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Sociology Research


Originally from Brussels, Professor Patrick Baert did his graduate work at the University of Oxford, working on social theory under the supervision of Rom Harré. He subsequently joined the Sociology Department in Cambridge. His recent research in the sociology of intellectuals has been funded by various bodies, including the British Academy, The European Research Council and the Leverhulme Trust. His writings have been translated into more than 10 languages.

Patrick is the chief editor of the International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society (Springer) and he also holds editorial positions at the European Journal of Social Theory, the Journal of Classical Sociology, Currently Sociology, and Distinktion. He has held visiting positions across the world, including the University of Cape Town, l'Université de Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne, the Humboldt University Berlin, Brown University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Concepcion in Chile, the LSE and Sciences Po.

Research Interests

Social and political theory; culture and politics; intellectuals; public intellectuals; intellectual history.



SOC1: Introduction to Sociology - Modern Societies I

SOC2: Social Theory 

Graduate supervision availability and interests:

Patrick is available to supervise graduate students in the following areas: sociology of intellectuals, sociology of culture, social theory.

Current doctoral students

Chia Dee

Elias Forneris (History Faculty)

Hao Li

Canhui Lui

Hannah Peterson

Bene Petursson



Key publications – books (since 2010)

  • Sapiro, G., M. Santoro and P. Baert (eds.) (2020) Ideas on the Move in the Social Sciences and Humanities; The International Circulation of Paradigms and Theories. London: Palgrave.
  • Booth, J. and P.Baert (2018) The Dark Side of Podemos? Carl Schmitt’s Shadow in Progressive Populism. London: Routledge.
  • Susen, S. and P. Baert (2017) The Sociology of Intellectuals; After ‘The Existentialist Moment’. London: Palgrave.
  •  Baert, P. (2015) The Existentialist Moment; Sartre’s Rise as a Public Intellectual.
  • Cambridge: Polity Press. (Choice outstanding academic title for 2015)
  • Morgan, M. and P. Baert (2015) Conflict in the Academy; A Study in the Sociology of Intellectuals. London: Palgrave (Pivot series).
  • Rubio Dominguez, F. and P. Baert (eds.) (2012a) The Politics of Knowledge. London: Routledge.
  • Baert, P. and F. Carreira da Silva (2010) Social Theory in the 20th Century and Beyond.
  • Cambridge: Polity Press. (2nd edition) (translated into Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish)
  • Baert, P., S. Koniordos, G. Procacci and C. Ruzza (eds.) (2010) Conflict, Citizenship and Civil Society.  London: Routledge.


Key publications – journal articles (since 2016)

  • Al Azmeh, Z. and P. Baert (2024) ‘Trauma work’ as hindrance to political praxis during democratisation movements. Theory and Society.
  • Baert, P. (2022) The theory of everything: A sympathetic critique of Andreas Reckwitz’s Society of Singularities. Analyse & Kritik 44 (2), pp. 323-329.
  • Baert, P, Morgan, M. and R. Ushiyama (2022) Existence theory: Outline for a theory of social behavior. Journal of Classical Sociology 21 (2), pp. 77-29.
  • Bar-El, E. and P. Baert (2021) ‘The Fool’ Revisited: The Making of Žižek as Sacrificial Public Intellectual. Cultural Sociology 1 (4), pp. 539-557.
  • Yıldız, Y.Y. and P. Baert (2021) Confessions without guilt: Public confessions of state violence in Turkey. Theory and Society 50 (1), pp. 125-149. 
  • Gonzales Hernando, M. and P. Baert (2020) Collectives of intellectuals: Their cohesiveness, accountability, and who can speak on their behalf. The Sociological Review 68(5) pp. 1143-1158. 
  • Baert, P. and Morgan, M. (2018) A performative framework for the study of intellectuals. European Journal of Social Theory 21(3), pp. 322-329.
  • Morgan, M. and P.Baert (2018) Acting out Ideas: Performative citizenship within the Black Consciousness Movement.  In: American Journal of Cultural Sociology 6 (3), pp. 455-498.
  • Ushiyama R. and P. Baert (2016) Cultural trauma, counter-narratives and dialogical intellectuals: the works of Murakami Haruki and Mori Tatsuya in the context of the Aum Affair. In:  Theory and Society 45 (6), pp. 471-499. 


Key publications – book chapters (since 2016)

  • Baert, P., Morgan, M. and Ushiyama, R. (2024) Existence theory and contemporary culture. In: Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Existentialism, eds. K. Aho et al. London: Routledge, pp. 71-80.
  • Baert, P. and Z. Al Azmeh (2022) Intellectuals. Oxford Biographies. Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199756384-0261
  • Morgan, M., and P. Baert (2020) A case study of the reception of ‘structuralism’ in
  • English Studies in the United Kingdom. In: Ideas on the Move in the Social Sciences and Humanities; The International Circulation of Paradigms and Theories. Eds. Saprio, G., Santoro, M., and P. Baert. London: Palgrave, pp. 83-102.
  • Sapiro, G., Santoro, M. and P.Baert (2020) Introduction. In: Ideas on the Move in the Social Sciences and Humanities; The International Circulation of Paradigms and Theories. Eds. Saprio, G., Santoro, M., and P. Baert. London: Palgrave, pp. 1-27.
  • Baert, P. (2019) Rom Harré, positioning theory and the social sciences: a personal and sympathetic portrait. In: The Second Cognitive Revolution; A Tribute to Rom Harré, ed. B. A. Christensen. London: Springer, pp. 27-34.
  • Baert, P. (2018) Reflections on the use of positioning theory in the sociology of intellectuals. In: Questions of Practice in Philosophy and Social Theory, eds. A. Buch and T. Schatzki. London: Routledge, pp. 225-235.
  • Baert, P. (2017) Essay on taboo. In: The Sweetest Taboo, F. Janssens. Tielt: Lannoo.
  • Baert, P. (2016) The philosopher as public intellectual. In: Public Intellectualism in Comparative Context, ed. M. Desch, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, pp. 196-218.

Grants and Projects

Baert, P. (PI) Cooperation – socioeconomic sciences and humanities. EU Collaborative Project Programme, UK team (2013-16): €300,000

Baert, P. (PI) The rise of French existentialism, 1944– 1947: a sociological explanation. Leverhulme Fellowship (2012-2013): £40,267

Baert, P. (PI) The rise of French existentialism, 1944–1947: a sociological explanation. British Academy Small Grant (2011-13): £6,750 

Research Groups & Affiliations


Fellow Royal Society of the Arts (2014)

Pilkington Prize for Excellence in Teaching, Cambridge University (2005)

Job Title:
Professor of Social Theory, Fellow, Tutor and Director of Studies at Selwyn College
Professor Patrick Baert