Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Gah-Kai Leung

PhD Candidate (he/him)
Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant

Advice & Feedback Hours: Please email me to arrange an appointment.

Gah-Kai.Leung@warwick.ac.uk

Personal Website

Academia.edu

PhilPeople

ResearchGate

Google Scholar

My first name is pronounced ‘GAR-kay’. I’m a second-year PhD candidate in PAIS, researching the ethics and politics of earthquake risk management. Specifically, I work on the risk of catastrophic tsunami-generating earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest USA and Canada. My studies are funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

At Warwick, I am affiliated with the Centre for Ethics, Law and Public Affairs (CELPA) and the Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group’s project on Ethics in Climate and Development. I’m also a member of the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the Consortium for Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering (SRPoiSE). In 2021-22, I will be a Frédéric Bastiat Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

I am supervised by Simon Caney and Keith Hyams, with Rebecca Bell and Douglas Toomey as informal advisors. The interdisciplinary focus of this team reflects my interest in combining insights from both normative political theory and empirical earth science to motivate my project.

Before starting my PhD, I spent two years teaching English in schools in Paris and Newbury, as well as adult education classes in Reading. I am qualified in teaching both English and French to speakers of other languages.

Coming from a non-specialist and interdisciplinary academic background, I am keen to encourage more students to transfer into philosophy and political theory from other fields. Please contact me for further information.

Research Interests
  • Analytic social, political and legal philosophy
  • Science, technology, ethics and public policy
  • Natural hazards, disasters and emergencies (esp. earthquakes and tsunamis)
  • Risk, uncertainty and resilience
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Parenting, childhood and education
Peer-Reviewed Publications
Conference Presentations
Papers:
  • 2021: ‘Reducing Flood Risks for Young People in the UK Housing Market’, Workshop on Housing in Crisis, MANCEPT Online Workshops in Political Theory, University of Manchester, 7-10 September
  • 2021: ‘The Legitimate Use of Emergency Powers in Response to Pandemics’, Fifth International Conference on Public Policy, University of Barcelona, 5-9 July
  • 2021: ‘The Social and Environmental Harms of Earthquakes’, Sixth Annual Global Ethics Conference, University of Birmingham, 26-28 May
  • 2021: ‘Reducing Flood Risks for Young People in the UK Housing Market’, Conference on Flooding, Resilience and the Climate Crisis, University of Sheffield, 19 May
  • 2021: ‘The Legitimate Use of Emergency Powers in Response to Pandemics’, HKU Legal and Political Theory Postgraduate Conference, University of Hong Kong, 5-7 May
  • 2021: ‘Socially Transformative Experiences: The Case of the COVID-19 Pandemic’, Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research Congress, Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham University, 21-23 April
  • 2020: ‘Ethical Issues in the Policy Response to Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards in Cascadia: A Critical Survey of the Field’, Public Issues and Public Reason: A Conference of Applied Ethics and Critical Social Sciences, Carleton University (Canada), 20-21 October
  • 2020: ‘The Legitimacy of Mandatory Emergency Preparedness Measures’, Workshop on The Ethics and Politics of Risk (Mis)Communication, MANCEPT Online Workshops in Political Theory, 9-11 September
  • 2020: ‘The Narrative Coherence Standard and Child Patients' Capacity to Consent’, Graduate Conference in Political & Legal Theory, University of Warwick, 15 February.
  • 2018: ‘Sexuality, Science and Religion in the Public Sphere: Perfectionism and the Problem of Justificatory Disagreement’, MANCEPT Brave New World Graduate Conference in Political Theory, University of Manchester, 11-12 June.

  • 2018: ‘An Argument for Gender-Neutral Public Toilets: Urinary Segregation as Morally Wrongful Discrimination’, Graduate Conference in Political & Legal Theory, University of Warwick, 17 February.
  • 2017: ‘Discrimination and the Political Morality of Gender-Neutral Public Toilets’, Sex, Gender & Sexuality: Postgraduate Perspectives, University of Leicester, 29 July.
Invited Commentaries:
  • 2020: on Riana Popat, ‘How Plausible is the Autism Objection to Hermeneutic Fictionalism?’ Joint Birmingham-Nottingham-Warwick Graduate Philosophy Conference, University of Nottingham, 11 December.
  • 2020: on Jana Wolkowski, ‘Contested Borders and Contested States: The Political and Human Rights Consequences Resulting from the Regulation of Migrant Flows between Africa and Europe’, Public Issues and Public Reason: A Conference of Applied Ethics and Critical Social Sciences, Carleton University (Canada), 20-21 October
  • 2020: on Kerry O'Neill, ‘Conditional Cash Transfers as Third-Party Exploitation’, Public Issues and Public Reason: A Conference of Applied Ethics and Critical Social Sciences, Carleton University (Canada), 20-21 October
Event Organisation
Public Engagement and Outreach

I have been involved in policy engagement with civil society bodies and the UK Government. I am currently writing two policy papers for the Young Fabians: (i) on flood risk; (ii) on immigration, the rule of law and UK counterterrorism policy. I co-wrote a submission to the UK Government’s April 2021 consultation on proposed reforms to the Flood Re insurance scheme (with David Schultz at the University of Manchester). I have also given evidence to the UK Parliament’s Risk Assessment and Risk Planning Committee on resilience to extreme risks and emergencies. I was on an international team of scientists who co-authored a short background paper on the seismic vulnerabilities of 'soft story' and non-ductile buildings, for the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI).

I do other kinds of outreach work, often in interdisciplinary contexts. Unusually for a political theorist, I was a judge for the 2021 Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition run by EERI. This involved dozens of engineering students representing universities from around the world. In August 2021, I will be giving taster courses in Politics, Philosophy & Law for the Sutton Trust Summer School, aimed at secondary school pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Teaching
  • Introduction to Politics (PO107)
  • Introduction to Philosophy (PH133)
  • Individual, Polis & Society: Philosophical Reflections in History (HI2A5)

I was a Winner in the 2021 Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence for Postgraduates.

Other Writing
Service

I am a member of the Critical International and Political Studies (CRIPS) Graduate Working Group and the Secretary for the PAIS PhD Student-Staff Liaison Committee.

I have been appointed to the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Younger Members Committee for 2021-22.

Qualifications
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Social Science Research (Warwick)
  • MA in Transnational Studies (UCL)
  • BA in PPE with Study Abroad (Warwick)
  • Certificat d'Études Politiques (Grenoble, France)