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Keith Hyams

KH photo

Reader in Political Theory and Interdisciplinary Ethics

Email: K dot D dot Hyams at warwick dot ac dot uk
Room: E2.22

I joined the Department of Politics and International Relations in 2014, where I lead the Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group's work on Ethics in Climate and Development, and on Future Politics. More info can be found here:

My research interests are animated by two questions:

  1. How can we achieve adaptation to climate change, and international development more generally, in a way that is both ethical and equitable?
  2. What can we learn from psychology about how to build political institutions that can better cope with the environmental and technological challenges that humanity faces?

My previous research focused on the philosophy of equality and fairness, particularly in respect of distributions of risk. I have also published on the ethics of consent, on justice and sustainability, and on political justification. In 2015 I was awarded the Inaugural Sanders Prize in Political Philosophy for a paper on on equality and risk.

My policy work includes advising a broad range of UK and low income country NGOs, businesses, and government bodies, including the UK Cabinet Office. In 2020 I was awarded the International Society for Environmental Ethics Andrew Light Prize for Public Philosophy for policy engagement. I am a member of the Strategic Advisory Group for the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund, and a member of the Expert Advisory Group on Safeguarding for the UK Collaborative on Development Research.

I have a BPhil and DPhil in philosophy (Oxford) supervised by GA Cohen. Before joining Warwick, I was a Lecturer in Moral and Political Philosophy at the Universities of Exeter and Reading. I have held visiting positions at the University of Toronto, the University of Louvain, and the University of Oxford. Prior to becoming an academic I lived in and worked with social movements in various countries, including Rwanda, Guyana, India, Peru, Nigeria, Cuba, Mexico, West Papua, and the Middle East.

Research Projects

Current Projects

  • 2020-2021, AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund, 'Supporting Just Response and Recovery to COVID-19 in Informal Urban Settlements: Perspectives from Youth Groups in Sub-Saharan Africa', Principal Investigator, £135,689
  • 2020- 2022, UKRI GCRF/Newton Fund, The COVID Observatories: Monitoring the Interaction of Pandemics, Climate Risks, and Food Systems among the World’s most Disadvantaged Communities’, Co-Investigator, £508,586

  • 2020-2023, British Academy, 'Technological Risks in Development', Principal Investigator, £199,336
  • 2020-2022, AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund, 'Inserting Ethics into Adaptation and Resilience Policy', Principal Investigator, £147,773
  • 2020-2022, Royal Academy of Engineering, 'New Approaches to Equitable Resilience', Principal Investigator, £19,935.
  • 2019-2022, ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund, 'Challenging Inequalities: An Indo-European Perspective', Co-Investigator, £850,664
  • 2018-2021, Leverhulme Research Project Grant, ‘Anthropogenic Global Catastrophic Risk: The Challenge of Governance, Principal Investigator, £189,985
  • 2019-2021, ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund, 'Urban Violence & Climate Change Network', Network Member, £150,000
  • 2017-2022, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, ‘Climate Change and Indigenous Food Security’, Co-Investigator, £1,220,000

Completed Projects

  • 2019-2020, British Academy Knowledge Frontiers, ‘Tackling Climate-Related Health Risks in Urban Slums: an interdisciplinary analysis of the challenge of integrating local and scientific knowledges’, Principal Investigator, £50,000
  • 2019-2020, Warwick Monash Alliance Catalyst Fund, 'Improving Earth Systems Governance through “Purpose Ecosystems”', Co-Investigator, £27,268
  • 2018-2020, Warwick Impact Fund, ‘Ethics in Government: Cabinet Office Collaboration’, Principal Investigator, £7,700
  • 2018-19, ESRC Impact Accelerator Account grant, ‘Urban Violence and Adaptation to Climate Change’, Principal Investigator, £19,910
  • 2018, British Academy Tackling the UK’s International Challenges, ‘Remedying Injustice in Indigenous Climate Adaptation Planning’, Principal Investigator, £49,984
  • 2016-2019, Horizon 2020, ‘Piloting Responsible Research and Innovation in Industry’, Named Researcher, €1,708,096
  • 2016-2018, Global Partnership Fund, ‘Development, Inequality, and Citizenship’, Principal Investigator, £19,970
  • 2016-2017, ESRC-AHRC-NERC Global Challenges Research Fund, ‘Why we Disagree about Resilience’, Co-Investigator, £199,680
  • 2016-2017, Warwick Impact Fund, ‘The International Politics of Self-Determination’, Principal Investigator, £6,700
  • 2015-2017, ESRC Impact Accelerator Account grant, ‘The International Politics of West Papua’, Principal Investigator, £19,897
  • 2015, External Ethics Consultancy for EU FP7 project ‘IDIRA’ on cybersecurity issues associated with Disaster Response systems, Lead Author, £11,000
  • 2012-2014, Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, ‘Solving Moral Conflict’, Principal Investigator, £44,958
  • 2012, Hoover Fellowship, Chaire Hoover, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, €2,000
  • 2011-2013, British Academy, ‘Freedom, Equality, and Consent’, Principal Investigator, £7,458
  • 2011-2012, NERC Valuing Nature Network grant, ‘Bridging the gap between supply and demand for valuation evidence’ Network Member, £49,994
  • 2011-2012, EPSRC ‘Bridging the Gaps’ funding for an interdisciplinary ethical, political, legal and scientific assessment of climate-engineering options, Co-Investigator, £6,680
  • 2009-2010, Visiting Faculty Fellowship, Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto, £21,500
  • 2009-2010, British Academy ‘Equality, Insurance, and Choice’, Principal Investigator, £7,285
  • 2008-2012, AHRC research grant on equality and justice, 'Sharing Nature's Bounty', Principal Investigator, £210,000