Staff Profile


Dr Demetris Tillyris

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Psychology Politics and Sociology

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 921825

Profile summary

I am a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations (Theory), and I specialise in Contemporary Political Philosophy and the History of Political Thought. Before joining the Politics and International Relations team at Canterbury, 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 Reseach Council (ESRC), from the University of Leeds (pass with no corrections; 2011 - 2014). My PhD Supervisors were Dr Derek Edyvane and Dr Kerri Woods, and my external examiner was Professor Sue Mendus (University of York).

Research and knowledge exchange

My research addresses a range of pressing problems in contemporary public life and public policy - specifically, problems of problems of political morality, moral conflict, value pluralism, and public ethics, with a particular focus on problems of dirty hands in politics. I also have research interests in toleration, multiculturalism, political friendship, political realism, and political disenchantment and civic disengagement.

I have co-organised and co-convened several workshops, conferences and projects which were funded The White Rose Association for Political Philosophy, The White Rose Consortium, The Association for Legal and Social Philosophy, The British International Studies Association, and The Political Studies Association.

I am currently responsible for organising ‘Making Politics Matter’, the Politics and International Relations Open Lecture Series, and the Politics and International Relations Research Seminar Series.

Teaching and subject expertise

I have acted as journal referee for Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Political Studies, Res Publica: A Journal of Social and Political Philosophy, and European Journal of Political Theory, and reviewer for 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.

I have a record of high quality, innovative research-led teaching. I have contributed to the design, instruction, assessment, and review of a range of onsite and online team-taught modules in Political Theory, the History of Political Thought, Moral Philosophy, and Applied Ethics (University of Leeds; University of Manchester). My students have nominated me for the following teaching awards:

  • Innovative and Inspirational Teaching Award (The University of Leeds; 2014/15)
  • Employee Recognition Award (The University of Manchester; 2015/16)

In 2016-2017, I will lead the following modules:

  • Key Political Thinkers (Year1)
  • Global Ethics (Year 2)
  • Ideological Wars (Year 3)
  • Individual Study (Year 3)

External activities

Invited Talks

  • 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, Conference for Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics (CIAP) 2015: Cooperation – Between Moral Obligation and Political Responsibility; The White Rose Research Network for Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics, 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.

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 Democratic Politics. Ideals and Reality in Social Ethics, The University of South Wales, 2014.
  • Learning how not to be Good: Machiavelli, Innocence and the Standard Dirty Hands Thesis.  Ideals and Reality in Social Ethics, The University of South Wales, 2013.
  • The Paradox of Hypocrisy. Botany House Seminar Series, University of Leeds, 2013
  • A Critique of the Standard DH Thesis. MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory.  The University of Manchester, 2012.
  • Machiavelli, Vice and the Standard DH Thesis. 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


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles 

  • Tillyris, D. (2016): Political Integrity and Dirty Hands: Compromise and the Ambiguities of Betrayal, Res Publica (forthcoming). DOI: 10.1007/s11158-016-9323-4. Online First:
  • 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 Thesis. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 18 (1): 61-74. 

In Progress

  • Reflections on a Crisis: The Fate of Political Morality in an Age of Disenchantment (invited contribution; part of a special issue on ‘The Ethics of Political Participation’, edited by Dr. Phil Parvin and featuring contributions from Professors Sarah Birch and Eva Erman; under review).
  • Political Realism and Dirty Hands: Pluralism, Conflict and the Ethics of Democratic Citizenship (under review).
  • From Hannah Arendt to Political Realism: Towards a Realist Account of Political Judgement (with Gisli Vogler; under review).
  • ‘Painted Scenes or Empty Pageants’? Superficiality and Depth in Realist Political Thought (with Derek Edyvane; in progress). 
  • Friendship in Politics: A Machiavellian account (with Yuri van Hoef; in progress). 


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:57:00