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Simon Caney


Professor of Political Theory

Room: D1.24

Advice and Feedback Hours:

Monday 4.30 - 5.30 (online)

Friday 9.15 - 10.15 (online)

Please email to make an appointment.

My research interests are in contemporary political philosophy. At the moment my focus is primarily on three related sets of issues. First, I am interested in the application of political philosophy to global politics. I have written on global poverty, global distributive justice, human rights, sovereignty, global governance, self-determination, war, humanitarian intervention, and legitimate ways of resisting global injustice. I am currently completing a book entitled On Cosmopolitanism: Equality, Ecology and Resistance (Oxford University Press).

Second, I also have a particular interest in the ethical issues raised by climate change, and I have written a series of articles on equity and climate change. In particular, I have written on the relationship between human rights and climate change, the fair share of greenhouse gas emissions, the allocation of the burdens of combating climate change, the nature of our responsibilities to prevent dangerous climate change, intergenerational justice, the ethical issues surrounding some mitigation policies (like emissions trading schemes and alternative energy sources) and the nature of a just transition to a low carbon world (including on who can extract the remaining fossil fuels that can be permissibly extracted). In addition to this, I have worked on the ethical issues arising from the relationship between demographic change and climate change.

Third, I have a research interest in intergenerational justice and its implications for democratic theory and institutional design. I have published on both (i) what we owe future generations as well as (ii) how we can orient democratic politics to give better protection to the legitimate interests of future generations.

My googlescholar page can be found here:

Public Engagement

In addition to publishing in academic journals, I have also been engaged in work for public bodies. I was a co-author of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics report Biofuels: Ethical Issues (2011) and have written background papers for the World Bank (2009), the International Council on Human Rights Policy (2010), the Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice (2014), and Oxfam (USA) (2016). I was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics (2014-2020). I was also a Lead Author for one chapter in the International Panel on Social Progress (2017) and a Contributing Author for another chapter.


I am currently teaching Normative Analysis, Justice and Future Generations and Principles of Political Economy. I am interested in supervising doctoral theses in contemporary political philosophy, and in particular those relating to the themes mentioned above.