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Jonathan Benson

Title of thesis

Markets, Deliberation and Environmental Problems


My research is concerned with decision making in relation to environmental problems and policy. In particular my thesis looks at deliberative forms of decision making as alternatives to approaches based on economic calculation, such as cost-benefit analysis, and those based on environmental markets and property rights. The thesis uses a framework of institutional epistemically in order to address this issue. This is a comparative institutional framework which is concerned with the capacity of alternative institutions to gather, generate and utilise knowledge in order to produce effective decisions. My research is therefore, particularly concerned with the ability of decision making institutions to incorporate different forms of knowledge and deal with the problems which this knowledge produces, such as deep uncertainty.

Research Interests

Political Theory, Philosophy & Political Economy, Philosophy & Environmental Policy, Political/Institutional Epistemology, Democratic Theory

Academic Supervisors


  • “Environmental law & the limits of markets”, The Cambridge Journal of Economics, (forthcoming)
  • “Why Deliberative Valuation over Monetary Valuation?”, Report for the Green Infrastructure and the Health and Wellbeing Influences on an Ageing Population (GHIA) Project 
  • “Decision rules in environmental policy: uncertainties, values & limitations”, Report for the Green Infrastructure and the Health and Wellbeing Influences on an Ageing Population (GHIA) Project
  • Review of Jason Brennan, Against Democracy, Journal of Applied Philosophy, (forthcoming)


  • M.A. in Political Economy (Distinction), University of Manchester, 2014
  • B.A. (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (First Class), University of Manchester, 2013


  • 2016/7 – Teaching Assistant, Challenges to Democratic Politics, University of Manchester, second-year undergraduate course
  • 2016 – Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Political Theory, University of Manchester, first-year undergraduate course

Scholarships and Grants

  • 2015 - Economic and Social Research Council, full 3 year PhD Studentship
  • 2015 - Presidents Doctoral Scholar Award, 3 year PhD funding award 
  • 2013 - Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme, M.A. fees reduction

Contact details