Duncan Bell

Duncan Bell

Member of the Advisory Council
duncan bell

Duncan Bell is a Professor of Political Thought and International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Christ’s College at the University. His research and teaching stand at the intersection of political theory, intellectual history, and International Relations. Over the last couple of decades he has focused principally on tracing ideas about empire – and in particular settler colonialism – in the history of modern British political thought. He has written three books on the subject, the most recent of which is Dreamworlds of Race: Empire and the Utopian Destiny of Anglo-America, as well as assorted articles and book chapters. He has also worked on various topics in contemporary political theory and IR.  

Bell's current research explores how the future of humanity has been imagined – by philosophers, scientists, and fiction writers – in Britain and the United States since the late nineteenth century. He is working on two books, a general history of ideas about the future from Darwin to Artificial Intelligence, and a monograph on the social and political thought of H. G. Wells.  

Bell Co-Directs the Cambridge Centre for Political Thought and Co-Convenes the POLIS History and IR programme at Cambridge. He has held visiting positions at Columbia, Harvard, Darmstadt and the FU Berlin. In 2012 he was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize and in 2021 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.  

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