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Professor Mark Pennington

Mark Pennington-2016_web_size

Head of Department

Postal Address

Department of Political Economy
King’s College London
Strand Campus
Bush House (North East Wing)
30 Aldwych
London WC2B 4BG



Telephone: +44(0)20 7848 1687
Room number: 9.12 Bush House (North East Wing)

Office Hours (2018/19):
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 12.00 - 13.00


Mark Pennington has been Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy in the Department of Political Economy since January 2012 and is now Head of Department. Prior to joining King’s he taught for 12 years in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary College, University of London. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Mark works at the intersection of politics, philosophy and economics.

His core interest lies in exploring problems of bounded rationality and incentive compatibility as these relate to ideal and non-ideal theorising in economics and political philosophy- an interest exemplified in his 2011 book Robust Political Economy.This work examines challenges to market liberal theory derived from neo-classical economics, communitarian political theory and egalitarian ethical theory, applying the lessons learned in policy debates on the welfare state, international development, and environmental protection.

Mark has written most recently on the relationship between educational markets and citizenship, and the political economy of 'noxious markets'.  His current research interests are focussed on the concept of self-governance in the writings of Vincent and Elinor Ostrom and he is planning a new book project on the ethics of environmental markets.


Undergraduate: Ethics, Economics and Environmental Protection

Post-graduate: Key Concepts in Contemporary Political Economy


Refereed Journal Articles (published or in print):

2017 Robust Political Economy and the Priority of Markets, Social Philosophy and Policy 34 (1): 1-24

2016 Robust Political Economy Revisited: Response to Critics, Critical Review, 28 (3-4): 517-543

2016 Paternalism, Behavioural Economics, Irrationality and State Failure, European Journal of Political Theory (forthcoming) 

2015 Why Most Things Should Probably Be For Sale, Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, 13:251-274

2014 Against Democratic Education, Social Philosophy and Policy 31(1): 1-35

2014 Realistic Idealism and Classical Liberalism:Evaluating Free Market Fairness, Critcial Review, 26(3-4):375-407

2013 Elinor Ostrom and the Robust Political Economy of Common Pool Resources, Journal of Institutional Economics, September: 1-20

2010 Democracy and the Deliberative Conceit, Critical Review, 22 (2-3): 159-184

2008 Classical Liberalism and Ecological Rationality: The Case for Polycentric Environmental Law, Environmental Politics, 17 (3): 431-448

2008 Bonding and Bridging: Social Capital and the Communitarian Critique of Liberal Markets, Review of Austrian Economics, 21(1): 119-133 (with J. Meadowcroft)

2006 The Dynamics of Interventionism: A Case Study of the British Land Use Planning System, Advances in Austrian Economics, 8 (1): 343-365

2006 Sustainable Development and British Land Use Planning: A Hayekian Perspective, Town Planning Review, 77 (1): 75-97

2005 Liberty, Markets and Environmental Values: A Hayekian Defence of Free Market Environmentalism, The Independent Review 10 (1): 39-57

2004 Citizen Participation, ‘The Knowledge Problem’ and Urban Planning: An ‘Austrian’ Perspective on Institutional Choice, Review of Austrian Economics 17 (2-3): 213-228

2003 Hayekian Political Economy and the Limits of Deliberative Democracy, Political Studies, 51 (4): 96-117 (re-published 2008).

2001 Environmental Markets versus Environmental Deliberation: A Hayekian Critique of Green Political Economy, New Political Economy, 6 (2) 171-190

2001 Discourses of the Prisoners Dilemma: The Role of the Press in Local Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, 10 (3): 48-71 (with Y. Rydin)

2000 Public Participation and Local Environmental Planning: The Collective Action Problem and the Potential of Social Capital, Local Environment, 5 (2):153-169 (with Y. Rydin)

2000 Researching Social Capital in Local Environmental Policy Contexts, Policy and Politics, 28 (2): 33-49 (with Y. Rydin)

2000 Public Choice and the Politics of Urban Containment: voter-centred v special interest explanations: Government and Policy: Environment and Planning C 18 (2): 145-162

1999 Free Market Environmentalism and the Limits of Land Use Planning, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 1 (1): 43-59

1997 Budgets, Bureaucrats and the Containment of Urban England, Environmental Politics, 7 (4): 81-111.

Single Authored Books and Monographs

2011 Robust Political Economy: Classical Liberalism and the Future of Public Policy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

2002 Liberating the Land: The Case for Private Land Use Planning, London: Institute of Economic Affairs

2000 Planning and the Political Market: Public Choice and the Politics of Government Failure, London: Athlone/Continuum

Joint Authored Monographs

2007 Rescuing Social Capital from Social Democracy, London: Institute of Economic Affairs (with J. Meadowcroft).

Edited Books

2009 Comparative Politics, London: Sage (with J. Bara). Includes three chapters by myself on: ‘Theory, Institutions and Comparative Politics’, ‘The Bureaucracy’ and, ‘Interest Groups and Comparative Politics’.

Chapters in Books

2018 Freedom, Regulation and Public Policy, Chapter 16,  Schmidtz, D., Pavel, C.  (2018) Oxford Handbook of Freedom, Oxford: Oxford University Press

2015 Constitutional Political Economy and Austrian Economics, in Coyne, C.(ed.) Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics, Oxford: Oxford University Press

2014 Hayek on Socialism, Garrison, R. (ed.) The Elgar Companion to Hayekian Economics, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar

2009 Social Capital: The Achilles Heel of Classical Liberalism? , in James, M. (ed.) Classical Liberalism in the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of Norman Barry, Buckingham: University of Buckingham

2008 Hayekian Liberalism and Sustainable Development, in Gough, S., Stables, A. (eds.) Sustainability and Security within Liberal Societies, London: Routledge

2004 Knowledge, Decisions and Urban Form: Implications from the Socialist Calculation Debate, in Richardson, H.W., Bae, C. Urban Sprawl in Western Europe and the United States, Aldershot: Ashgate

2003 Free Market Environmentalism versus Environmental Market Socialism, in Lai, L. (ed.) Understanding and Implementing Sustainable Development, New York: Nova Sciences

2001 Collaborative Planning: A Hayekian Liberal Critique, in Allmendinger, P. and Tewdr Jones, M. Planning Futures: Assessing Collaborative Planning, London: Routledge.

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