Personal Biography

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, Berkeley. After practising law in Colorado for a number of years, 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.

Research and Teaching

My research addresses 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 analyse them as political and historical phenomena, engaging in archive research and applying rational choice methodology.

I teach the undergraduate papers on British politics and United States government, as well as Comparative Government. I teach Comparative Government and British politics to master’s degree students.

Selected Publications

"Heresthetic and Strategic Choice in a Constitutional Moment: The Abdication of Edward VIII." British Politics (2021) doi:

"Of Crises, Constitutionalism and Irresponsible Advisers." The Political Quarterly 92, no. 2 (2021): 331-42 (with Iain McLean) doi:

‘Rational Choice, Religion and the Marketplace: Where Does Adam Smith Fit In?’ Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 48(1), 185–193 (2009)

Legally Married: Love and Law in the UK and the US (Edinburgh University Press, 2013) (with Iain McLean)