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Research Group: Political and Legal Philosophy

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At Southampton our political philosophers are mostly located in the Politics & International Relations Department.

The political philosophy research group spans both the analytic and continental traditions.  The group has a strong expertise in Western political thought with particular emphasis on ancient Greek political philosophy and European political philosophy from the 16th century through the 21st century, as well as American political thought.  The research group also has strengths in international political theory with an emphasis on theories of global justice, environmental justice, migration, citizenship, and sovereignty.  Among specific political thinkers, the members of the group have particular interest in the works of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, Nietzsche, J.S. Mill, Emerson, Weber, Wittgenstein, Arendt, Schmitt, Heidegger, Williams, Rawls, and Cavell among others, as well as the relations of political philosophy to aesthetics, literature, and law.

Current Research Student Profile:  Richard Penny

"My research looks at theories of social justice – addressing how the benefits and burdens of living in a society should be shared. In particular I am asking what role the good of ‘self-respect’ should play in this discussion. Philosophers often assume that a society in which some citizens were denied self-respect would be ‘unjust’ somehow. But can this assumption be defended? Why might self-respect be morally important? How does it relate to social, political and economic inequalities? And what should this lead citizens to expect from institutions (and from one another) in the name of justice?"

Postgraduate student
Richard Penny
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