William Selinger is a scholar working in political theory and the history of political thought. He holds a PhD from the Department of Government at Harvard University and a BA from the University of Chicago. Selinger is especially interested in the history of democracy and representative government in the modern era. The themes of his work include deliberation, stalemate, and corruption in legislative bodies; the challenge of executive power; the limits of the nation state; and the contemporary phenomenon of populism.
Selinger’s first book, Parliamentary Liberalism, recovers the theory of parliament offered by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century authors such as Edmund Burke, Benjamin Constant, John Stuart Mill, Alexis de Tocqueville, Francois Guizot, and Walter Bagehot. It reconstructs their argument that a liberal political order is one in which the legislature is the preeminent institution in the state, while examining the debates over legislative corruption, constitutional monarchy, and the relation of the executive and electorate to the legislature which defined liberal political theory. Parliamentary Liberalism won the 2017 Montreal Annual Political Theory Manuscript Award and was the subject of a full day conference at McGill University. It will be published by Cambridge University Press in the Ideas in Context series.
Selinger’s scholarship has appeared in a range of political theory and intellectual history journals including European Journal of Political Theory, History of European Ideas, Constellations, and Modern Intellectual History.
In autumn 2018 he will be joining the department of History at University College London.
Social Studies 10a: Introduction to Social Studies (Fall)
Social Studies 98qc: Populism and Democracy (Fall)
Social Studies 10b: Introduction to Social Studies (Spring)