Alan Ryan

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Alan Ryan
Born Alan James Ryan
(1940-05-09) May 9, 1940 (age 78)
London, England[1]
Spouse(s) Kate Ryan
Academic background
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Academic work
Discipline Politics
Sub-discipline Political theory

Alan James Ryan FBA (born 1940) was Warden of New College, Oxford, and Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford[2] and is currently[when?] a lecturer at Princeton University.[3]


Ryan was born on 9 May 1940 in London, England. He was educated at Christ's Hospital, Balliol College, Oxford, and University College, London. Elected a fellow of New College in 1969, he later taught at Princeton University, and returned to New College, Oxford, in 1996 to take up the Wardenship. He was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1986.

A political theorist and historian of political thought, Ryan is a recognised authority on development of modern liberalism, and especially the work of John Stuart Mill, having contributed directly to the ‘Reversionary’ school, which led to a re-examination of Mill's work from the 1970s. His academic work also takes in broader themes in political theory, including the philosophy of social science, the nature of property, the history of political thought, and liberalism of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Ryan has held positions at the Universities of Oxford, Essex, Keele and Princeton University and University of Virginia School of Law. He was also a Visiting Professor of Political Science at The University of Texas at Austin, Australian National University, The New School and many others.

Ryan is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, and The Times Literary Supplement, and continues to write on political theory and the history of political thought.[4]



  1. ^ Ryan, Alan (2015). On Hobbes: Escaping the War of All against All. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-87140-834-1. 
  2. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2014. Prof Alan Ryan, Warden of New College, Oxford, 1996–2009, 73 
  3. ^ Christopher Hood, Desmond King, & Gillian Peele, eds, Forging a Discipline, Oxford University Press, 2014, page vii.
  4. ^ E.g. Alan Ryan, "Paradigms Lost: How Oxford Escaped the Paradigm Wars of the 1960s and 1970s", in Christopher Hood, Desmond King, & Gillian Peele, eds, Forging a Discipline, Oxford University Press, 2014, page vii.

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