The Work of J.G.A. Pocock

The Work of J.G.A. Pocock

A world-renowned scholar of the history of British political discourse, J.G.A. (John) Pocock, Harry C. Black Chair of History Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University, has enjoyed nearly 60 years of publication. Now in his ninth decade, he is currently engaged in a multi-volume study of Edward Gibbon (author of "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"). The first two volumes of "Barbarism and Religion" (six are projected), were awarded the American Philosophical Society's "Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History" for the year 1999. In total, Pocock has authored more than 230 articles, essays, and reviews. Below are the main categories of his articles/essays and their constituents. Pocock's many monographs are listed within the main article,

Edward Gibbon

Knowing early on that he would be embarking on a detailed study of Gibbon, Pocock used many of the following as research and preparation for "Barbarism and Religion" :

*"Between Machiavelli and Hume: Gibbon as Civic Humanist and Philosophical Historian," "Daedulus" 105,3(1976), 153-169.
*"Gibbon's Decline and Fall and the World View of the Late Enlightenment," "Eighteenth Century Studies" 10,3(1977), 287-303.
*"Gibbon and the Shepherds: the Stages of Society in the Decline and Fall," "History of European Ideas" 2,3(1981), 193-202.
*"Superstition and Enthusiasm in Gibbon’s History of Religion*," "Eighteenth Century Life" 8,1(1982), 83-94.
*"Review of Gossman, Lionel: The Empire Unpossess'd: an Essay on Gibbon's Decline and Fall," "History of European Ideas" 4,2(1983), 223-225.
*"Edward Gibbon in History: Aspects of the Text in 'The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'," in "The Tanner Lectures on Human Values", vol. XI, ed. Grethe B. Petersen. (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1988), 289-364.
*"Gibbon and the Idol Fo: Chinese and Christian History in the Enlightenment," in "Sceptics, Millenarians and Jews", eds. David S. Katz, Jonathan Israel. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1990), 15-34.
* "Review of Womersley, David: The Transformation of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," "Eighteenth-Century Studies" 233,3(Spring 1990), 318-322.
* "Tangata Whenua and Enlightenment Anthropology," in "The Discovery of Islands" (originally published, 1991).
*"Classical and Civil History: the Transformation of Humanism," "Cromohs" 1(1996), 1-34; [] .
*"Gibbon and the Primitive Church," in "History, Religion and Culture: British Intellectual History 1750-1950", eds. Stefan Collini, Richard Whatmore, Brian Young. (Cambridge: 2000), 48-68.
*"The 'Outlines of the History of the World': a Problematic Essay by Edward Gibbon," in "Historians and Ideologues: essays in honor of Donald R. Kelley", eds. Anthony Grafton; J.H.M. Salmon. (Rochester, N.Y.: Univ. of Rochester Press, 2001), 211-230.
*"The Ironist" (Review of Womersley, David: Gibbon and 'The Watchmen of the Holy City': the Historian and his Reputation 1776-1815). "London Review of Books" 24,22(14-Nov, 2002), 13-17.
*"Gibbon and the History of Heresy," in "Histories of Heresy in Early Modern Europe: For, Against, and Beyond Persecution and Toleration", ed. John Christian Laursen. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan Pubs., 2002), 205-220.
*"Edward Gibbon and Clerical Scholarship," in "The Making of Marsh's Library: learning, politics and religion in Ireland, 1650-1750", eds. Muriel McCarthy; Ann Simmons. (Dublin; Portland, Oreg.: Four Courts Press, Dec. 2004), 32-40.
*"Perceptions of Modernity in Early Modern Historical Thinking," "Intellectual History Review" 17,1(2007), 55-63.
*"Historiography and Enlightenment: a View of their History," "Modern Intellectual History" 5(2008), 83-96.

Machiavelli and James Harrington

*"Interregnum: the "Oceana" of James Harrington," chapter 6 in "The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law" (1957;1987).
*"Machiavelli, Harrington, and English Political Ideologies in the Eighteenth Century," "William and Mary Quarterly", 3rd ser. 22,4(1965), 549-583.

*"'The Onely Politician': Machiavelli, Harrington and Felix Raab." "Historical Studies: Australia and New Zealand" 12,4(1966), 265-296.

*"James Harrington and the Good Old Cause: a study of the ideological context of his writings," "Journal of British Studies" 10(Nov.1970),30-48.

* "Custom & Grace, Form & Matter: an Approach to Machiavelli's Concept of Innovation," in "Machiavelli and the Nature of Political Thought", ed. Martin Fleisher. (New York: Atheneum, 1972), 153-184.

