Tocqueville Forum Staff

Director: Richard Boyd, Ph.D.

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.