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Katy Wells

Associate Professor
Room: E2.19

A&F Hours for Term 2:

Monday 2.30-3.30pm [Online].

Thursday 3-4pm [In person, or online if requested].

**Except Reading Week**

Please schedule an appointment hereLink opens in a new window or using the Advice and Feedback Booking Form link above.

Online meetings will take place on Microsoft Teams.


I am Associate Professor in Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Studies.

My research interests lie within normative political theory. My main project, which is supported by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship, is entitled Renting: Justice and Limited Sovereignty, and explores the normative reasons states have to support and promote renting as a means of accessing goods. My other research interests include questions of housing justice, questions of how the state should support our associative freedom and, in particular, our freedom to disassociate from others, and questions to do with state support for personal relationships, particularly, friendship. Finally, I am interested in exploring the possibility of developing a plausible “positive” account of power.


For 2023-24 I am module director for:

  • PO134: Justice, Democracy and Citizenship
  • PO909: Justice and Equality (MA)

I am on leave for Term 1 of 23-24.


Wells, Katy. "Homelessness and Freedom". Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (2022).

Wells, Katy. "Crucial Options: Dagan on Self-Determination and Structural Pluralism". King's Law Journal (2022).

Jenkins, David, Katy Wells & Kimberley Brownlee. "Adequate Housing in a Pandemic". In Political Philosophy in a Pandemic, ed. Fay Niker and Aveek Bhattacharya (Bloomsbury, 2021).

Wells, Katy. “State-led Gentrification and Self-respect”. Political Studies (2021).

Wells, Katy. “Renting Personal Goods”. Social Theory and Practice (2019).

Wells, Katy. “The Right to Housing”. Political Studies (2018).

Wells, Katy. “The Right to Personal Property”. Politics, Philosophy & Economics (2016).

Wells, Katy. “High Liberalism and Weak Economic Freedoms”. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (2016).

Short/ Blog Pieces

Everyone deserves a right to housing – and that means a right to live alone. The Conversation (2018).

Selected Recent Presentations

2021 “House Sharing and the Right to Live Alone”

Urban Depth & Autonomy Workshops, Art, Architecture & Design, London Metropolitan University, online, February

2021 Comment on Hanoch Dagan’s A Liberal Theory of Property

Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy & Law, King’s College London, online, January

2020 “Renting as a Primary Good”

Legal Theory Workshop, University of Toronto, online, November 

2020 “Families we choose: Weighing Parenting and Friendship”

Britain & Ireland Association for Political Thought Conference, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, January (with Emily McTernan)