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Professor Christopher Finlay

Professor in Political Theory and Head of School

Professor in Political Theory and Head of School in the School of Government and International Affairs+44 (0) 191 33 45604


Professor in Political Theory, School of Government and International Affairs

Christopher Finlay earned a B.A. (Mod) in History and Political Science and a PhD on the philosopher, David Hume, from Trinity College Dublin, after which he was a Research Fellow at NUI Galway (2001-2) and Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College Dublin (2002-3). He taught at UCD from 2003-7, where he was based at the School of Politics and International Relations and the Dublin European Institute. He joined the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLSIS) at the University of Birmingham as a Lecturer in Political Theory in 2007, becoming Senior Lecturer in 2011 and Reader in 2015. From 2010 to 2011, he was British Academy Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow. 

Professor Finlay joined the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University in September 2017 as Professor in Political Theory. He holds a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship from 2017 to 2019 for a project called 'The Subject of Legitimate Violence.'

Recent Media

BBC Radio 4, Start the Week with Andrew Marr: Christopher Finlay appears with Jane Robinson, Fiona Sampson, and Peter Kennard on 'Votes for Women,' first broadcast on Monday 8 January 2018.

Senior Fellow, Global Policy Institute

Research interests

  • Enlightenment political thought
  • Ethics of violence and armed conflict
  • Hannah Arendt
  • Just War Theory
  • Political Violence
  • Republican political thought
  • Resistance and revolution in political thought

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Supervision students