Brian Barry, 1936-2009

Barry_185x295_513366a In the Times:

Brian Barry was one of the most influential British political philosophers of the postwar era. He had been an academic wanderer, holding positions at the universities of Birmingham, Keele, Southampton, Oxford and Essex, before moving to posts in Canada and the US at British Columbia, Chicago and the California Institute of Technology.

After a short stay at the European University Institute, Florence, he returned to England to spend 11 years as professor of political science (1987-98) at the London School of Economics. There, perhaps, he found his true intellectual home as well as personal happiness in his second marriage, and in these years produced some of his most important work. His last post was as the Lieber Professor of Political Philosophy at Columbia University, New York.

Brian Barry was born in London in 1936 before moving as a child to Southampton. From grammar school there he went to take a first in philosophy, politics and economics at The Queen’s College, Oxford, before studying under H. L. A. Hart for his doctorate. Even before he achieved his doctorate he was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship by the Rockefeller Foundation, which he took at Harvard largely so that he could meet John Rawls, who was then at MIT.