About the Department

Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson

Robert M. Beren Professor of Government
Political Theory

On Leave Academic Year 2015 - 2016

Eric Nelson is the Robert M. Beren Professor of Government at Harvard University. His research focuses on the history of political thought in early-modern Europe and America, and on the implications of that history for debates in contemporary political theory. Particular interests include the history of republican political theory, the relationship between the history of political thought and the history of scholarship, theories of property, and the phenomenon of secularization. Nelson is the author of The Royalist Revolution: Monarchy and the American Founding (Harvard/Belknap, 2014), The Hebrew Republic: Jewish Sources and the Transformation of European Political Thought (Harvard/Belknap, 2010), and The Greek Tradition in Republican Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2004). He has also edited Hobbes's translations of the Iliad and Odyssey for the Clarendon Edition of the Works of Thomas Hobbes (The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2008). His books have received several prizes, and his essays have appeared in a wide range of scholarly journals and edited volumes. Nelson received his AB summa cum laude from Harvard University (1999) and his PhD from The University of Cambridge (2002). He has been awarded fellowships by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. He has also been a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows, a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a British Marshall Scholar.  He is currently at work on a long-term project on property rights and the theory of justice.

Email Address


Web Site

OpenScholar webpage



Office Locations

1737 Cambridge Street, CGIS Knafel Building 403, Cambridge, MA 02138

Office Hours

By appointment.



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