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Head of Department

Professor David RuncimanProf David Runciman

Head of Department of POLIS
Professor of Politics
University Teaching Officer
Trinity Hall

Office Phone: 01223 767 256



Professor Runciman became Head of Department in October 2014. He gave his Inaugural Lecture on "Political Theory and Real Politics in the Age of the Internet" on Tuesday 24th February 2015, which can be viewed online here

David Runciman is the host of the weekly podcast Talking Politics, which covers political events and ideas from around the world with a wide variety of guests.  Recent episodes have featured Yuval Harari, Judith Butler, Jill Lepore, John Lanchester, Dani Rodrik, Thomas Piketty, Pankaj Mishra and Michael Gove, among many others.

Details and past episodes are avaiable here  Talking Politics can also be found on Acast, iTunes and other channels.

Research Interests:

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century political thought, with a particular focus on ideas of democracy and representation; technology and democracy; ideas of crisis; the relationship between history and politics.

Current research projects:

Conspiracy and Democracy: a five-year Leverhulme-funded research program based in CRASSH

Technology and democracy, a three-year research project co-directed with John Naughton

AI: politics and policy, as part of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence

Recent Publications:

How Democracy Ends (Profile/Basic books, forthcoming 2018)

Optimism, Pessimism, Fatalism, Political Thought and the Environment

(2017, CUP forthcoming)

What Time Frame Makes Sense for Thinking About Crises?, Critical

Theories of Crisis in Europe (2016, Rowman Littlefield)

Hobbes on the Sovereign, Oxford Handbook of Hobbes (2016, OUP)

Political Theory and Real Politics in the Age of the Internet, Journal

of Political Philosophy (2015)

Politics: Ideas in Profile (Profile Books, June 2014)

The Confidence Trap: A History of Democracy in Crisis from the First World War to the Present (Princeton University Press, 2013)

An archive of David Runciman's writing for the London Review of Books is available here: