Centre for Idealism and the New Liberalism

Providing a much-needed global focal point for research into British idealism and New Liberalism.

The Challenge

The Centre for Idealism and the New Liberalism was founded in 2007 by James Connelly and Colin Tyler, to provide a much-needed global focal point for the burgeoning research into the philosophy and practice of British idealism and New Liberalism. It also sought to address a series of questions relating to the theoretical and practical commitments and influences of these movements, as well as to their contemporary relevance.

The Approach

Centre for Idealism and the New Liberalism (CINL) research adopts a number of different approaches. Much of its work uses methods of contextualist intellectual history, analytic history of philosophy, or some combination of the two methods. CINL members see these approaches as complementary. Members also apply the principles of idealist and New Liberal thought to contemporary issues, including social economics, social justice, environmentalism, punishment, international relations and multi/interculturalism.



  • To act as a focal point for global research into the late-nineteenth and twentieth-century idealism, both as a historical movement and a continuing contemporary resource
  • To raise scholarly understanding of the philosophy and practice of British idealism and the New Liberalism
  • To trace the influences that British idealism and the New Liberalism exerted in other countries and fields of life
  • To explore ways in which British idealist and New Liberal thought and practice can be applied to contemporary issues in philosophy and society
  • To develop the next generation of idealist and New Liberal scholars, by nurturing doctoral students and working with visiting scholars
Nidd building, Hull University Business School

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  • Members

    Professor Colin Tyler

    Professor of Social and Political Thought |

    Dr Christopher Fear

    Lecturer in Politics and International Relations |

    Dr Antony Hatzistavrou

    Matthew Jones 

    Professor Emeritus Noel O’Sullivan

    Professor Emeritus the Lord Parekh of Hull

  • Outputs and publications

    May Sinclair Critical Edition (Edinburgh University Press) - Connelly and Tyler are co-editors with Dr Rebecca Bowler (Keele University) and Dr Claire Drewery (Sheffield Hallam University) working on A Defence of Idealism (1917) (ed. Tyler and Drewery) and The New Idealism (1919) “(ed. Connelly and Bowler).

    James Connelly is currently writing a major new biography of Robin George Collingwood (1889-1943), drawing on a wealth of new material including unpublished letters, manuscripts and notes.

    Full list of publications

  • Research students

    Matthew Jones

    Carl Schmitt: Terrorism as a “state of exception” (Tyler and Fear)

  • Previous research students

    Dr James Pearce

    Can “intrinsic” republican notions of the civic condition be made compatible with deep diversity? (Tyler and Connelly)

    Dr Adrian Paylor

    Reason and Romanticism in Green and Collingwood’s Conceptions of “Nature” (Connelly and Tyler)

    Dr Sean Magee

    Justice and Disadvantage (Connelly and Tyler)

    Dr Ashley Roden-Bow

    The Political Philosophy of Personalism (Connelly and Tyler)

    Dr Chor-Yung Cheung

    Quest for Civil Order: Politics, rules and individuality (O’Sullivan and Tyler)



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