Centre for Social and Political Thought


The Centre for Social and Political Thought (formerly the Centre for Critical Social Theory) was established in 1997. It is interdisciplinary, spanning social sciences and the humanities. It is currently directed by Gordon Finlayson (Philosophy). Research in the Centre is diverse but is committed to critical social theory broadly construed. The Centre is the home of Studies in Social and Political Thought, which is edited and managed by its graduate students, and  the European Journal of Social Theory. For further information, refer to the publications page.

The vibrant intellectual culture of the Centre for Social and Political Thought grows out of the best traditions of the University of Sussex: radical thinking and academic excellence in teaching and research. The Centre organises a Research Seminar that runs on Wednesday afternoons. SPT graduate students run and publish their own peer-reviewed journal.

Since 1978, the Centre for Social and Political Thought has been home to the internationally renowned MA in Social and Political Thought, one of the only programmes of its kind in the world. (More on the history of SPT at Sussex.) Students may also undertake an MPhil or DPhil in Social and Political Thought.

The core faculty in SPT include Gordon Finlayson, Andrew Chitty, Gerard Delanty, Darrow Schecter, Iain McDaniel, Joanne Paul, Tarik Kochi, David Berry and various other faculty members. The Centre  is home to large cohort of post-graduate students. Many of our students have gone onto successful careers in research and teaching, the media, NGOs. Over the last 30 years a substantial number of leading academics in the UK and elsewhere have passed through the programme.