Prof Annabel Brett
Annabel Brett studied Classics at Cambridge before turning to the history of political thought for her PhD on subjective rights in later medieval scholastic thought, subsequently published as Liberty, right and nature by Cambridge University Press in 1997. After a research fellowship at Gonville and Caius College followed by a lectureship in Philosophy at the University of York, she returned to Cambridge in 1996 to take up a lectureship in History of Political Thought.
Currently Professor of Political Thought and History and a co-director of the Cambridge Centre for Political Thought, she has lectured and published widely in the history of late medieval and early modern moral and political thought, with an emphasis on the natural law tradition, Aristotelianism and scholastic philosophy. Her Carlyle Lectures of 2008 were published by Princeton University Press in 2011 as Changes of state. Nature and the limits of the city in early moder natural law. She is the author of a major new translation of Marsilius of Padua's The Defender of the Peace (2005) and retains a strong interest in the theory and practice of translation in history. More recently, she has turned her attention to the history of international law, resulting in several publications and a major collaborative project now published as Annabel Brett, Megan Donaldson and Martti Koskenniemi eds., History, politics, law. Thinking through the international (Cambridge University Press, 2021).
History of political thought, primarily early modern but also ancient and late medieval; history of international law; conceptions of nature, natural law, natural rights, and human rights; human nature, animal nature, and the environment; conceptions of the city and the state; translation, intellectual history and theory.
Most aspects of history of European political thought (late medieval and early modern), especially natural law and the law of nations, history of natural rights and human rights, early modern Spanish political thought including America, history of Aristotelian philosophy and early modern intellectual cultures more generally.
I teach for the second-year paper 'History of political thought to ca. 1700' and for the third year paper 'States between states: The history of international political thought', as well as BA dissertations in most areas of late medieval and early modern political thought. I also teach history and theory for the current 'Historical argument and practice' paper.
I am Co-Director of the Cambridge Centre for Political Thought and I co-convene the seminar 'Legal Histories beyond the State' with Megan Donaldson and Surabhi Ranganathan at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law in Cambridge. I sit on the editorial boards of The Historical Journal, History of European Ideas, Journal of the History of International Law and other journals and book series. I am an International Core Scholar for Centre for Privacy Studies in Copenhagen and involved in other international research collaborations and academic review processes.
Tags & Themes
Gonville and Caius College
Cambridge CB2 1TA