*"Prophet and Inquisitor: Or, a Church Built upon Bayonets Cannot Stand: A Comment on Mansfield's 'Strauss's Machiavelli'," "Political Theory" 3,4(Nov.1975), 385-401.

*"Historical Introduction," "The Political Works of James Harrington" (Cambridge: 1977), 1-152.

*"Contexts for the Study of James Harrington," Il Pensiero Politico 11,1(1978), 20-35.

*"Machiavelli and Guicciardini: Ancients and Moderns," "Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory" 2,3 (Fall 1978), 93-109.

*"The Machiavellian Moment Revisited: A Study in History and Ideology," "Journal of Modern History" 53 (March 1981), 49-72.

*"Machiavelli and the Liberal Cosmos," "Political Theory" 13,4 (Nov. 1985), 559-574.

*"Preface" and "Introduction," James Harrington: "The Commonwealth of Oceana and a System of Politics" (Cambridge: 1992), vi-xxvi.
*"Machiavelli and the Rethinking of History," "Il Pensiero Politico" 27,2(1994), 215-230.

*"Afterword," "The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition" (Princeton: 2003 ed.), 553-583.

New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Pocock is a New Zealand expatriate, but he retains his citizenship and maintains a deeply committed interest in his country's past, present, and future:
* "Introduction," in Pocock, ed., "The Maori and New Zealand Politics" (1965), 1-13.
* "The History and Historiography of New Zealand Universities," "New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies" 8,2(1973), 177-187.
*"History and Sovereignty: The Historiographical Response to Europeanization in Two British Cultures," "Journal of British Studies" 30(Oct.1992), 358-389.
*"Removal from the Wings" (Review of Belich, James: Making Peoples: a History of the New Zealanders from Polynesian Settlement to the End of the Nineteenth Century), "London Review of Books" 19,6 (March 20, 1997), 12-13.
*"Asia and the Pacific" (a second review of Belich [above] ), "The Historian" 60,4 (Summer 1998), 884-886.
*"Waitangi as Mystery of State: Consequences of the Ascription of Federative Capacity to the Maori," in "Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples", eds. Duncan Invison et al. (Cambridge: 2000), 25-35.
*"The Treaty between Histories," in "History, Power and Loss: uses of the past--a New Zealand commentary", eds., Andrew Sharp, et al. (Wellington, N.Z.: Bridget Williams Books, 2001), 75-95.
*"The Uniqueness of Aotearoa," "Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society" 145,4 (Dec. 2001), 482-487.
*"The Antipodean Perception," in "The Discovery of Islands".
*"Law, Sovereignty and History in a Divided Culture: the case of New Zealand and the Treaty of Waitangi," in "Discovery of Islands"; originally published, 1992.
*"Tangata Whenua and Enlightenment Anthropology," in "Discovery of Islands"; originally published, 1991.


* "Virtue and Commerce in the Eighteenth Century" (Review of Wood, Gordon: Creation of the American Republic; Stourzh, Gerald: Alexander Hamilton and the Idea of Republican Government), "Journal of Interdisciplinary History" 3(Summer, 1972), 119-134.

* "1776: the Revolution against Parliament," in "Three British Revolutions", (1980), 265-288.

* "English and European Political Inheritance," "Encyclopedia of American Political History: Studies of the Principal Movements and Ideas", vol.2, ed. Jack P. Greene. (New York: Chas. Scribner's Sons, 1984), 513-534.

* "The Influence of British Political Thought on the American Constitution: Magna Carta in Context," in "The Blessings of Liberty: Bicentennial Lectures at the National Archives", eds. Robert S. Peck; Ralph S. Pollock. (Chicago: American Bar Association, 1985), 11-19.

* "Hume and the American Revolution: the dying thoughts of a North Briton," in "Virtue, Commerce and History" (1985).

* "Between Gog and Magog: the Republican Thesis and the 'Ideologia Americana'," "Journal of the History of Ideas" 48,2(1987), 325-346.

* "States, Republics and Empires: The American Founding in Early Modern Perspective," "Social Science Quarterly" 68,4(Dec. 1987), 703-723.

* "Introduction," in "Conceptual Change and the Constitution" (1998).

* "The Book Most Misunderstood Since the Bible: John Adams and the Confusion about Aristocracy," "Fra Toscana e Stati Uniti: il Discorso Politico nell' Eta della Constituzione Americana: atti del convegno: Pensiero politico toscano e pensiero politico-istituzionale americano" (Florence, 1989), 181-201.

* "Enlightenment and revolution: the case of English-speaking North America," "Transactions of the Seventh International Congress on the Enlightenment", vol. 1, (Voltaire Foundation, 1989), 249-261.

