Dominic Burbidge

BSc, MPhil, DPhil

Lecturer in Politics
Regent's Park College

Dr Dominic Burbidge is Lecturer in Politics in Regent's Park College, University of Oxford, and a Research Coordinator in the Faculty of Law. He previously worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Politics in Princeton University. Dr Burbidge additionally serves as Director of the Canterbury Institute.


Dr Burbidge focuses on social trust, human coordination and civic virtue. He recently published the book An Experiment in Devolution and is currently working to apply insights from virtue ethics to political theory. His present research focus is on the theory and practice of civic virtue. Dr Burbidge believes that the promotion of trustworthiness is key to stable and legitimate government, and that the best set of resources for understanding trustworthiness lie in virtue theory. In this vein, he seeks to develop insights from Aristotle, Plato, Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and MacIntyre in exploring the role of virtue in the public sphere. Broadly, this draws on the resurgent interest in virtue theory within philosophy (Anscombe, MacIntyre, Annas, Hursthouse) and begins its application to politics. Dr Burbidge is therefore keen to help renew discussion of civic virtue, and apply it to present questions of social trust. His most recent work in this area applies virtue ethics to discussions of technology and Artificial Intelligence, arguing that ethics of technology should be understood as a habit of practice that asks us to define the ends to any efficiency gain.

Dominic Burbidge


'The Currency of Politics: The Political Theory of Money from Aristotle to Keynes, by Stefan Eich'. Politics & Poetics, Vol. 5 (2023), pp. 131-141.

Introduction to 'Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity: A Special Edition on the Thought of Alasdair MacIntyre'. Politics & Poetics, Vol. 4 (2021), pp. i-x (with Nathan Pinkoski)

'Genuine Development: Reflections on Agency and Passivity'. Ch 4 of Carozza, P. G. & Sedmak, C. (eds.), The Practice of Human Development and Dignity (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2020), pp. 83-97

'Transition to Subnational Democracy: Kenya's 2017 Presidential and Gubernatorial Elections'. Regional & Federal Studies, Vol. 30, No. 3 (2020), pp. 387-414

'Regional Politics in the Time of Devolution - Central: Self-sufficiency through local government'. Ch 47 of Cheeseman, N., Kanyinga, K. & Lynch, G. (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020) (with Thomas Raji), pp. 1-18

'Corruption'. Ch 30 of Lynch, G. & VonDoepp, P. (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Democratization in Africa (Abingdon: Routledge, 2020) (with Mark Philp)

'Laboratory Games'. Appendix 3 of Cheeseman, N., Lynch, G. & Willis, J., The Moral Economy of Elections in Africa: Democracy, Voting and Virtue (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020) (with Amma Panin)

Trust and Social Relations in African Politics’. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019)

An Experiment in Devolution: National Unity and the Deconstruction of the Kenyan State (Nairobi: Strathmore University Press, 2019).

The Inherently Political Nature of Subsidiarity’. American Journal of Jurisprudence, Vol. 62, No. 2 (2017), pp. 143-164

The uncomfortable question of urgency for liberal thought: A dialogue between John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government and contemporary liberal theory’. Politics & Poetics, Vol. 2 (2017), pp. 1-27

Trust, Ethnicity and Integrity in East Africa: Experimental Evidence from Kenya and Tanzania’. Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics (with Nic Cheeseman), Vol. 2 (2017), pp. 88-123

Security and devolution in Kenya: Struggles in applying constitutional provisions to local politics’. Strathmore Law Journal, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2017), pp. 131-155

Space for virtue in the economics of Kenneth J. Arrow, Amartya Sen and Elinor Ostrom’. Journal of Economic Methodology, Vol. 23, No. 4 (2016), pp. 396-412

The Shadow of Kenyan Democracy: Widespread Expectations of Widespread Corruption (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015)