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David Runciman    

Professor of Politics, University of Cambridge

David Runciman is an English academic who teaches politics and history at Cambridge University, where he is Professor of Politics. From October 2014 to October 2018, he was also Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies.

Runciman began writing for the London Review of Books in 1996 and has written dozens of book reviews and articles on contemporary politics since, for the LRB and a number of other publications.

Runciman has published six books. An adaptation of his PhD thesis was published in 1997 as "Pluralism and the Personality of the State." "The Politics of Good Intentions: History, Fear and Hypocrisy in the New World Order" (2006) evaluates contemporary and historical crisis in international politics after 9/11 while "Political Hypocrisy" (2008) explores the political uses of hypocrisy from a historical perspective. "The Confidence Trap: A History of Democracy in Crisis from World War I to the Present" (2013) lays out his theory of the threat of democratic overconfidence. Profile Books published his books "Politics: Ideas in Profile and How Democracy Ends" in 2014 and 2018, respectively.

In October 2014, he was appointed head of the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge. Runciman gave his inaugural lecture on 24 February 2015 on Political Theory and Real Politics in the Age of the Internet. He was preceded in this position by Andrew Gamble and Geoffrey Hawthorn.

One of Runcimans most influential works is "Politics: Ideas in Profile." This book explores what politics is, why do we need it and where, in these troubling times, is it heading. Taking the reader across topics such as the gap between rich and poor to the impact of social media on our political climate, it is a useful resource for anyone who is interested in learning about how politics shapes the world. With reference to Machiavelli, Hobbes and Weber Runciman answer the questions that many ask themselves when discussing politics; such as how there can be such disparity between the wealthiest nations and the least developed.

Since 2015, Runciman has hosted a podcast called Talking Politics with Professor Helen Thompson. The podcast convenes a panel of academics from the University of Cambridge and elsewhere to speak about current affairs and politics. Guests have included Thomas Piketty, Judith Butler and John Lanchester.

In July 2018, Runciman was elected Fellow of the British Academy (FBA).

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