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Dr Scot Peterson

Stipendiary Lecturer in Politics


I am from the United States, where I grew up in Leadville, Colorado and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. I completed a Master’s degree in political science at the University of Chicago and attended law school at the University of California, Berkeley. I practiced law in Colorado, where I was admitted to the Colorado State bar, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, and the bar of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. I practiced commercial civil litigation as well as civil rights (including LGBT rights) and employment law. I received my DPhil in Politics from Oxford in 2009.


I teach prelims Politics, Introduction to the Practice of Politics, as well as the core courses in Comparative Government and British Politics and Government, 1900–present. I also teach the option papers Government and Politics of the United States and Modern British Government and Politics. I have supervised undergraduate theses on the relationship between religion and the state and on devolution in Scotland. I have supervised MPhil theses on federal/local government cooperation and on constitutional entrenchment in the United States.


My current research concentrates on the relationship between religion and the state in Britain during the early decades of the twentieth century. Different relationships existed between the national churches and the United Kingdom government in England, where the Church of England was established; in Wales, where it was not; and in Scotland, where the Church of Scotland is an intermediate case. I have published in the areas of law and religion in the United States and the United Kingdom and the historical development of the separation of church and state during the Scottish Enlightenment and at the founding of the United States.