Donald Winch is Emeritus Professor of Intellectual History at Sussex University, where he taught from 1963 to 2000. He was educated originally as an economist, first at the London School of Economics and then at Princeton University, returning to Britain to take up posts, first at Edinburgh University, and then at Sussex. At Sussex he collaborated closely with two colleagues, John Burrow and Stefan Collini, the three co-authoring That Noble Science of Politics (1983), a work widely regarded as the manifesto for a ‘Sussex School’.
Winch has written widely on the history of economic thought. Economics and Policy; An Historical Study (1969) and (with Susan Howson) The Economic Advisory Council, 1930-1939 (1976) focus on the connections between theory, policy, and public debate. While Adam Smith’s Politics (1978) and Malthus (1987) opened up the history of economic thought to a much wider range of themes. In retirement Winch completed an ambitious project on the intellectual history of political economy from the middle of the eighteenth century to the outbreak of the First World War. The first installment, Riches and Poverty (1996) was followed by a volume edited with Patrick K. O’Brien entitled The Political Economy of British Historical Experience, 1688-1914 (2002); and the sequence was completed by Wealth and Life (2009).
Winch was elected to Fellowship of the British Academy in 1987 and served as its Vice-President in 1992/3. In 2007 he was elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the History of Economics Society and in 2012 as an Honorary Member of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought.