Chris Barker teaches the history of political thought and topics in contemporary political theory.
His first book, Educating Liberty: Democracy and Aristocracy in JS Mill’s Political Thought, is forthcoming from the University of Rochester Press. In his book, Barker explains the dependence of Mill’s theory of liberty upon conditions created in large part by increases in gender and economic equality. He concludes that Mill’s version of liberty is not well described as either negative or positive; instead, it aims at developing what he calls mental independence, or thinking power.
His most recent research focuses attention on John Stuart Mill’s participation in the British imperial project and the effects of imperialism on liberalism in England. His archival research has recently taken him on several trips to the British Library in London, United Kingdom and he is excited to introduce students to the study of empire through Mill’s unpublished writings.
Before coming to The American University in Cairo, Barker held positions at Southwestern College, Ohio University, Boston College and Harvard University.
Selected Popular Writing