Peter J. Diamond

Peter Diamond

Clinical Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies; Assistant Dean for Faculty Development and Program Advancement, Liberal Studies

Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University

M.A. Johns Hopkins University

M.Sc. London School of Economics

B.A. Georgetown University

Areas of Interest: Modern political theory; Global ethics; History of international thought, particularly of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Course(s) Taught: Social Foundations I, II & III; Approaches Seminar: "Nation Building, Democracy and Justice"; Senior Seminar: "Nationalism and Democracy in an Age of Globalization; Senior Colloquium I/Senior Thesis

Teaching Statement:

In the Social Foundations sequence, I encourage students to take an active and critical interest in the ideas and arguments we encounter in classic texts. That entails reading them in terms of their historical contexts, and also asking what they might teach us. When possible I have students play games that explore ideas and events by recreating the historical contexts that shaped them. For example, in SF-I students take on the roles of Athenian democrats, oligarchs, or Socratics, and explore democracy in the wake of the Peloponnesian War. In SF-III students assume the roles of Indian leaders who convene at Simla to discuss the future of the subcontinent. The game raises questions that echo contemporary debates throughout the world: How can democratic governments be installed among people who have for generations lived under non-democratic governments? How can different religious and social groups cohere as a single nation? How can the rights of vulnerable minorities be protected from the potential tyranny of a democratically elected majority?

As a political theorist whose research interests span the early modern and modern eras, and include global ethics and politics, I have taught courses on theories of liberalism and democracy, just war, and nation building. At the upper-division level, my courses deal with topics such as the nature and legacy of conquest of non-European peoples, particularly in the Americas, the politics of multiculturalism both at home and abroad, as well as theories of nationalism and multiculturalism.


  • Common Sense and Improvement:  Thomas Reid as Social Theorist (Frankfurt, 1998).

Updated on 02/19/2016