Profile picture for user Kinch Hoekstra

Kinch Hoekstra

Chancellor's Professor of Political Science and Law
700 Social Sciences Building
Personal Statement

I work on the history of political, moral, and legal thought, especially ancient, renaissance, and early modern political philosophy.  Recent contributions to ancient political thought include "Athenian Democracy and Popular Tyranny" (2016), "Thucydides and the Politics of Necessity" (2017, with Mark Fisher), and "The Liberties of the Ancients" (2018, with Quentin Skinner).  Another focus of my research has been the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes (including studies of his theory of equality, obligation, democracy, tyranny, mixed government, natural law, and the rationality of justice); I co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Hobbes (2016).  Work that bridges these two areas includes "Hobbes and Aristotle on the Foundation of Political Science" (2019, with Nicholas Gooding) and "Hobbes's Thucydides" (2016).

I am Professor of Law at Berkeley Law, and an affiliated professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Classics.  From 1996 to 2007, I was a member of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, where I also regularly taught graduate students in the Faculty of Classics and the Department of Politics and International Relations.  During this same period, I was the Leveson Gower Fellow in Ancient and Modern Philosophy at Balliol College.

I have been the Benedict Lecturer on the History of Political Philosophy at Boston University (2018), the Carlyle Lecturer in the History of Political Thought at the University of Oxford and a Visiting Professorial Fellow at Nuffield College (2017), a Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Center for Human Values at Princeton University (2011-12), a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (2004-5), and an Ahmanson-Getty Fellow at UCLA (2001-2).

I am committed to teaching and graduate student mentoring.  For my Berkeley teaching, I have received the Excellence in Teaching Award, from the Northern California Association of Phi Beta Kappa (2018); the Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award, from the Graduate Assembly (the only campus-wide teaching award given by students) (2016); and the Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of Graduate Student Instructors, from the Graduate Council and Graduate Division (2013).

Academic Subfields
Research Interests
History of Political Philosophy
B.A., Brown University (1987)
D.Phil., University of Oxford (1998)

For publications, see