School of Social and Political Science

Political theory


The Political Theory Research Group supports individual and collaborative research projects in key areas of contemporary political theory. Our academic staff and postgraduates engage with others across the University who share interests in legal, moral and social theory.

We welcome inquiries from prospective postgraduate students, postdoctoral and visiting fellows, and anyone interested in learning more about our research. 

At our weekly research seminar we discuss pre-circulated papers by members and visiting speakers (who, in recent years, have included Amy Allen, Gurminder Bhambra, Simone Chambers, Sally Haslanger, Simon Caney, John Dryzek, Katrin Flikschuh, David Luban, Judith Lichtenberg, Susan Mendus, Henry Shue, and Adam Swift).

We are also active in national and international professional associations and networks. Our members are involved in organising the ECPR International Political Theory Standing Group, the PSA's Global Justice and Human Rights Specialist Group, the Northen Political Theory Association, the Association for Political Thought and the Association for Legal and Social Philosophy. We maintain the UK Political Theory Email List, and our members on boards of numerous leading international journals.

Our research and publications focus on

  • international political theory
  • environmental political theory
  • critical theory
  • utopian studies
  • children's rights
  • human rights
  • ethics of war
  • ethics of migration
  • arts and politics

Members have won research grants from ESRC, Leverhulme Trust, the European Commission and the British Academy; our postgrads have achieved scholarships from these and other bodies including ESRC and AHRC.

In 2020, the group's members founded the Centre for Ethics and Critical Thought - whose schedule of events integrates the research groups' main activities.

Related people and projects