Staff Profile


Dr Demetris Tillyris

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Law, Policing and Social Sciences

Campus: St Martins Priory

Tel: 01227 921825

Profile summary

I am a Senior Lecturer in Political Philosophy, and Undergraduate Programme Director for Politics and International Relations. I specialise in Contemporary Political Philosophy and the History of Political Thought. Before joining CCCU, I was a Sessional Lecturer and Senior Teaching Assistant at The University of Leeds and The University of Manchester.

I hold a BA in Economics and Politics (1st) from The University of Manchester (2006 - 2009), an MSc in Management, Organisations, and Governance (High Merit) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (2009 - 2010), and a PhD in Political Theory, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), from the University of Leeds (pass with no corrections; 2011 – 2014).

Research and knowledge exchange

My research addresses a range of problems in contemporary public life and public policy - specifically, problems of political morality, moral conflict, value pluralism, and public ethics, with particular focus on problems of dirty hands in politics. I also have research interests in toleration, multiculturalism, political friendship, political realism, political judgement, political disenchantment and civic disengagement, and the ethics of resistance and dissent. I welcome interest from prospective postgraduate students in the aforementioned areas.

Research Grants

British International Studies Association Workshop Grant (CIAP 2016: Emotions in Politics & IR; £1000), 2016.

PSA Political Thought Specialist Group Workshop Grant (‘CIAP 2016: Emotions in Politics & IR; £1000), 2016.

White Rose Consortium Workshop Grant (CIAP 2016: Emotions in Politics & IR; £500), 2016.

LEAP Workshop Grant (CIAP 2016: Emotions in Politics & IR; £1000), 2016.

White Rose Association for Political Philosophy (‘On Vice: Political Ethics and Moral Conflict’ conference; £2,500), 2012.

ESRC Doctoral Grant (full fees and maintenance: approx. £60,000), POLIS, University of Leeds, 2010 – 2013.

Selected Conferences and Workshops

Co-organiser of 'CIAP 2018: Rethinking Resistance:The ethics of defiance, opposition, and struggle in an age of disenchantment', CCCU, Sep 2018

Co-organiser of ‘Value Pluralism and Public Ethics’, 2017 MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory, Sep 2017.

Co-organiser of 'CIAP 2016: Emotions in Politics', University of Leeds, Oct 2016.

Assistant Organiser of the 2014 Association for Legal and Social Philosophy Conference, University of Leeds, Jul 2014.

Co-organiser of 'On Vice: Political Ethics and Moral Conflict', University of Leeds, Dec 2012.

Co-organiser of the University of Leeds Botany House Seminar Series, Sep 2012 – Feb 2014.

Teaching and subject expertise

I have a track record of innovative research-led teaching in Political Theory in Higher Education. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and my teaching has been consistently nominated for numerous teaching awards by my students. I was runner up for a Golden Apple Award (2016/17; Canterbury Christ Church University), and nominated for an Inspirational Teaching Award (2014/15; University of Leeds), an Innovative Teaching Award (2014/15; University of Leeds), an Employee Recognition Award (2015/16; The University of Manchester), and a Golden Apple Award (2016/17; 2017/18; 2018/19). 

In 2021-2022, I will lead the following modules:

Key Political Thinkers (Year1)

Global Ethics (Year 2)

Individual Study (Year 3)

I have also acted as journal referee for Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Political Studies, Res Publica: A Journal of Social and Political Philosophy, Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy, the Journal of Politics, the Southern Journal of Philosophy, and reviewer for reputable publishing presses (i.e. Paglrave Macmillan and Rouledge), as well as major funding bodies (The Independent Social Research Foundation). I am an active member of the Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought, and the Association for Political Thought.

External activities

Invited Talks

Political Hypocrisy (Keynote Address), The Forum for European Philosophy, LSE, April 2017.

Reflections on a Crisis: The Fate of Public Morality in an Age of Disenchantment, Ethics in Political Participation workshop, Ethics in Public Life Research Group, University of Loughborough, Jun 2016.

