William Selinger is the Wick Cary Assistant Professor of Constitutional Studies at the University of Oklahoma, a position he holds in the Department of Classics and Letters. Previously, he was Lecturer in European History (1700-1850) at University College London. Selinger received his BA from the University of Chicago and his PhD from Harvard University.
Selinger’s research focuses on the modern history of representative democracy. He is the author of Parliamentarism: From Burke to Weber (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), which won the Montreal Political Theory Manuscript Award. The book is about the effort to secure parliamentary control over the executive and make parliament a genuinely deliberative assembly in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain and France. Selinger argues that these aims were fundamental to the emergence of liberalism, and he shows that the challenging world of parliamentary politics was a crucial context for liberal thinkers such as Benjamin Constant, François Guizot, Alexis de Tocqueville, and John Stuart Mill. Selinger’s writing has also been published in Modern Intellectual History, Review of Politics, European Journal of Political Theory, History of European Ideas, Constellations, Contemporary Political Theory, Tocqueville Review, Chronicle of Higher Education, and several edited volumes. His next book, under contract with Princeton University Press, is a comprehensive study of Montesquieu’s life and thought. This will serve as the basis for his Skinner Lecture.