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Sophie Smith

Sophie Smith

(BA, MPhil, PhD Cantab)

Associate Professor of Political Theory and Tutorial Fellow, University College
Political Theory
University College

Research Interests

I am a historian of political thought; my main research addresses the nature and limits of the state, the intersection between ideas of empire, citizenship and political philosophy, and the historical development of philosophical and scientific approaches to politics. My work to date has focussed primarily on early modern perspectives on these issues. I also work on the reception of Aristotle's Politics and its impact on political philosophy from the late medieval period through to the eighteenth century.

I have further research interests in Greek and Roman political thought (particularly Plato and Aristotle), the relationship between philosophy and imaginative literature (especially the uses of drama, imaginative prose and poetry by political theorists and the reasons they give for doing so), and contemporary environmental and feminist political theory.

Political Theory Environment and Climate Change Feminism History


I currently teach the Introduction to the Theory of Politics paper for the prelim exam and on the Theory of Politics paper for finals. I also take students for Political Thought: Plato to Rousseau and Political Thought: Bentham to Weber.


Nature, Action and the Future: Political Thought and the Environment [co-editor with K. Forrester, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, 2016]

'History, Theory and the Environment' [co-author with K. Forrester] in Nature, Action and the Future: Political Thought and the Environment [forthcoming, 2016]

'Democracy and the Body Politic from Aristotle to Hobbes' [forthcoming, Political Theory]

'The Language of Political Science in Early Modern Europe' [under review]

The Sphere of the City: Philosophy and Commonwealth in Early Modern Political Thought [MS in preparation]