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In memoriam Prof. dr. Glen Newey (1961–2017)

Glen Newey, Professor of Political Philosophy and Ethics at the Institute of Philosophy, suddenly passed away on 30 September 2017. He was a remarkable personality and a unique scholar, who chaired the practical philosophy cluster at Leiden University with great enthusiasm.

Colleagues, friends, and students will miss Glen badly for his scholarship, his strong sense of commitment, and his unique sense of humour. Our thoughts go out particularly to his family, to whom we wish great strength.

Sharing recollections

To offer students and colleagues the opportunity to speak about Prof. Newey and to share their recollections, the Institute for Philosophy is organising a meeting on Wednesday 4 October 2017 from 7 to 8 pm in Lipsius room 003.

Contributions to academia

Glen Newey's scholarly work focused on the promise and limitations of liberalism. He published two books on toleration, and edited another on free speech. A fierce critic of moralizing, he was not interested in telling people what to think, but sought to understand the complex and often tragic choices involved when political ideals like freedom and toleration are confronted with realities of conflict, disagreement, and relations of power.

Glen was interested more generally in the role of rationality and ideals in political life and in political thinking. His book After Politics, which criticized liberal political theory for ignoring the conditions of politics, was at the forefront of a revival of ‘realist’ political philosophy, in the tradition of Machiavelli and Hobbes (on whose Leviathan he published a guidebook). Glen’s work influenced many theorists currently working in this tradition. He was set to develop his ideas further in a dialogue with critics, entitled Rogue Theodicy. The volume is forthcoming, but will now sadly miss his response to his interlocutors.

Glen recently completed a book manuscript on the nature of politics, and was preparing new books on markets and slavery. He contributed widely to public debate, not least on his blog for the London Review of Books. 

A collection of blogs by Glen Newey for London Review of Books