Professor of Political Theory
Research Interests: Political Theory.
I was initially trained in philosophy at Selwyn College, Cambridge and in politics at Balliol College, Oxford, and after spells teaching at the Universities of Lancaster and East Anglia, I was appointed to my Official Fellowship at Nuffield College in 1979. I am affiliated to the University’s Department of Politics and International Relations, and to the Faculty of Philosophy, and between 2012-2014 I was on partial secondment to the Blavatnik School of Government to co-ordinate the Foundations component of the Master of Public Policy course. I am currently a Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield, and a Visiting Professor of Law and Philosophy at Queen's University, Ontario, where I teach in the autumn terms.
What is perhaps most distinctive about my work is its use of evidence from the social sciences to inform debates in political philosophy. My longest standing interest is in the idea of justice, originally social justice but now also global justice. I have published three books about this: Social Justice (Clarendon Press, 1976), Principles of Social Justice (Harvard University Press, 1999) and most recently a collection of essays, Justice for Earthlings (Cambridge University Press, 2013). During the 1980s I worked on the idea of market socialism and published a book defending that system, Market, State, and Community (Clarendon Press, 1989). This led me to ask questions about the kind of political community within which policies of social justice could be pursued, leading to a sustained engagement with ideas of nationality and citizenship, including On Nationality (Clarendon Press, 1995) and Citizenship and National Identity (Polity Press, 2000). In the last decade I have combined work on national issues with work on global issues, culminating in National Responsibility and Global Justice (2007). Most recently I have worked on issues connected to immigration, and in 2016 published Strangers in Our Midst: the political philosophy of immigration with Harvard University Press. For a full listing of my book and article publications, please click on my c.v. below.
When not visiting Canada, I live in Oxford close to the college, and have three young adult children, plus one newly arived grandson. Apart from these, my greatest loves are classical music, walking in mountains or by the sea, and watching England win at rugby football.