My main research interests are in British and European early modern history – especially, but not only, intellectual history. My work on the philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) has led me into the many areas of Hobbes's own work: not only political philosophy, but also ethics, metaphysics, theology, biblical criticism and optics. I have published editions of his Correspondence (2 vols., Oxford, 1994) and of Leviathan (3 vols., Oxford, 2012), as well as a volume of essays, Aspects of Hobbes (Oxford, 2002).
Another interest concerns Western knowledge of, and involvement in, the Ottoman / Islamic world. In 2001 I gave the Carlyle Lectures at Oxford on 'Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought'; in 2010 I gave the Trevelyan Lectures at Cambridge on 'Early Modern Europe's Encounters with Islam'. There are some connections between this and my on-going interest in Balkan history – especially the history of the Albanian lands.
Thomas Hobbes: liberal illiberal
The Study of Islam in Early Modern Europe: Obstacles and Missed Opportunities
Introduction to Leviathan
The 1649 English Translation of the Koran: Its Origins and Significance
Aberico Gentili and the Ottomans
This book explores how both the theory and the practice of international politics was framed in ways that built on these Roman private law and public law foundations, including concepts of rights.
Comenius, the Conversion of the Turks, and the Muslim-Christian Debate on the Corruption of Scripture