* "The Idea of Constitutionalism," in "Constitutionalism: the American experiment in wider perspective". (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Law School, 1989).

* "Review of Kramnick, Isaac: Republicanism and Bourgeois Radicalism: Political Ideology in Late Eighteenth-Century England and America," "Eighteenth Century Studies" 25,2(1991), 219-227.

* "Empire, State and Confederation: the War of American Independence as a Crisis in Multiple Monarchy," (1995) in "The Discovery of Islands" (2005).

* "Empire, revolution and an end of early modernity," in "Varieties of British Political Thought" (1996).

*"Religious Freedom and the Desacralization of Politics: from the English Civil Wars to the Virginia Statute," in "The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom: its Evolution and Consequences in American History", eds. Merrill D. Peterson; Robert C. Vaughan. (Cambridge, 1998), 43-73.

* "America's Foundations, Foundationalisms and Fundamentalisms," "Orbis" 48,1(Winter, 2004), 37-44.

Political languages (contextualism)

*"The History of Political Thought: a Methodological Enquiry," "Philosophy, Politics and Society", 2nd ser., eds. Peter Laslett; W. G. Runciman (New York: Barnes and Noble, Inc., 1962), 183-202.

*"The Origins of Study of the Past: a Comparative Approach," "Comparative Studies in Society and History" 4,2(1962), 209-246.
*"Verbalizing a Political Act: Towards a Politics of Speech," "Political Theory" 1,1(Feb.1973), 27-45.
*"On the Problem of Methodology: a Comment on Ashcraft," "Political Theory" 3,3(Aug.1975), 317-318.
*"Reconstructing the Traditions: Quentin Skinner's Historians' History of Political Thought," "Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory" 3,3 (Fall 1979), 95-112.
*"Political Ideas as Historical Events: Political Philosophers as Historical Actors," "Political Theory and Political Education", ed. Melvin Richter, (Princeton: 1980), 139-158.

*"Political Theory, History, and Myth: a Salute to John Gunnell," "Annals of Scholarship" 1,1(1980), 3-25.

*"Virtues, Rights, and Manners: A Model for Historians of Political Thought," "Political Theory" 9,3(Aug., 1981), 353-368. also in "Virtue, Commerce, and History". see

*"Intentions, Traditions and Methods: some sounds on a fog-horn," "Annals of Scholarship" 1,4(1981), 57-62.
*"The Reconstruction of Discourse: Towards the Historiography of Political Thought," "MLN" 96,5(Dec.1981), 959-980.

*"Trading Traditions: a Report from the High Barbary," "Annals of Scholarship" 3,3(1985), 103-111.
*"A New Bark Up an Old Tree," "Intellectual History Newsletter" 8(Apr.1986), 3-9.
*"Texts as Events: Reflections on the History of Political Thought," in "Politics of Discourse: the Literature and History of Seventeenth-Century England", eds. Kevin Sharpe; Steven N. Zwicker, (Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press, 1987), 21-34.
*"The Concept of a Language and the métier d'historien: some considerations on practice," in "The Languages of Political Theory in Early-modern Europe", ed. Anthony Pagden, (Cambridge: 1987), 19-38.

*"What is Intellectual History?" in "What is History Today?" ed. Juliet Gardiner, (London: Macmillan, 1988), 114-116.

*"From Languages to Pedagogy" (comment on Rebecca Bushnell, "From Books to Languages"), "Common Knowledge" 3,1(1994), p. 39.
*"Concepts and Discourses: a difference in culture? Comment on a paper by Melvin Richter," in "The meaning of historical terms and concepts: new studies on" Begriffsgeschichte, eds. Hartmut Lehmann; Melvin Richter, (Wash., DC: German Historical Institute, 1996), 47-58.
*"Quentin Skinner: The History of Politics and the Politics of History," "Common Knowledge" 10,3(Aug.2004), 532-550.
*"Present at the Creation: with Laslett to the Lost Worlds," "International Journal of Public Affairs" 2(2006), 7-17. [annual pub.]

*"Theory in History: Problems of Context and Narrative," chapter 8 of "The Oxford Handbook of Political Theory", eds. John S. Dryzek et al. (Oxford: 2006), 163-174.

*"Foundations and Moments," chap. 3 in "Rethinking the Foundations of Modern Political Thought", eds. Annabel Brett, James Tully with Holly Hamilton-Bleakley (Cambridge: 2006), 37-49.



ee also

* D.N. DeLuna, ed.; P. Anderson, G. Burgess, assts. "The Political Imagination in History: Essays concerning J.G.A. Pocock" (Baltimore: Owlworks, 2006); [ISBN 1-934084-02-6] .


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