- Human rights
- Political resistance
- Democratic theory
I work broadly within the normative analytical tradition, though I am also interested in critical theory and more applied approaches. My main focus is on human rights, democratic theory, political resistance and migration. I am particularly interested in the role that our normative concepts, such as rights, play in a context of political disagreement and conflict and in the issues of legitimacy which arise when people mobilise outside official institutional channels. There are two major strands to my current research.
The first strand is on theories of rights and rights politics. In this work, I set out a distinctive political account of rights based on the role the concept plays in political argument, identifying the value rights have as a tool to challenge unjust structures of power and inequality. I have published articles based on this work in Political Studies, Human Rights Review, European Journal of Political Theory and in an edited OUP volume on Radical Republicanism.
The second major strand is on democratic theory and political resistance. The over-arching aim of this work is to provide the first systematic popular republican (or neo-republican) account of democratic politics that accounts for the role of non-constitutional forms of popular action in resisting domination. In recent writings, I challenge the narrow focus within liberal political theory on civil disobedience, developing new conceptual categories, justifications and norms of engagement. A particular focus here has been the political mobilisation of irregular migrants and refugees. Based on this work, I have published articles in Perspectives on Politics and an article in Raisons Politiques, which formed part of a special issue on the question of ‘Uncivil disobedience’.
I have also recently become interested in the ethics of online public shaming and the limits on freedom of speech in the context of mass, participatory social media.
I teach modules on the history of political philosophy, applied ethics and economic and political philosophy. I am also contributing to team taught modules on the philosophy of race and gender and philosophy.