Getting Published Successfully, POLIS-SSP Roundtable: Applying for Funding and Getting Published, POLIS-SSP Forum, University of Leeds, May 2015.

Compromise and Dirty Hands: Political Integrity and the Ambiguities of Betrayal, CIAP 2015: Conference for Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics; The White Rose Research Network, University of Leeds, October 2015.

Machiavelli’s Problem and the Point of Political Integrity. Leeds University Centre for Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies, University of Leeds 2014.


Political Hypocrisy, The Philosophers Magazine, April 2017. Available at:

Selected Talks & Presentations

Compromise, Political Integrity and the Ambiguities of Betrayal, Association for Legal and Social Philosophy Annual Conference, University of Leeds, 2014.

Hypocrisy and Democracy. Ideals and Reality in Social Ethics, University of South Wales, 2014.

Learning how not to be Good: Machiavelli, and the Standard Dirty Hands Thesis.  Ideals and Reality in Social Ethics, University of South Wales, 2013.

The Paradox of Hypocrisy. Botany House Seminar Series, University of Leeds, 2013

A Critique of the DH Thesis. MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory. University of Manchester, 2012.

Machiavelli, Vice, and Dirty Hands. On Vice: Political Ethics and Moral Conflict. University of Leeds, 2012.


Human Dignity Workshop, Association of Social and Political Philosophy, University of Leeds, 2015.

The Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought Conference, University of Oxford,2015.

Examining the Shared Life: Social Unity, Civic Health and Cultural Diversity,a two-day roundtable discussion which included speakers from Theos Think Tank, 2012.

Publications and research outputs

Journal articles

Tillyris, D. and Edyvane D. (2022): 'Painted Scenes' or 'Empty Pageants'? Superficiality and Depth in (Realist) Political Thought, Philosophy and Social Criticism. OnlineFirst:

Tillyris, D and Vogler, G. (2021): Arendt and Political Realism: Towards a Realist Account of Political Judgement, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 24(6):821-844.

Tillyris, D., and Edyvane, D. (2019): Value Pluralism and Public Ethics, Theoria, 66(160):1-8. 

Tillyris, D. (2019): Dirty Hands and Suffering, Theoria, 66 (160):95 -121. 

Tillyris, D. (2019): Political Realism and Dirty Hands: Vaule Pluralism, Moral Conflict, and Public Ethics, Philosophia,47:1579–1602

Tillyris, D. (2018): Reflections on a Crisis: Political Disenchantment, Moral Desolation, and Political Integrity, Res Publica, 24(1):109-131.

Tillyris, D. (2017): Political Integrity and Dirty Hands: Compromise and the Ambiguities of Betrayal, Res Publica, 23(4):275-294..

Tillyris, D. (2016): After the Standard Dirty Hands Thesis: Towards a Dynamic Account of Dirty Hands in Politics, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 19(1):161-175. 

Tillyris, D. (2016): The Virtue of Vice: A Defence of Hypocrisy in Democratic Politics, Contemporary Politics,22(1):1-20.

Tillyris, D. (2015): ‘Learning how not to be Good’: Machiavelli and the Standard Dirty Hands ThesisEthical Theory and Moral Practice,18(1):61-74.

Special Issues

Tillyris, D., and Edyvane, D. (2019): Value Pluralism and Public Ethics, Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory

Op-Ed Articles and Reviews

Tillyris, D. (2019): The Battle over Britain's future has just started, CCCU Expert Comment,

Tillyris, D. (2019): Quo Vadis, Brexit? Disaster, Bullshit, or Einstein's Insanity? Politics and IR @Canterbury Blog. [Op-Ed article]

Tillyris, D. (2018): Flattery and the History of Political Thought: That Glib and Oily Art (by Daniel Kapust), Contemporary Political Theory1-4 [book review].


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Last edited: 15/12/2018 11:46:00