history and Enlightenment civil and stadial history. Other interests include concepts of political and economic union in early modern Europe, and modern and contemporary historiography.