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About Dr Edmund Neill

Dr Neill is a Assistant Professor in Modern History at Northeastern University London. He gained a BA in Modern History at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, where he was a college scholar. Subsequently, he gained an MSc in Political Theory with distinction at the London School of Economics, where he was also a departmental scholar in the Department of Government.

He then gained a doctorate (DPhil) in the History of Political Thought at the University of Oxford in 2004 for his thesis Action, Tradition, and the Self: Theory and Practice in the Thought of Michael Oakeshott and Hannah Arendt, under the supervision of Professor Michael Freeden. He was Carlyle Scholar in the History of Political Thought, and Light Senior Scholar at St. Catherine’s College. He was also a lecturer in history and politics at a number of Oxford colleges between 2000 and 2014, including Christ Church, Somerville, Magdalen, St. Peter’s, and Harris Manchester colleges, and a visiting lecturer in Victorian history at Royal Holloway, University of London, between 2010 and 2011. He joined Northeastern University London in 2013.



DPhil in Politics, University of Oxford (2004)

MSc in Political Theory, London School of Economics (1997)

BA in Modern History, University of Oxford (1995)


Professional Affiliations

Political Studies Association

Royal Historical Society




Dr Edmund Neill's Research

Dr. Neill has a wide variety of research interests in modern British and European history, the history of political thought, intellectual history, and the nature of political ideologies. He is currently pursuing research in three separate areas.

First, he is interested in the development of modern political ideologies, and is currently completing a book on Conservatism for Polity Press in their series on Key Concepts, having previously written a well-received book on the conservative political philosopher, Michael Oakeshott for Continuum/Bloomsbury, which was translated into Korean in 2012, and appeared in paperback in 2013. In addition, he is also editing a four-volume set of primary documents on liberalism in the ‘long’ nineteenth century, 1789-1914, for Routledge Press, which is due to be published in 2019.

Second, he has a continuing interest in the development of post-war European political thought, and is currently editing a special issue on the influential post-war theorist Judith Shklar for the History of European Ideas, having previously edited a special issue of this journal on ‘The Impact of Positivism on Post-War European Political Thought’. In addition, he has also completed an article comparing Oakeshott’s work to that of his post-war contemporary, the leading hermeneutic philosopher, Hans-Georg Gadamer.

Finally, Dr Neill also has an interest in the way in which conservatism has developed in practice in recent British history. As well as writing a book chapter on Oakeshott’s contribution to modern conservatism, he has also completed one examining the reaction of post-war conservative British intellectuals to the growth of the post-war state in Britain, and is currently researching how conservative theorists in Britain have conceptualized citizenship since the fall of Margaret Thatcher in 1990.

Dr Neill has been an Admissions Officer for the History Faculty since he arrived at the University in 2013.


Selected Publications

D.Phil (Oxford University) on Action, Tradition, and the Self: Theory and Practice in the Thought of Michael Oakeshott and Hannah Arendt (2004)


Michael Oakeshott (New York: Continuum/Bloomsbury Press, 2010), Korean translation (and book launch in Seoul) (2012), paperback version (2013), pp ix + 160.

Special Issue

‘The Impact of Positivism on Post-War European Political Thought’, History of European Ideas, 39/1 (2013)


‘Michael Oakeshott and Hans-Georg Gadamer on Practices, Social Science and Modernity’, History of European Ideas, 40/3 (2014), pp. 406-436

‘Varieties of Positivism in Western European Political Thought, c. 1945-70: An Introduction’, History of European Ideas, 39/1 (2013), pp. 1-18

‘The Impact of Positivism: Academic Social and Political Thought in Britain, c. 1945-70’, History of European Ideas, 39/1 (2013), 51-78

‘The Impact of Evolutionary Theories on British Idealism: The Case of David George Ritchie’, History of European Ideas, 29/3 (2003), pp. 313-38

‘British Political Thought in the 1990s: Thatcherism, Citizenship, and Social Democracy’, Mitteilungsblatt des Instituts fur soziale Bewegungen, 28 (2002), pp. 167-84

Book Chapters

‘Conservative Thinkers and the Post-War State’, in Lawrence Goldman (ed.), Welfare and Social Policy in Britain since 1870: Essays in honour of Jose Harris (Oxford: Oxford University Press) – publication pending.

