Professor Paul Kelly

Professor Paul Kelly

Professor of Political Philosophy

Department of Government

+44 (0)207 955 7190
Room No
CBG 4.18
Office Hours
Currently on leave (MT, LT & ST 2018/19)
Key Expertise
British Political Theory, Liberal Political Philosophy, Multiculturalism

About me

Paul Kelly joined the LSE in 1995 after teaching for five years at the University of Wales Swansea. Prior to that he held a visiting research fellowship at the University of Chicago Law School and at the Bentham Project, University College London. He graduated from York University with a First in Philosophy and an MA in Political Theory. His PhD is from the University of London, where he spent two years at LSE and a further year at UCL.

Research interests

  • British political theory from the Seventeenth century to the present, especially the political philosophies of John Locke, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill
  • Liberal Political Philosophy, especially the work of Ronald Dworkin and Brian Barry
  • Multiculturalism
  • Group rights and national identity
  • Equality of outcomes and equality of opportunity
  • Theories of social justice


British Political Theory in the Twentieth Century
(Wiley/Blackwell 2010)

A selection of writings from great British political theorists of the twentieth century. These essays illustrate the variety and development of British Political Theory from Idealism to contemporary mulitculturalism and pluralism. They trace the development and transformation of political theory as it follows developments in British politics. The book begins with and interprepative essay that examiners the way in which political theory has been practised and explores the reasons for its transformation. The main body of the text comprises essays and selections from some of the greatest names of British political thought and political science including Bosanquet, Hobhouse, Laski, Cole, Oakeshott, Berlin, Hart and Barry to Carole Pateman, Anne Philips and David Miller among contemporaries. The selection and the interpretive essay show how the development of political theory follows the rise, transformation and challenge to the notion of the British state in the twentieth century.

My research