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Dr. Pavel specialises in political philosophy and the history of political thought. Her interests include international justice and international law, liberal theory and contemporary challenges to it, and ethics and public policy. She received her Ph.D. from Brown University and then served as a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer in the Program in Political Philosophy, Policy and Law at University of Virginia and subsequently at the University of Arizona.

At King’s, Dr. Pavel has been the first director of the PPE programme and has contributed substantively to its re-design.


Dr. Pavel’s recent work has examined the nature and limits of institutionalizing rights and theories of constitutionalism.  Her current book project focuses on the reasons we have to develop international law and the appropriate scope of its authority over sovereign states. It is tentatively called Reasons for International Rules: Dynamic Coordination, State Consent, and Binding Law.

Dr. Pavel’s first book, entitled Divided Sovereignty, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. In it, Dr. Pavel takes up the question of how to constrain states that commit severe abuses against their own citizens. She argues that one way to accomplish this goal is to supplement internal constraints on political institutions with external ones. The book challenges the long-standing assumption that collective grants of authority from the citizens of a state should be made exclusively for institutions within the borders of that state. It argues that international institutions can act as an insurance scheme against the possibility of states failing to fulfill their most basic sovereign responsibilities. Despite worries that international institutions could undermine domestic democratic control, citizens can divide sovereign authority between state and international institutions consistent with their right of democratic self-governance.


Carmen is teaching the first year gateway module for the Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE) programme, called ‘Political and Economic Philosophy.’ In addition, she is teaching two third-year modules: ‘Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy,’ and ‘Politics and Justice in International Law.’ Her areas of teaching competency are: history of political thought, contemporary political theory (theories of justice, multiculturalism, liberalism and its critics), and global justice.

PhD supervision

Dr. Pavel is not currently accepting any new PhD students for supervision.


‘Global and National Constitutionalism,’ Cambridge Handbook of Constitutional Theory, Richard Bellamy and Jeff King, eds., forthcoming.

‘Constitutionalism and Pluralism: Two Models of International Law,’ Routledge Handbook of the Rule of Law, Michael Sevel ed., forthcoming.

‘Healthcare: Between a Human and a Conventional Right’ Economics and Philosophy, forthcoming (online first).

‘The International Rule of Law,’ Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, forthcoming (online first).

‘International Law as a Hartian Legal System?’ Ratio Juris, 31:3, 2018.

Skeptical Challenges to International Law’ (with David Lefkowitz) Philosophy Compass, 13:8 (2018).

Oxford Handbook of Freedomco-editor with David Schmidtz, (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Book Review: Steven Ratner, The Thin Justice of International Law, OUP 2015, Notre Dame Philosophical Review, January 2017.

“A Legal Conventionalist Approach to Pollution”Law and Philosophy, 35:4 337-363 (2016).

"Boundaries, Subjections to Laws and Affected Interests"Oxford Handbook of Freedom, (Oxford University Press,) online first 2017.

The Institutions of International Justice, guest editor for Social Philosophy and Policy issue 32:1 (Fall 2015).

Review of Freedom Beyond Sovereignty: Reconstructing Liberal Individualism by Sharon Krause (University of Chicago Press, 2015), Notre Dame Philosophical Review September 2015.

Divided Sovereignty: International Institutions and the Limits of State Authority (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Part of a Critical Dialogue in Perspectives on Politics, 14:1. 2016 along with Joan Cocks’s Sovereignty and Other Political Delusions, (NY: Bloomsbury, 2015).

Negative Duties, the WTO and the Harm ArgumentPolitical Studies, 63:2, 2015.

Making a Faustian Bargain Work: What Special Interests Can Tell Us About Representation at the WTOGeorgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, Special Issue, Volume 12, 2014.

International JusticeThe Encyclopedia of Political Thought, Michael T. Gibbons, ed.,(Wiley-Blackwell, 2014).

Alternative Agents for Humanitarian InterventionJournal of Global Ethics, 6.3 (December 2010).

Normative Conflict in International LawThe San Diego Law Review, 46:4 (December 2009).

Cosmopolitanism, Nationalism and Moral Opportunity CostsPolity, 41:4 (October 2009).

Pluralism and the Moral Grounds of Liberal TheorySocial Theory and Practice, 33:2 (April 2007).