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Huw Williams

Dr Huw Williams


Dean for the Welsh Language, Reader in Philosophy and Associate Lecturer with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

+44 29208 74806
John Percival Building, Room 1.40, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Welsh speaking
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a political philosopher, interested in egalitarian and radical traditions of thought, with a particular focus on engaging with activism and the public sphere. My research connects between global justice and international political theory more generally with an interest in the local, namely the intellectual history of Wales and its progressive traditions of thought.

I am also Dean for the Welsh Language, a University-wide role providing strategic leadership for those opportunities and responsibilities that issue from our bilingualism, in a multilingual local and global environment.

I have published a wide variety of writing in both English and Welsh, from books to blogs. This includes a philosophy and current affairs column for the Welsh Literary Review, O’r Pedwar Gwynt and articles for online publications such as The Conversation and OpenDemocracy.













  • Williams, H. L. 2013. The law of peoples. In: Mandle, J. and Reidy, D. A. eds. A Companion to Rawls. Blackwell Companions to Philosophy Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 327-345.
  • Williams, H. 2013. Rhyfel Cyfiawn ac Athroniaeth John Rawls. In: Matthews, E. G. ed. Cenedligrwydd, Cyfiawnder a Heddwch - Ysgrifau Ar Athroniaeth Wleidyddol. Astudiaethau Athronyddol Aberystwyth: Y Lolfa, pp. 35-56.





Book sections




My research interests span the fields of political philosophy, international political theory, and the history of ideas, focusing on egalitarian and radical aspects in particular. Specifically, I have worked closely on John Rawls' international theory, issues of global justice, and intellectual history in Wales.

My monograph, On Rawls,  Development and Global Justice: The Freedom of Peoples (2011, reprinted 2016) elaborates Rawls' institution-building approach to international assistance, advocating  pragmatism and the toleration of difference, offering an alternative to the  discourse of democracy-building.  I have expanded my analysis of The Law of Peoples to issues of Democracy Promotion, Just War and the potential for moral learning in international society.

In the context of Global Justice I am interested in the presuppositions of the mainstream debate.  I have written on the implicit conceptions of development in the field and in the book, Global Justice: The Basics (Routledge 2017) co-authored with Carl Death, we interrogated the interface between theory and practice. I am currently writing on the place of language in the debate and also the possibilities of expanding its purview to other disciplines such as literary studies.  These articles are developed in the context of seeking out the philosophical grounds for establishing greater global solidarity.

My other recent Welsh-language monographs, Credoau'r Cymry (2016 UWP) and Ysbryd Morgan (2020 UWP) bring together my research on intellectual history in Wales, focusing in particular on radical figures such as Pelagius, Richard Price, and JR Jones. The books experiment with form, deploying imaginary dialogues, and reflect my efforts to reimagine Welsh-language philosophy and critical debate, in my role as an Associate of the Coleg Cymraeg.

I endeavour to use this research paradigm as a basis for regular contributions to public debate on contemporary politics in Wales. In 2012 I published the memoirs of the renowned former Home Office Minister, Lord Elystan Morgan (Lolfa) and more recently co-edited a volume on contemporary politics, The Welsh Way (Parthian, 2021) - books that along with my numerous essays on various platforms reflect my commitment to the study of, and enhancement of politics and the public sphere in Wales' fledgling democracy.


Teaching interests

I teach on a variety of philosophy and politics modules, primarily through the medium of Welsh. Their content falls within the following areas:

  • Contemporary Political Philosophy
  • Theories of Global Justice
  • The History of Political Thought
  • Philosophy and Doctrine in Wales


As an undergraduate I studied philosophy and psychology at the LSE, and received a Diploma from the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, in Central and Eastern European Studies. As a Morrell Scholar I studied political theory at the University of York Politics Graduate School. I received a Ph.D. from the International Politics department at Aberystwyth in 2009,  where I then took up the post of lecturer, before moving to Cardiff in 2012 as a philosophy lecturer with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. In my role as lecturer with the Coleg it is my responsibility to expand the teaching of philosophy through the medium of Welsh across the higher education institutions in Wales.

Since 2018 I have been the Dean for the Welsh Language at Cardiff University, working as a strategic lead across all aspects of our Welsh-language activity, with responsibility for drawing up and implementing our institution-wide strategy.  I am also the University's representative for the recently established Wales Peace Academy and I am part of the School's group of Philosophy researchers, and a member of Cardiff Law and Global Justice.

Beyond the University I am President of the Urdd Athronyddol (Philosopher's Guild) and am on the Board of Directors of Mudiad Meithrina Wales-wide charity that provides pre-school care. I was the secretary of the TAG campaign that fought successfully to establish a Welsh-medium primary school in South Cardiff, and have been involved in various forms of activism at a local and national level.


I have supervised students across a range of subjects.  Areas of particular interest are:

  • Political Philosophy
  • Global Justice
  • International Political Theory
  • Intellectual History, Philosophy and Politics in Wales
  • Linguistic Justice
  • Philosophy and Activism