Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT)

Providing an active forum for education, and research in political theory and philosophy, building on a long tradition of international excellence in political theory.

MANCEPT is one of the largest and strongest groupings in analytical political theory in the UK.


Its core membership includes all members of staff currently teaching and researching in aspects of political theory, and all graduate students working on doctoral dissertations in political theory and philosophy. The Centre also engages with numerous scholars with cognate interests from other parts of the University.

Members' research interests range over philosophical, normative, positive and historical aspects of political theory.

Our recent research includes:

MANCEPT organises a seminar series, as well as fostering discussion on particular topics through specialised workshops, reading groups and seminars and one-day conferences involving MANCEPT members and visiting speakers such as Peter Vallentyne (Missouri-Columbia), Russell Hardin (NYU), Geoffrey Brennan (ANU), Jeff McMahan (Rutgers), Stephen Darwell (Michigan) and Joseph Raz (Oxford and Columbia).  

Members are also active in organising occasional conferences – such as the 2007 conference on 'Disability and Disadvantage' involving (among others)  Dan Brock (Harvard),  Leslie Francis (Utah), and Douglas MacLean (UNC)  and supported by an AHRC award, and the 2008 annual conference of the Society for Applied Philosophy involving (among others) C.A.J. Coady (Melbourne), George Sher (Rice), Jerry Gaus (Arizona), and Richard Dagger (Arizona).

MANCEPT organises an annual workshop and also encourages the work of graduate students, by sponsoring an annual international postgraduate conference, Brave New World.

Our people

Academic staff

Richard Child

  • Research specialisms: Global justice, punishment, nationalism.

Steve de Wijze (convenor)

  • Research specialisms: Dirty hands, democratic theory, evil, theories of justice.

Stephen Hood

  • Research specialisms: Morality of markets, democratic theory, ideal and non-ideal theory.

James Pattison

  • Research specialisms: Responsibility to protect, alternatives to war, private military companies.

Miriam Ronzoni

  • Research specialisms: Constructivism, transnational justice in non-ideal circumstances.

Clara Sandelind

  • Research specialisms: Political theories of immigration, asylum and nationalism. 

Christian Schemmel

  • Research specialisms: Theories of equality, republicanism, welfare state, self-respect.

Liam Shields

  • Research specialisms: Distributive justice, equality of opportunity, education, parental rights.

Juri Viehoff

  • Research specialisms: Distributive justice, morality markets, justice and legitimacy in the EU.

Hillel Steiner (Emeritus Professor)

  • Research specialisms: rights, freedom, left-libertarianism, distributive justice.

Timothy Kenyon (Honorary Research Fellow)

  • Research specialisms: Ricardian socialism.

Current visitors

Fredrik D Hjorthen (Oslo), visiting post-doc.

Project title: "Rights-protecting interventionism beyond the use of military force". Funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

Andrea Bruscia (Macerata), visiting PhD student.

Project title: "Non-domination and global justice".

Postgraduate Researchers

  • Jeannine Bringmann: Neorepublican distributive justice.
  • Vittorio Gerosa: The role and functioning of deliberative mini-publics in contemporary representative democracies.
  • Anh Le: Towards a theory of jus ad vim (justice of force short of war).
  • Tawan Manakun: ‘Non-domination, wealth inequality, and the property system.'
  • Davide Pala: 'Assessing the global order: A republican idea of global politics justice.'
  • Matthew Perry: 'What is the point of dignity? A re-characterisation of dignity as the basis of (human) rights status.'
  • Molly Powell: Privacy rights, technology design, and state obligations.
  • David Rubin: Inventing collective defence: A rational model for the assessment of alliances
  • Karolina Jedrzejczak: The crisis of representative democracy: the issue of self-alienation.
  • Riki Yamochi: Introducing realism into just war theory.

Past PhD students

Graduated 2019

Giacomo Floris

Teaching Associate in Political Theory, The University of Manchester

Thesis: Moral status, equality and distributive justice

Ruxandra Ivanescu

Lecturer in Political Theory, The University of Manchester

Thesis: On self-ownership and self-enslavement

Joseph Roberts

Research Fellow in Law and Philosophy, University of Birmingham

Thesis: Individual rights, bodies, modifications and enhancements.

Graduated 2018

Anna Wienhues

Postdoc, Department of Philosophy, University of Zurich

Thesis: Just footprints: distributing ecological space across species, place and time

Jonny Benson

Lecturer in Political Economy KCL

Thesis: Markets, deliberation and environment problems

Graduated 2017

Billy Christmas

Lecturer in Political Theory KCL

Thesis: Self-ownership, appropriation, and the means of production: towards anti-capitalist libertarianism

Bolarinwa Adediran

Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, the University of the West of England

Thesis: Whither humanitarian intervention; resetting the discourse on the responsibility to protect

Wen-Chin Lung

Assistant Researcher at National Applied Research Laboratories, Taiwan

Thesis: Non-consequentialist approach to solve the humanitarian dilemma

Sara Van Goozen

Associate Lecturer, Politics, University of York

Thesis: Distributing the harm of just wars: the requirement to minimise merely foreseen harm

Nicola Mulkeen

Teaching Fellow, PAIS, University of Warwick

Thesis: Commerce, coin and exploitation