Theodore Christov

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Theodore Christov

Associate Professor

Modern Intellectual


Office Phone: (202) 994-6230
801 22nd St NW Washington DC 20052

Theo Christov's research interests lie in the fields of early modern intellectual history and modern political and international thought, with with a focus on political theories of empire and imperialism, the history of international law, and theories of international relations. His new book, Before Anarchy: Hobbes and His Critics in Modern International Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2015) examines debates over international relations in the works of Hobbes, Pufendorf, and Vattel. In tracing the genesis of the international turn in the history of political thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the book rejects two dominant interpretations within political theory. In one, the foreign domain is seen as a warlike Hobbesian anarchy; in the other, the domestic sovereign is regarded as radically opposed to the state of nature. By showing how these early modern debates have been largely de-historicized in contemporary international relations, Before Anarchy saves Hobbes from anachronistic misinterpretations of the 20th century and bridges the divide between political theory, intellectual history, and international relations. 

  • Early Modern Europe
  • Early Modern World

HIST 3001: Modern Intellectual History

HIST 3001: Capitalism and Enlightenment

HIST 3001: Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism

HIST 3001: Modernity's Discontents

HIST 3103, 3104: European Intellectual History

'Emmerich de Vattel,' in eds., Daniel Brunstetter and Cian O’Driscoll, Just War Thinkers From Cicero to the 21st Century (Routledge 2018).

'The Law of Nations in America's Independence,' in eds., Glenn Moots and Philip Hamilton, Justice, Virtue, and Violence: The American Revolution Considered as a Just War (University of Oklahoma Press, forthcoming, 2018).

Before Anarchy: Hobbes and His Critics in Modern International Thought. (Cambridge University Press, paperback, 2017).

'The Invention of Hobbesian Anarchy,' in Journal of International Political Theory 13:3 (2017).

Before Anarchy: Hobbes and His Critics in Modern International Thought. (Cambridge University Press, hardcover, 2015).

"Vattel’s Rousseau: Jus Gentium and the Natural Liberty of States," in Quentin Skinner and Martin van Gelderen, eds., Freedom and the Construction of Europe: New Perspectives on Philosophical, Religious, and Political Controversies (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Review of Daniel Deudney, “Bounding Power: Republican Security Theory from the Polis to the Global Village.” The European Legacy 15:6 (2010).

‘The Federal Idea of Europe: Late Eighteenth-Century Debates,’ in Dominic Eggel and Brunhilde Wehinger, eds., Imagining Europe in the Eighteenth Century (Hannover: Wehrhahn Verlag, 2008).

Review of Paul Keal, “European Conquest and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The Moral Backwardness of International Society,” History of European Ideas 33:3 (2007).

‘Thomas Hobbes in the History of International Political Thought,’ The European Legacy 12:4 (2007).

‘Jealousy of Trade’ [A Forum with Anthony Pagden on Istvan Hont], Cambridge Review of International Affairs 19:3 (2006).

‘Liberal Internationalism Revisited: Grotius, Vattel, and the International Order of States,’ The European Legacy 10:6 (2005).

Review of Rick Halpern and Enrico Dal Lago, Eds., “Slavery and Emancipation,” The European Legacy 11:7 (2005).

Review of Niccolo Machiavelli, “Art of War,” The European Legacy 10:3 (2005).

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2008