Ben Taylor is a political theorist who specialises in the history of political thought, with particular reference to eighteenth-century Britain. He is currently focussed on adapting his doctoral research into journal publications and a potential monograph.
PhD in Political Theory, University of Birmingham (degree conferred in 2011)
Associate Pathway to Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education University of Birmingham (awarded in 2009)
MA Political Science Research Methods, University of Birmingham (degree conferred in 2005)
BA Political Science, University of Birmingham (degree conferred in 2004)
Ben joined POLSIS as a Visiting Lecturer in September 2011. As an undergraduate, he studied Political Science at the University of Birmingham and graduated with a first class BA (Hons) degree in 2004, gaining the H. S. Fearns prize for outstanding distinction in Political Science. Continuing at Birmingham, he was awarded competitive ESRC 1+3 funding (award number: PTA-031-2004-00199) for an MA in Political Science Research Methods, which was conferred in 2005 with merit, and a PhD in Political Theory, which was conferred in 2011.
For the academic year 2011/12, Ben convenes the MA module ‘Revolution and Enlightenment’ (POLS G76) and is co-convenor of two core undergraduate modules entitled ‘Classical Political Thought’ (POLS 102), and ‘Foundations of Modern Political and Social Theory’ (POLS 202).
Ben informally contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate dissertation supervision.
Key research interests
The political thought of Edmund Burke
Eighteenth-century political thought
Conservative and anti-democratic thought
Method in the history of political thought
The French Revolution debate
Current and recent projects
Ben recently completed his PhD (conferred 2011) entitled ’Political argument in Edmund Burke’s Reflections: a contextual study’ (http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/1664/). The PhD aims to recover the historical identity of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France by studying the text as a purposive intervention in a domestic problem complex. In short, it highlights the complexity, originality, and anti-democratic character of Burke's work by situating Burke’s arguments on the English Revolution of 1688, representation, and the relationship between liberty and democracy in political and intellectual contexts from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Ben’s short-term research projects include several articles focussing on Burke’s uses of the English Revolution, anti-standing army arguments, and the ancient constitution.
His most substantial current project entails converting his doctoral research into a monograph.
Taylor, B. J. (2010) ‘Edmund Burke and the importance of context’ in European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 9 (3), pp. 357-66, Vol. 9 (3), pp. 357-66