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My research covers intellectual history and military history. I am particularly interested in the ethics of war and violence, and the relationship between the just war tradition and applications of violence. Increasingly, I am motivated by tracing connections between premodern ethics and contemporary ethical and politico-military challenges.
My publications have explored ideas of justifiable self-defence, asymmetric warfare, and notions of non-combatant immunity. My monograph, John Wyclif on War and Peace (2014), argues that the fourteenth-century English scholastic, John Wyclif, rejected medieval just war doctrine and was Europe’s first pacifist.
I am currently working on an exciting new book project, War and Justice: from Antiquity to the End of the Middle Ages, which will be published by Princeton University Press. This broad comparative history examines how ancient and medieval societies in the Near East and the West (c. 3000 BC - 1600 AD) thought about the relationship between war and justice, focusing particularly on the affinities and continuities that can be identified in the ethics of war over time and across cultures.
I have a number of forthcoming publications in journals and edited volumes (below).
From September 2017 to June 2018 I will be a Visiting Humanities Collaboration Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology and the The Huntington Library.
I am an Associate Director of the St Andrews Institute of Intellectual History.
Here I discuss just war doctrine with Dan Snow:
And some thoughts about U.K. involvement in the war against ISIS:
Dr Cox teaches on ME1006, ME2003 and HI2001 sub honours courses and offers the following honours courses;
Medieval Political Thought
Justifying Medieval Warfare
England and France at War in the Fourteenth Century
Nature and the Occult in the Late Middle Ages
Also teaches on the Mediaeval Studies M. Litt. and Intellectual History M.Litt programmes.
MS5001 - Approaches to Mediaeval Studies
IH5003 – The Theory and Practice of Intellectual History
IH5002 – Turning Points in the History of Ideas
Current Research Students:
I am happy to supervise students undertaking research in the following areas: