Born in Albany Georgia, Preston King earned a Bachelor of Arts (Phi Beta Kappa) from Fisk University, a Master of Science (Mark of Distinction) and a Doctor of Philosophy from the London School of Economics (University of London). He lived abroad for nearly forty years and was also educated at the Universities of Vienna, Strasbourg and Paris.
A distinguished professor of political science and philosophy, Dr. King concurrently holds visiting appointments at Morehouse College (Atlanta), and the University of East Anglia (UK). He is Professor Emeritus at Lancaster University. In 2007, he served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of political science at Fisk University (2006) and at Macquarie University in Sydney Australia (2007). Dr. King held Chairs at the University of Nairobi (1972-76), the University of New South Wales (1976-86) in Sydney, Australia and at Lancaster University (1986-2001) in the Lake District (UK). In addition, he has held visiting professorships at McGill University (Montreal), ANU (Australian National University in Canberra), LSE (The London School of Economics), IRIC (l’Institut des Relations Internationales) in Yaoundé (Cameroon), University of the South Pacific (Suva, Fiji), and Emory University (Atlanta) and the Auckland University (New Zealand).
A distinguished scholar and researcher, Dr. King is Chair of the Political Philosophy Research Committee of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and founder and co-editor of the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (CRISPP).
A prolific writer, he has authored many books including Fear of Power, The Ideology of Order, An African Winter, Toleration, Federalism and Federation and Thinking Past a Problem. He has also edited such books as The History of Ideas, The Challenge to Friendship in Modernity, Trust in Reason and Black Leaders and Ideologies in the South, and Friendship in Politics.
Professor King’s oeuvre, taken as a whole, revolves round the theorization of politics, institutionally, logically and normatively. Out of this has emerged exploration of the increasingly ubiquitous notion of friendship, both in the ancient world and in modern politics and society. King theorizes that liberty is increasingly running into the sands of alienation, anomie and escalating social tension. He believes ideals of freedom (especially as non-oppression) and of entrepreneurialism (as sustained, local, and individual innovation) are indispensable. But he argues that there is now need to shift the post-modern paradigm more energetically in the direction of a friendship society - grounded in open discussion, extensive social tolerance, avoidance of dogma, social and environmental care, and more bottom-up (or less top-down) modes of organization generally – e.g., ‘buddy-pairing’ in schools, extensive one-on-one mentoring for teens, more co-operative enterprises in banking and finance, far more worker representation in service and industry, and a diminished unilateralism in international affairs.
Dr. King is currently working on several projects dealing with violence and nonviolence. King recently published a review of Nussbaum’s On Anger; he has also co-authored, with Kipton Jensen, an essay on the “Beloved Community in Martin Luther King, Howard Thurman, and Josiah Royce.” Presently, Dr. King is a scholar-in-residence with the Leadership Center at Morehouse College. King is a founding member of SOPHIA, which is a colloquium consortium in Atlanta.