For a generation, Sussex has been central in the flourishing of intellectual history in Britain and internationally.

The University of Sussex has long been an important national and international centre for research in intellectual history. At its foundation, intellectual history at Sussex brought together faculty from disparate areas in the arts and social sciences (Economics, English, History, Philosophy, Classics, Sociology, Politics, and Theology). Intellectual history has thrived at Sussex because of the University’s traditional focus upon interdisciplinarity, and the Sussex Centre for Intellectual History's task is to maintain this tradition.

The Centre continues the tradition of investigation into political, economic, and social thought and its connections with literature from early modern to modern times in Britain and in Europe. While maintaining a focus on the national and international history of social, political and economic thought, the Centre has sought to broaden the agenda to include the history of philosophy and science and their connections with religious thought. We maintain a broad European perspective in these areas through recent and current work on Dutch, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Scandinavian, Scottish, and Swiss topics. The transfer of ideas internationally and across continents is also a central concern of the centre.

The Centre promotes intellectual history by being a hub for scholars to pursue research and develop their teaching and by maintaining links to other groups in the UK, across Europe and in North America, Australasia, the Middle East and Far East.