Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Dr Scot Peterson

Lecturer in Politics

I grew up primarily in Colorado, in the United States, where I did my undergraduate work in Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago in Political Science, and I attended law school at the University of California (Boalt Hall) in Berkeley. After practicing law for fifteen years in Colorado I came to Oxford, where I earned my doctoral degree. I was first appointed to a lectureship at Corpus Christi in the academic year 2007-08.

I am interested in the constitutional history of the United Kingdom and of the United States, focusing particularly on matters arising from the relationship between church and state. My D.Phil. thesis was about the religious establishments, or the lack of them, in the three nations that make up Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) in the early twentieth century. I am concerned with questions of why those relationships have been maintained in recent history, despite the supposed ‘secularization' inherent in modern Western democracies. I analyze them as political and historical phenomena, engaging in archive research and applying rational choice methodology.

I teach the first-year (Prelims) papers on the United Kingdom and the United States and the papers on British Politics and Government, 1900 to the present; Government and Politics of the United States; and Comparative Government in the final honour schools.

Major Publications
Adam Smith at the Constitutional Convention, Loyola Law Review 56:101-44 (2010) (with Iain McLean)
Rational Choice, Religion and the Marketplace: Where Does Adam Smith Fit In? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 48(1): 186-193 (2009)
Recent Developments In Church-State Relations In Scotland (with Marjory MacLean and Frank Cranmer) in R. Morris (ed.) Church and State in 21st Century Britain (Palgrave 2009)
Of Wheat, the Church in Wales and the West Lothian Question, Welsh History Review /Cylchgrawn Hanes Cymru 23(3): 151-74 (2007) (with Iain McLean)
Employment, Sex Discrimination and the Churches: The Percy Case, 8 Ecclesiastical L.J. 392 (July, 2006) (with Frank Cranmer)

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