‘The Nature of Oakeshott’s Conservatism’, in Noel O’Sullivan (ed.), The Place of Michael Oakeshott in Contemporary Western and Non-Western Thought. (Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2017), pp. 90-106

‘Oakeshott, Modernity, and Cold War Liberalism’, in Terry Nardin (ed.), Cold War Liberalism: Essays on Michael Oakeshott (Basingstoke: Macmillan Press, 2015), pp. 19-43

‘Political Ideologies in Nineteenth Century Europe: Liberalism, Conservatism, and Socialism’, in Stefan Berger (ed.), Blackwell Companion to Nineteenth Century European History (1789-1914) (Oxford: Blackwell Press, 2006), pp. 211-23

Review Articles

‘Plus Ca Change: Some Criticisms of Stefan Collini’s Absent Minds’, Political Studies Review, 6/1 (2008), pp. 23-31

‘Conceptions of Citizenship in Twentieth Century Britain’, Twentieth Century British History, 17/3 (2006), pp. 424-38

Encyclopedia Entry

‘Herbert Spencer’ – 2,000 word entry in Jon McGee and Richard Warms (eds.), The Sage Encyclopedia: Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Press, 2013), pp. 798-802.

Book Reviews

English Historical Review, The Times Literary Supplement, Twentieth Century British History, History of European Ideas

Dr Edmund Neill's Teaching

Dr Neill has extensive teaching experience in history and politics, having taught at both undergraduate and graduate levels, at a number of institutions (Oxford, Royal Holloway, Northeastern University London), and in a variety of formats (lectures, seminars, tutorials). He has also successfully supervised a large number of undergraduate and graduate dissertations, including an Oxford doctorate. He has taught a wide range of subjects within history and politics, including 18th , 19th , and 20th century British history, 19th and 20th century European history, comparative history and historiography, the history of political thought, gender history, economic history, analytical political theory, post-war European politics, and the politics of the EU.

Dr Neill co-ordinates the first year course ‘Britain and the Wider World’, which is taken by all first year history major and minors at Northeastern University London, and the second year course ‘History of Political Thought’. He also contributes significantly to the second year course ‘History, Heritage, and Memory’, and to the third year course on ‘Power and Politics’.

Dr Neill has extensive experience of examining undergraduate papers in modern British history, the history of political thought, and historiography. He also has extensive experience of dealing with undergraduate admissions, having interviewed potential undergraduates at Oxford for many years.


Teaching  Appointments

Lecturer in Modern History, Northeastern University London (2013-present)

Stipendiary Lecturer in Politics, Harris Manchester College, Oxford (2012-2013)

Organizing Tutor (Non-Stipendiary) in Modern History, Harris Manchester College, Oxford (2011-2104)

Visiting Lecturer in Victorian History, Royal Holloway, University of London (2010-2011)

Stipendiary Lecturer in Modern History, St. Peter’s College, Oxford (2009-2012)

Stipendiary Lecturer in Modern British History, Magdalen College, Oxford (2005-2008)

Stipendiary Lecturer in Modern History, Somerville College, Oxford (2001-2002)

Stipendiary Lecturer in Modern History, Christ Church, Oxford (2000-2001)


Professional Activity

Recently invited on to the editorial board of the new journal Cosmos and Taxis: Studies in Emergent Order and Organization (Simon Fraser University), concentrating on the work of Hayek and Oakeshott.

Refereed articles for Labour History Review, Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy.

Reviewed book manuscripts for both Cambridge University Press and Palgrave Macmillan in my areas of expertise.

Personal Tutor for students in all subjects since 2013.

Admissions officer for History since 2013.

Participation at many school events and history taster days since 2013, including giving two entirely new lectures at the request of Admissions in the academic year 2016-17, ‘The Cristis of the Conservative Party and the Birth of Thatcherism’ and ‘The Impact of World War One on British Politics’


Languages Spoken

Fluent in English and proficient in French.