Image of Matt SleatDr Matt Sleat

Reader in Political Theory

Contact Details
Telephone: +44 (0)114 22 21692
Room: G.54 Elmfield


Dr. Matt Sleat joined the Department in 2007. He has held visiting fellowships at the Australia National University, Queen Mary University of London, and the University of Oxford, and is currently a research fellow at Kings College London (September 2018 - February 2019).

From 2014-17 he was editor of the European Journal of Political Theory, and since 2017 has been editor of Political Studies with Andrew Hindmoor, Hayley Stevenson and Charles Pattie.


My research largely focuses on the following areas:

  • Realist political theory
  • Post-truth politics
  • Liberal thought and its critics
  • The ethics of cyber-warfare
  • Pragmatism


  • British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship - 'The Ethics of Cyberwar' (January 2015 - December 2015).
  • White Rose Consortium - ‘Liberal Realism’ (2009).

At a time of immense political, social and economic uncertainty, both at home and abroad, political theory has an important and distinctive contribution to make both to helping us understand these issues but also in thinking normatively about we should respond to them. Through my teaching I endeavour to provide students with the intellectual tools to think critically, analytically, consistently, but most of all, imaginatively about politics in order to equip them to engage in these discussions. I take teaching to be continuous with my research, rather than something discrete from it. As such, I try and ensure that my modules are kept as up-to-date as possible in relation to recent developments in the academic literature as well as in the real world of domestic and international politics. And while political theory can often be abstract and seemingly detached from politics itself, through my teaching I aim to make it as accessible and relevant as possible without losing either its analytical rigour or the radicalness of its different visions for our shared political life.

In May 2012 I received a Senate Award for Excellence in Learning & Teaching, in the Early Career category.

PhD Supervision

Recent supervision:
Andrew Leary - Realism and Egalitarianism
Carlo Cordasco - Rethinking Spontaneous Order: Norms, Institutions and Legitimacy
Janosch Prinz – Political Realism and Critical Theory (completed 2015)

I would be happy to supervise research in the following broad areas:

  • Realist political thought
  • Contemporary liberal theory
  • Challenges to liberalism
  • Pragmatist political theory
Publications and Papers

View Full List of Publications

Key Publications


  • (ed.) Politics Recovered: Realist Thought in Theory and Practice (Columbia: Columbia University Press, 2018).
  • Liberal Realism: A Realist Theory of Liberal Politics (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013; paperback 2017).

Recent Articles:

  • 'Just Cyber War? Casus Belli, Information Ethics and the Human Perspective', Review of International Studies, Vol. 44, No. 2 (2018): 324-42
  • (with Ed Hall) 'Ethics, Morality and the Case for Realist Political Theory', Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 20, No. 3 (2017), 278-95. Reprinted in A. Sabl and R. Sagar (eds.), Realism in Political Theory (Routledge, 2018).
  • 'What is a Political Value?: Political Philosophy and Fidelity to Reality', Social Philosophy and Policy, Vol. 33, No. 1-2 (2016), 252-72
  • 'The Value of Global Justice', Journal of International Political Theory, Vol. 12, No. 2 (2016), 169-84
  • ‘Realism, Liberalism and Non-Ideal Theory: Are there Two Ways to do Realistic Political Theory?’, Political Studies, Vol. 64, No. 1 (2016), 27-41
  • 'The Politics and Morality of the Responsibility to Protect: Beyond the Liberalism/Realism Impasse', International Politics, Vol. 53, No 1 (2016), 67-82

Back to top | Back to index of Academic Staff