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Richard Boyd

Professor, American Political Thought


Dr. Richard Boyd teaches American Political Thought for TFAS U.S. Programs in Washington, D.C.

Boyd is associate professor of government at Georgetown University. His research interests include the intellectual history of liberalism, civil society and pluralism, economic and sociological theory, the theory and practice of immigration and citizenship policies in the United States, and the ethical dimensions of the recent financial crisis.

He is author of “Uncivil Society: The Perils of Pluralism and the Making of Modern Liberalism” (Lexington/ Rowman & Littlefield, 2004) and editor – with Ewa Atanassow – of “Tocqueville and the Frontiers of Democracy” (Cambridge, 2013). He has published more than thirty journal articles and book chapters on such thinkers as Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith, James Madison, Edmund Burke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, J. S. Mill, Alexis de Tocqueville, Stendhal, Mrs. Frances Trollope, Joseph Mazzini, Michael Oakeshott, F. A. Hayek and Frank H. Knight.

He is currently working on two book-length projects. “Liberalism, Capacities, and Citizenship” is a study of the morality of borders, especially the ways in which liberalism ­– past and present – deals with the question of who deserves to be a member of the political community. The second project – with Richard Avramenko of UW-Madison – is titled “Subprime Virtues: The Moral Dimensions of US Housing and Mortgage Policy” and explores the moral consequences of housing policy in the United States in the wake of the financial crisis.

Before coming to Georgetown in 2007, Boyd taught at the University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Deep Springs College. He is currently the faculty director of the Program in Social and Political Thought.