Colin Bird is Associate Professor of Politics and Director of the Program in Political Philosophy, Policy and Law at the University of Virginia. His research interests include: the nature of individualism; questioning the identity and character of a ‘liberal’ tradition of political thought; the coherence of contemporary libertarianism; concepts of freedom; the nature of toleration and respect; the political relevance of ideals of self-respect; democratic theory and the notion of self-government; notions of state neutrality and ‘public justification’; the concept of dignity; ideals of fraternity; the role of ordinary language in political analysis; and the explication of the distinction between a political ‘left’ and a political ‘right’.
His work has appeared in such journals as Ethics, Political Theory, The American Political Science Review, Philosophy and Public Affairs, and The European Journal of Philosophy. He is the author of two books, both published by Cambridge University Press: The Myth of Liberal Individualism (1999) and An Introduction to Political Philosophy(2006). He is currently completing a further book tentatively entitled:‘After Respect: a Critique of Dignitarian Humanism.
In 2001-2 Bird was a Laurance S. Rockefeller visiting fellow at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, and in 2008-9 an NEH Fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina.