About us

Current research focuses on:

  • International Political Theory
    • Human rights
    • Just war
    • Humanitarian intervention
  • Understanding and responding to pluralism and diversity
    • Multiculturalism and identity politics
    • Racial and gender equality
    • Political justification
  • History of Political Thought
    • British idealism
    • The European enlightenment

Masters by Research

The unit offers an MPhil in Political Theory and an MPhil in International Political Theory/History of International Thought. Many students stay on to pursue PhD research.

Visiting Research Fellows

The unit has attracted world leading scholars to Cardiff for extended visits. The most prominent of these have been Prof. Carole Pateman (Winner of Political Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award and first woman President of the International Political Studies Association). Professor Pateman is one of the world’s most important theorists and her work sets the agenda for research on sexual politics, democratic participation and racial politics. Since visiting, Prof . Pateman has moved to Cardiff and joined the unit. Prof. Rex Martin (Honorary Professor, Vice-President of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy and President of its American section) also spent an extended period with the unit and maintains close ties. Prof. Martin is at the forefront of research on human and civil rights.

Collingwood and British Idealism Centre

The unit is the home of Collingwood and British Idealism Centre which is renowned as the most important such centre globally. As well as attracting visiting researchers from all over the world, the centre publishes the journal Collingwood and British Idealism Studies (edited by David Boucher and Bruce Haddock). F

Workshops, Conferences & Events

The most recent conference was Contract & Domination (Pateman and Mills) on 15-16 November 2007.

The unit is also currently two phases into a series of three intensive conferences/workshops. This is a significant international project that has focused on the challenge of multiculturalism and on the possibility of universal justifications for notions such as human rights. This work has been published in Multiculturalism, Identity and Rights (Routledge, 2003) and Principles and Political Order (Routledge, 2006).

In addition, our active postgraduate members have organised several national and regional postgraduate conferences.

Our events page has a full list of events, as well as an archive of all past events.


In addition to the major individual and collaborative research undertaken by its members, the unit is also involved in setting key research and teaching agendas across the sub-discipline. Its members have published books that are important works for staff and students in the political theory of international relations, the history of political thought and contemporary political theory.