Dr Max Skjönsberg

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
College Research Associate, Emmanuel College

I joined the University of Cambridge in May 2022 as an Early-Career Research Fellow in order to undertake a project on ‘The Making of a New Political Nation in Britain, 1760-1832’. My educational background is in London, with a BA from QMUL (2012), MA from UCL and QMUL (2013) and a PhD from the LSE (2018). I then went on to lecture in politics and history at the University of York and the University of St Andrews. Between 2019 and 2022, I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Liverpool.

My first book – The Persistence of Party: Ideas of Harmonious Discord in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge University Press, 2021) – treats the concept of political party in eighteenth-century political thought and practice, the time when parliamentary parties first emerged as stable features of politics. I am also the editor of Catharine Macaulay’s Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023).

In 2021, I was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and in 2022 as a College Research Associate of Emmanuel College.

My work has focused on the history of political thought, especially on eighteenth-century political ideas, but I also have interests in political history, book and library history, and political theory. I have written about thinkers such as David Hume, Edmund Burke, Adam Ferguson, Catharine Macaulay, Paul de Rapin-Thoyras, Charles Francis Sheridan, and Michael Oakeshott on topics including political parties, press freedom and freedom of speech, political modernity, ancient constitutionalism and political representation.

History of Political Thought, c. 1700-c. 1890 (Supervisions); Evidence and Argument (Seminars); Historical Argument and Practice (Lectures).


Tags & Themes


Key publications


  1. The Persistence of Party: Ideas of Harmonious Discord in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge University Press, 2021). [Series: Ideas in Context.] 373 pp.
  2. Catharine Macaulay, Political Writings (Cambridge University Press, 2023.) [Series: Ideas in Context Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought series.] In production.
  3. Hume’s ‘Essays’: A Critical Guide, co-edited with Felix Waldmann, Cambridge University Press. Delivery date: 1 December 2022.
  4. Adam Ferguson’s Later Writings: New Letters and an Essay on the French Revolution, co-edited with Ian Stewart (Edinburgh University Press, 2023). [Series: Edinburgh Studies in Scottish Philosophy]. In production.
  5. The Minute Books of the Bristol Library Society, 1772-1801, co-edited with Mark Towsey (Bristol Record Society, 2022). In production.


  1. ‘Charles Francis Sheridan on the Feudal Origins and Political Science of the 1772 Revolution in Sweden’, Journal of the History of Ideas 83 (2022), pp. 407-30.
  2. ‘Michael Oakeshott on Libertarianism, Conservatism, and the Freedom of the English’, Cosmos + Taxis: Studies in Emergent Order and Organization, 10 (2022), pp. 7-14.
  3. ‘David Hume and the Jacobites’, Scottish Historical Review, 100 (2021), pp. 25-56. Runner-up for the David Berry Prize for articles on Scottish History, awarded by the Royal Historical Society.
  4. ‘Edmund Burke, the French Revolution and the Battle for the Soul of the Whig Party’, Parliamentary History, 40 (2021), pp. 543-62. Winner of the 2020 Parliamentary History Essay Prize.
  5. ‘The Hume-Burke Connection Examined’, History of European Ideas (Online First 2021).
  6. “This Revolution in the Town”’: Richard Champion and the Early Years of the Bristol Library Society’, Library & Information History, 37, (2021), pp. 149-167.
  7. ‘Ancient Constitutionalism, Fundamental Law, and Eighteenth-Century Toryism in the Septennial Act (1716) Debates’, History of Political Thought, 40 (2019), pp. 270-301.
  8. ‘Adam Ferguson on Partisanship, Party Conflict, and Popular Participation’, Modern Intellectual History, 16 (2019), pp. 1-28.
  9. ‘Adam Ferguson on the Perils of Popular Factions and Demagogues in a Roman Mirror’, History of European Ideas, 45 (2019), pp. 842-65.
  10. ‘On the Character of a “Great Patriot”: A Newly Ascribed Bolingbroke Essay’, Journal of British Studies, 57 (2018), pp. 445-466. (Co-authored with Joseph Hone.)
  11. ‘Lord Bolingbroke’s Theory of Party and Opposition’, Historical Journal, 59 (2016), pp. 947-973.
  12. ‘Richard Champion and the Rockingham Whigs: The Aristocratic Politics of a Bristolian Quaker-Merchant in the Age of the American Revolution’, English Historical Review (accepted, forthcoming in 2022).
  13. ‘Patriots and the Country Party Tradition in the Eighteenth Century: The Critics of Britain’s Fiscal-Military State from Robert Harley to Catharine Macaulay’, Intellectual History Review (accepted, forthcoming).


  1. ‘David Hume and “Of the Liberty of the Press” (1741) in its Original Contexts’, in Freedom of Speech, 1550-1850, ed. Alex Barber, Robert Ingram and Jason Peacey (Manchester University Press, 2020), pp. 171-91.
  2. ‘The Eighteenth-Century Party Debate: From Montesquieu to Madison’, in Political Thought and the Origins of the American Presidency, edited by Ben Lowe (Florida: University Press of Florida, 2021).
  3. ‘The Communication of Fame’, in A Cultural History of Fame in the Enlightenment: 1650-1770, ed. Brian Cowan, volume 4 for A Cultural History of Fame, 6 vols., general editor, P. David Marshall (London: Bloomsbury Academic, forthcoming).
  4. ‘Representative institutions and democracy’, in The Cambridge History of Democracy: Volume 2, ed. Sophie Smith and Markku Peltonen (Cambridge University Press; under contract).
  5. ‘Henry Fielding and Political Thought’, in The Oxford Handbook of Henry Fielding, edited by Tom Keymer and Henry Power (Oxford University Press; under contract).


  1. ‘The History of Political Thought and Parliamentary History in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries’, Historical Journal, 64 (2021), pp. 501-13. Peer-reviewed.
  2. ‘Liberty and Religion: Catharine Macaulay and the History of Republicanism and the Enlightenment’, Intellectual History Review (Online First 2021).
  3. ‘State of the Field: The History of Political Thought’, History: The Journal of the Historical Association, 105 (2020), pp. 470-83. (Co-authored with Danielle Charette, University of Chicago.) Peer-reviewed.
  4. ‘Hume and Smith Studies after Forbes and Trevor-Roper’, European Journal of Political Theory, 19 (2020), pp. 623-635.