Dr Tim Hochstrasser

Dr Tim Hochstrasser

Associate Professor

Department of International History

Room No
English, French
Key Expertise
Early Modern History, The Enlightenment, Intellectual History

About me

Associate Professor Hochstrasser studied at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and gained his degrees from Cambridge University. He has also worked in a teaching and research capacity at Downing College, Cambridge and Keble College, Oxford and held a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

Associate Professor Hochstrasser's research focuses on the two-way relationship between intellectual life and political action in the history of early modern Europe, and above all on the use made of contemporary historical and philosophical writing to legitimate and defend changing concepts of sovereignty and political structure. The major case study for this research is the European Enlightenment (c. 1680-1830), with a particular focus on France and Germany. His research has developed three linked pathways: the development of natural law discourse in the early German Enlightenment, which provided the focus for his first book, the scope and limits of eighteenth-century cosmopolitanism which he is exploring through his continuing work on the Huguenot Diaspora, and the interface between political economy and practical politics in France in the era before the French Revolution.

Other titles: Undergraduate Programmes Director

Expertise Details

Early Modern History; The Enlightenment; Intellectual History

Teaching & supervision

Dr Hochstrasser usually teaches the following courses in the Department:

At undergraduate level:

HY200: The Rights of Man: A Pre-Modern History of Rights-Based Discourse in the West

HY241: What is History? Methods and Debates

HY315: The European Enlightenment, c.1680-1799

Graduate PhD students supervised by Dr Hochstrasser include:

 Research student  Provisional thesis title
 Max Skjönsberg (2018)  Internecine Discord: Party, Religion and History in Hanoverian Britain, c.1714-1765



Dr Tim Hochstrasser's major publication is Natural Law Theories in the Early Enlightenment (Cambridge, 2000) which was awarded the Morris D. Forkosch Prize by the Journal of the History of Ideas for the best book in intellectual history published in 2000. He has also co-edited a related collection: T.J.Hochstrasser and P.Schröder (eds.), Early Modern Natural Law Theories: Context and Strategies in the Early Enlightenment, (Kluwer: Dordrecht, 2003), together with several articles on the themes outlined above.

Dr Hochstrasser's other publications include:

'"A College in the Air": Myth and Reality in the Foundation Story of Downing College, Cambridge', History of the Universities, 17, (2002), 81-120

'The Institutionalisation of Philosophy in Continental Europe' [Section 1(e)] in The Cambridge History of Eighteenth Century Philosophy, (ed.) Knud Haakonssen, (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2006), 69-96

'Physiocracy and the Politics of Laissez-Faire', in The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought edited by Mark Goldie and Robert Wokler, (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2006), 419-442

'Carlyle and the French Enlightenment: Transitional Readings of Voltaire and Diderot', Working Papers on the Nature of Evidence, no 21, 'The Nature of Evidence: How Well Do FACTS Travel?' (November 2007), 1-20.

• 'More long-lasting than bronze?': statues, public commemoration, and representations of monarchy in Diderot's political thought. In: Cuttica, Cesare and Burgess, Glenn, (eds.) Monarchism and Absolutism in Early Modern Europe. Political and popular culture in the early modern period. Pickering & Chatto, London, UK, pp. 201-14 & 262-63

• ‘Welfare for Whom?’ The place of poor relief in the theory and practice of the Enlightened absolutist state’, in Ideas of Poverty in the Age of Enlightenment edited by Niall O’Flaherty & R.J.W.Mills, University of Manchester Press, 2024, pp.17-35.

Dr Hochstrasser also has research interests in the social history of music and in historiography that extend beyond the range of the 'long' eighteenth century.


My research