Reader in Political Theory, Royal Holloway

Personal profile
I have taught at Royal Holloway since January 2000, a long time ago. I came with some interests in liberal political theory and multiculturalism, which I continue to teach.
I organised a conference on the ethics of altruism in 2002, and that resulted in some co-edited publications on altruism and a short book, Altruism which I wrote with Niall Scott.
My book, Defending Associative Duties whiche explored the moral properties of the special duties we owe to friends, family members, compatriots etc was published by Routledge in 2013.
From 2006-12, I was co-editor of Res Publica the journal of the Association for Social and Political Philosophy (ASPP). In 2015, I became Chair of the ASPP.
I was Principal Investigator (2007-09) on an AHRC/ESRC funded project on Religion, Justice and Well-Being: the normative foundations of public policy in a multi-faith society under their Religion and Society programme

Research interests
My research interests are in contemporary political theory, both in its philosophical and more applied aspects.
One current project is on the concept of self-respect. Self-respect is a crucial component of a flourishing life and it’s often argued that groups such as the poor, the unemployed and victims of racism etc lack self-respect, yet there is little investigation of the nature of self-respect in political theory, or its relationship to justice.
So far, I’ve written a book chapter on a cultural heritage and self-respect and a paper on hate speech and self-respect which is on my page.
Another project, stemming from interests is on religious accommodation, and the normative connection between religious convictions and law and policy more generally. I organised a workshop on Religious Accommodation: from theory to practice in the Department in 2015, co-edited a special issue of the journal Ethnicities on Religion and Public Life and co-organised an ECPR Workshop on aspects of religious accommodation, both in 2017.
I've also recently written a couple of short pieces on parents' partiality towards their children
Work in progress on these and other topics is on my page.


  • –present
    Reader in Political Theory, Royal Holloway


  • 1996 
    University of Manchester, PhD in Political Theory