Research Activities

Future Events


‘On Vice: Political Ethics and Moral Conflict’

The workshop will take place at The University of Leeds (Social Sciences Building, Room 11.13) on 13/12/12 and 14/12/12.


Workshop Programme

Day 1 (Thursday 13th of December)

11:00 – 12: 30                          Registration

Session 1

12:30 – 13:30                           Mendus, S: ‘The Persecuting Spirit: The Significance of Vice in Public Life’.

13:30 – 14:30                           Bufacchi, V: ‘Vice Ethics’.

14:30 – 15:00                           Tea and Coffee Break

Session 2

15:00 – 16:00                           Cronin, I: ‘ Vice Excluded from Virtue.

16: 00 – 17: 00                         Ingram, S:  ‘Moral and Political Vice: A                                                Disunity Thesis’ .

17: 00 – 18: 00                         Horton, J: ‘Hypocrisy and Democracy’

19: 30                                  Dinner
Location: TBC

Day 2 (Friday 14th December)

Session 3

09:30 – 10:30                           Hatier, C: Is Resignation a Vice or Virtue?

10:30: 11:30                            Tillyris, D:  ‘Machiavelli, Vice and the Standard                                       Dirty Hands  Thesis’.

11:30 – 12:00                           Tea and Coffee Break

12:00 – 13: 00                          Hodgson, J: ‘Democratic Vice: Rhetoric and                                      Mass Deliberation’.

13:00 – 14: 00                          Lunch

Session 4

14:00 – 15:00                           Doucet, M: ‘What’s wrong with hypocrisy?’

15: 00 – 16:00                          Lang, G: ‘What’s wrong with hypocrisy?’


For further information, visit or contact the workshop organizers:

Dr Derek Edyvance (

Demetris Tillyris (


Registration is not necessary and attendance is free of charge. However,
those who wish to attend the workshop lunch or dinner are requested to send
an email to the organisers before 30.11. 2012.


Past Events


Realism in Political Thought (University of York – 16thNovember 2011)

List of contributors and paper titles:


Professor Glen Newey (Keele)


Ed Hall (LSE) – ‘The Limits of Bernard Williams’ Critique of Political Moralism


Dominic O’Mahony (Cambridge) – ‘Political Realism and Good Reasons’


Marius Ostrowski (Oxford) – ‘Reacasting Legitimacy: Ironism, Subjectivity and Persuasiveness’


Etienne Brown (Paris IX Sorbonne) – ‘Raymond Geuss’ Realist Critique of Contemporary Political Philosophy’


Paul Sagar (Cambridge) – ‘Realistic Realism? Three Considerations in Assessing Realist Political Philosophy’


Professor Mark Philp (Oxford)


The Future of Political Theory (University of Sheffield, 5th– 7th July 2010)

Against a political background of uncertainty and insecurity arising from the emergence of international terror, global economic crisis and mounting environmental concern, new questions are being asked about the role of political theory in engaging with the challenges of the twenty-first century. Many scholars have come to feel that prevailing theoretical approaches do not really speak to the immediate practical problems of contemporary politics. This conference is dedicated to examining the future of political theory in this context. It will open and pursue new avenues of political thought on a series of fronts including practical questions addressing the ways in which (liberal) political philosophy can or cannot be pressed into practical service, the ability and desirability of theorists to contribute to policy debates, and the sorts of practical problems they should be addressing, as well as broader theoretical and methodological issues relating to the so-called realist critique of liberalism, and to debates surrounding the relationship between morality and politics.

The conference will also be the launch event for the White Rose Association of Political Philosophy (WRAPP) which was established in 2009. WRAPP is a research forum for political philosophers from the three White Rose Universities, though the conference is open to external delegates (postgraduates and faculty). The keynote paper will be given by Professor John Dunn (Cambridge) and other speakers will include Professor Elizabeth Frazer (Oxford), Professor Matthew Festenstein (York), Professor John Horton (Keele), Professor Susan Mendus (York), Professor Glen Newey (Keele), Dr. John Schwarzmantel (Leeds), and Professor Andrew Vincent (Sheffield).



Liberal Realism Workshop (MMU Workshops in Political Theory 2-4 September 2009)  

Recent years have witnessed the growing prominence of a ‘realist’ challenge to liberal political thought. It is argued that academic liberalism (associated primarily with the figure of John Rawls) presupposes a set of background social conditions – economic affluence, social stability and consensus on liberal values – that are quite at odds with the realities of politics in the 21st Century. It is widely felt that there is something naïve in the liberal insistence on the primacy of liberty and fairness in conditions of insecurity and pronounced moral conflict. The workshop explored the resources of liberalism to answer the realist challenge. In particular, we addressed the possibility of a distinctively liberal form of realism. It is commonly supposed that liberal realism must be a contradiction in terms, that true realism necessitates an anti-liberal Machiavellian, or Hobbesian perspective. But that view neglects a very important strand of liberal thought, associated with the likes of Judith Shklar, Stuart Hampshire, Bernard Williams and John Gray, that has endeavoured to reinterpret liberalism as a meaningful and appealing response to the political realities of fear, insecurity and conflict. The prospect of a liberal realism is deeply appealing, but a central question persists: can liberal realism genuinely provide an affirmative alternative to the anti-liberal, realist critique on the one hand and the idealistic liberal target of that critique on the other? In short, is there a stable and meaningful space for the liberal realist to occupy?



List of contributors and paper titles:


Esther Abin, Keele (


‘Realism, Rationality and Fortune’

Alex Bavister-Gould, York (


‘Bernard Williams: The Ideal of Realism in Politics?’

Derek Edyvane, Leeds (


‘Negative Liberalism and the Politics of Hope’



Edward Hall, Oxford (


‘Bernard Williams’s Realist Conception of Legitimacy’


Tim Heysse, Leuven (


‘The Relation between Normativity and Reality in Deliberative Democracy’



Joe Hoover, LSE (


‘Developing Isaiah Berlin’s Value Pluralism as a Global Ethic’.


Matt Sleat, Sheffield (


‘Liberal Realism’


Tim Stanton, York (


‘Hobbes and Schmitt’