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Professor Michael Kenny

Professor Michael Kenny

Professor of Public Policy

Office hours: Appointment by email


Before he arrived in Cambridge, Michael held positions at: Queen’s University, Belfast; the University of Sheffield, where he was appointed Head of Department; and Queen Mary University of London, where he was the inaugural Director of the Mile End Institute. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the UCL’s Constitution Unit, sits on the Leverhulme Trust’s Advisory Committee, is co-director of the British Academy’s “Governing England” programme, and is a member of an external experts panel convened by the Scottish Parliament to advise on the constitutional implications of Brexit.

Research Interests

Public policy; territorial politics, national identity, and the future of the UK; British political thought.

He has a particular interest in the governance of England, and has recently completed an in-depth examination of the system of “English Votes for English Laws” which was introduced into the House of Commons in October 2015.


Michael is convenor of, and teaches on, the M.Phil in Public Policy.

Key Publications

‘Back to the Populist Future?; Nostalgia in Contemporary Ideological Discourse’, Journal of Political Ideologies (forthcoming, 2017).

The Politics of Nationhood in England: (Oxford University Press, 2014); winner of the UK Political Studies Association’s ‘McKenzie’ prize for best book in political studies.

The Politics of Identity: Liberal Political Theory and the Dilemmas of ‘Difference’ (Polity Press, 2004).

The First New Left in Britain, 1956-64: British Intellectuals after Stalin (Lawrence  and Wishart, 1995).

(With M.Flinders, A.Gamble, and C.Hay) eds., The Oxford Handbook of British Politics (Oxford University Press, 2009)

The Return of Englishness in British Political Culture’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 53, 1, 2014, pp. 35-51; 

‘A Traditional English (Not British) Country Gentleman of the Radical Left’; Understanding the Making and Unmaking of Edward Thompson’s English Idiom’,  Contemporary British History, 28, 4 (14), 2014, pp 494-516; available here:

‘Englishness Politicised?; unpicking the normative implications of the McKay Commission’,  British Journal of Politics and International Relations, April 2014;

‘History and Dissent: Bernard Crick’s The American Science of Politics’ American Political Science Review, 100, 4, November 2006, pp 547-53.

‘Isaiah Berlin’s Contribution to Modern Political Theory’, Political Studies, 48, 5, 2000, pp 1026-39.

‘In Defence of Political Understanding?’, in B.Jackson and M.Stears (eds.) Liberalism in Theory and Practice: Essays for Michael Freeden (Oxford University Press, 2013).

‘Politics as an Academic Vocation’, in M.Flinders, A.Gamble, C.Hay and M.Kenny, eds., The Oxford Handbook of British Politics (Oxford University