Professor David Held dies aged 68

By Blundell

Professor David Held, a Professor of Political Science at Durham University and Master of University College, passed away aged 68 on Saturday 2nd March.

In an email to students, Vice-Chancellor Stuart Corbridge said: “It is with great sadness that I am writing to inform you of the death of Professor David Held, Master of University College, Durham.”

Professor Held joined Durham in 2012, having previously served as Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics. He was also a Visiting Professor at LUISS University in Rome.

He was an active scholar, having written or edited over sixty books and an extensive number of academic articles. His most recent publication was Beyond Gridlock, published in 2018 with Tom Hale. His first book was published in 1980.

Professor Held made valuable contributions to cosmopolitanism, cosmopolitan democracy and globalisation. He was joint Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Global Policy up until his death.

Held was on research leave from his post as Master at University College. Dr. Richard Lawrie, who was covering his leave, will continue his post.

Oakleigh Welply tweeted: “Very saddened to hear of the death of Professor David Held. A brilliant mind with whom I enjoyed many engaging conversations around Global Citizenship. A great loss to the academic community.”

Stuart Corbridge told students, “Castle staff and students have been informed and are being offered support. The flag at Castle will be flown at half-mast in tribute.”

Details of a memorial service to commemorate Professor David Held are expected to follow.

Photograph: London School of Economics.

10 thoughts on “Professor David Held dies aged 68

  • I’m so very sorry to hear this news.

  • What a great loss. Having met him only in the last couple of years I was deeply impressed by his boundless knowledge, enthusiasm and gentle kindness. His affability and conversation will be greatly missed. My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.

  • David was truly a brilliant mind …. we were part of small group of undergraduate friends who frequently debated how to either save or ruin the world, depending on which side of the issue we resided. But we had a pact to show compassion to the losers if and when the revolution ever came.
    Dave and I both came stateside in 1973 to continue our studies. He returned in 18 months with a PhD from MIT; I am still here, deeply shocked and very saddened. May the memory of David Held always be a blessing

  • We knew David very well when he was in Cambridge where he had a wonderful family with Michelle, his then wife, and their 2 great children. Rosa and Joshua, who will all be devastated by his death. A huge loss, and we must all celebrate the always positive and stimulating contributions he made to every occasion, social, academic and political: a huge brain and an enormous heart as well.

  • David Held was the leading theorist of globalization, democratization and gridlock. His work on the history of democracy in the West was also second to none. He was a wonderful colleague and friend. I spoke to him by phone in the hospital 2 weeks ago and he was as lively as ever. Our thoughts and meditations now are for his loved ones, especially Michelle.

  • Terribly sorry to learn this dreadful news. I remember David with enormous affection, and his death is a terrible loss at a time when the issues on which he was a world exert are more acute than ever.

  • Such sad news . David will be missed so much by his two young sons Jacob and Zac and his wife Francesaca .

  • I was completely shocked to hear of David’s death. A progressive, thoughtful and innovative scholar who influenced generations of students and academics with his work democracy, global order, and critical theory. His passing deprives us of a truly significant figure in post-War British political studies. Vale, David.

  • David was the brother of my sister in law Veronica. I first met him in Australia in about 1994 when he visited with his family.I was fortunate to meet with him several times on my visits to London, lastly in 2016.I am not an intellect but well read and always had lots of questions for David,I was fascinated by his theories,and he was always very generous with me and my probably less then challenging questions. He was such a warm generous man who was very much loved and now deeply missed by all of us.
    You went way to soon David….R.I.P.


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