Tocqueville Forum Staff


Richard Boyd

Richard Boyd is Associate Professor of Government and Director of the Tocqueville Forum for Political Understanding. His research interests include the intellectual history of liberalism, civil society and pluralism, economic and sociological theory, the theory and practice of immigration and citizenship policies in the United States, and the ethical dimensions of the recent financial crisis.

Boyd is author of Uncivil Society: The Perils of Pluralism and the Making of Modern Liberalism (Lexington/ Rowman & Littlefield, 2004); co-editor (with Ewa Atanassow) of Tocqueville and the Frontiers of Democracy (Cambridge, 2013); and editor of the Cambridge Companion to Tocqueville’s Democracy in America (Cambridge, forthcoming 2017). He has published journal articles and book chapters on such thinkers as Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith, James Madison, Edmund Burke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, J. S. Mill, Alexis de Tocqueville, Stendhal, Mrs. Frances Trollope, Joseph Mazzini, Michael Oakeshott, F. A. Hayek, and Frank H. Knight.

He is currently working on two book-length projects. “Liberalism, Capacities, and Citizenship” is a study of the morality of borders, especially the ways in which liberalism (past and present) deals with the question of who deserves to be a member of the political community. The second project (with Richard Avramenko of UW-Madison) is titled “Subprime Virtues: The Moral Dimensions of US Housing and Mortgage Policy” and explores the moral consequences of housing policy in the United States in the wake of the financial crisis.

Before coming to Georgetown in 2007, Boyd taught at the University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Deep Springs College. He was named 2014 Outstanding Professor by the Fund for American Studies for his work with the TFAS Summer Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service.

Associate Director: Thomas Kerch, Ph.D.

Thomas Kerch

Before becoming its Associate Director, Thomas Kerch served as the Interim Director of the Tocqueville Forum from 2015-16. He received a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University. His primary area of research and teaching is Greek and Roman political and moral philosophy. Of particular interest is the manner in which classical authors have exerted an influence on thinkers of later eras. Dr. Kerch is deeply interested in the manner in which education plays a role in the development of personal and civic virtue. In addition to teaching in the Department of Government, Dr. Kerch also teaches in Georgetown's Graduate Liberal Studies Program. He has published and presented conference papers on various aspects of classical political thought. Currently, he is in the process of completing a book-length study of the importance of moderation in Plato's political and moral philosophy