Dr Richard Shorten

Lecturer in Political Theory

Department of Political Science and International Studies

Richard Shorten

Contact details

Telephone +44 (0)121 414 7570

Fax +44 (0)121 414 3496

Email r.c.shorten@bham.ac.uk

Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government and Society
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

About

Richard Shorten is a political theorist who specialises in the history of political ideas, with particular reference to twentieth-century Europe.

Qualifications

PhD Political Science (Birmingham)

MA Social Research (Birmingham)

BA Modern History and Political Science (Birmingham)

Biography

Richard Shorten is a political theorist who specialises in the history of political ideas, with particular reference to twentieth-century Europe. His most substantive work to date has been on totalitarianism.  On that topic he is author of a book and a range of journal articles, as well as a set of other pieces of various kinds.  In the future he plans to research and write on the political thought of the Cold War.

Richard has been Lecturer in Political Theory in the department since January 2007. In this capacity his teaching at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels covers political thought since the time of the Enlightenment. 

Before joining the department he worked as a researcher within the Centre for Political Ideologies at the University of Oxford. Since that time, an area of research beyond the field of the history of political ideas has been political language and rhetoric.

He is Reviews Editor of the European Journal of Political Theory and is an active member of the Political Theory Research Group at Birmingham. 

Teaching

Richard is Senior Welfare Tutor in POLSIS.  He has a range of roles and responsibilities concerning student welfare in the department.

Responsible for convening and teaching three modules:

  • Foundations of Modern Political and Social Theory (undergraduate)
  • Revolution and Enlightenment (Political Ideas A) (MA-level)
  • Totalitarianism and  the State (Political Ideas B) (MA-level)

Postgraduate supervision

Richard is particularly happy to consider supervising doctoral researchers in the broad area of modern political thought and ideas.  He is either recently or currently supervising projects on Edmund Burke and Hannah Arendt.  He is especially interested in future projects that overlap with his central interests, as below.

Research

Research groups: Political theory

Research and academic interests:

  • Fascism and communism
  • Twentieth-century political thought
  • Political ideologies
  • Political language and rhetoric
  • Political religion

Current and recent projects

Having recently published a research monograph on the intellectual history of totalitarianism, Richard has two ongoing and/ or longer-term projects:

  • The Political Rhetoric of Wrongdoing
  • Cold War Political Thought

Other activities

Other professional appointments

  • Membership of Political Studies Association

Publications

Shorten, R. (2013) 'How to study ideas in politics and "influence": a typology', Contemporary Politics, 19/4, pp. 361-78
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13569775.2013.835110

Shorten, R. (2012) Modernism and Totalitarianism: Rethinking the Intellectual Sources of Nazism and Stalinism, 1945 to the Present, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Shorten, R. (2011) ‘The Rhetoric of Moral Equivalence’ in Bruce Haddock, Peri Roberts and Peter Sutch, eds. Evil in Contemporary Political Theory.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 177-203.

Shorten, R. (2011) ‘Towards a political rhetoric of wrongdoing: the case of moral equivalence’, Journal of Political Ideologies, 16/2, pp. 195-219

Shorten, R. (2010) ‘Political Theology, Political Religion and Secularisation’, Political Studies Review, 8/2, pp. 180-191

Shorten, R. (2009) ‘The Failure of Political Argument: The Languages of Anti-Fascism and Anti-Totalitarianism in Post-September 11th Discourse’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 11/3, pp. 479-503

Shorten, R. (2008) ‘Totalitarianism’ in Vincent N. Parrillo, ed. Encyclopedia of Social Problems. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, Vol. 2., pp. 946-7

Shorten, R. (2007) ‘Hannah Arendt on Totalitarianism: Moral Equivalence and Degrees of Evil in Modern Political Violence’ in Richard H. King and Dan Stone, eds. Hannah Arendt and the Uses of History: Imperialism, Nation, Race and Genocide. New York: Berghahn, pp. 173-190

Shorten, R. (2007) ‘The Status of Ideology in the Return of Political Religion Theory’, Journal of Political Ideologies, 12/2, pp. 163-187

Shorten, R. (2006) ‘The Ambiguities of Antecedents and Legacies: Political Ideas and Political Extremes in the Twentieth Century’, European History Quarterly, 36/4, pp. 574-585.

Shorten, R. (2004) ‘Europe’s Twentieth Century in Retrospect? A Cautious Note on the Furet/Nolte Debate’, The European Legacy, 9/3, pp. 285-304

Shorten, R. (2003) ‘The Enlightenment, Communism and Political Religion: Reflections on a Misleading Trajectory’, Journal of Political Ideologies, 8/1, pp. 13-37.   Reprinted in Bryan Turner, ed. (2010) Secularization. London: Sage, Vol. 1., pp. 201-228.

Shorten, R. (2002) ‘François Furet and Totalitarianism: A Recent Intervention in the Misuse of a Notion’, Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 3/1, pp. 1-34.

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