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Political Theory

The Political Theory cluster is diverse in its interests and approach. We have a sizeable group of analytic political philosophers engaged in normative analysis, working on areas such as upbringing and the rights of children, the ethics of family relationships, the regulation of faith schooling, equality of opportunity, luck egalitarianism, the responsibilities of citizenship, the accommodation of cultural diversity, intergenerational justice, the ethics of climate change, and the ethics of policing and surveillance. The activities of this group are complemented by research agendas in democratic representation, the history of political thought, theories of political performance, Shakespeare and ideas of territory, and Foucault's thought. The political theorists are part of a larger group of normative theorists, including members of the Departments of Law and Philosophy, who participate together in the activities of the Centre for Ethics, Law, and Public Affairs (CELPA).

Key research themes


Children's Rights, Equality of Opportunity, and Family Values
Luck Egalitarianism
Faith Schooling
Citizenship and Cultural Diversity
Ideal and Non-Ideal Theory
Climate Change, Environmental Ethics, and Intergenerational Justice
Democratic Theory, including Deliberative Democracy, Democratic Design, and Representation
Michel Foucault
John Stuart Mill
The Concept of Territory: its Roles and Historical Development
Ethics, Security, and Counter-Terrorism
Finance and Ethics
Health Security
The Politics of West Papua

Centres and Working Groups


Centre for Ethics, Law and Public Affairs

Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group

Children, Education, and Philosophy Working Group

Projects and activities


Faith schooling: Principles and Policies (funded by a grant from the Spencer Foundation, led by Matthew Clayton, Andrew Mason, and Adam Swift)

Ethics and Security: Terrorism and Transnational Organised Crime (funded by A Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellowship held by Tom Sorell)

Ethical Issues in the International Politics of West Papua (a project led by Keith Hyams)