Providing an active forum for education and research in political theory, MANCEPT is one of the largest and strongest groupings of its kind in the UK, with a long tradition of international excellence. Its core membership includes teaching and research staff as well as postgraduate students. Members’ research interests cover a wide range of topics in contemporary political theory, making use of the tools of analytical political theory to address theoretical issues and their real-world implications.

Jonathan Benson

Role: Hallsworth Research Fellow


I joined the University of Manchester as a Hallsworth Fellow in February 2022 and am based in the Department of Politics. I received my PhD in Politics from Manchester and have previously held the position of Lecturer/Assistant Professor at both King’s College London and Utrecht University. My research is situated in political theory and economy, and my work has a strong connection to the interdisciplinary tradition of politics, philosophy and economics.    

Research Focus

  • Democratic Theory: Deliberative and participatory democracy, democratic systems, random sortition, and epistemic justifications of democracy. 
  • Normative Political Economy: The relationship between democracy and the market, the limits of markets, polycentricity, exit and voice. 
  • Political Epistemology: Political knowledge, ignorance and misinformation, and the role of knowledge in political and economic institutions.

For further details and a list of publications please see my webpage.

Richard Child


Tel: 0161 2754978

Office:  4.034 Arthur Lewis Building

Research Interests

I’m interested in all areas of Analytical Political Philosophy but my research currently focuses on theories of global justice, theories of punishment, and the relationship between justice and legitimacy.

Steve De Wijze

Role: Senior Lecturer


Tel: 0161 275-4882

Location: Arthur Lewis Building-4.053
School of Social Sciences
The University of Manchester
M13 9PL

Specific research interests

Philosophy and politics focusing on the following areas:

The interface between ethical constraints and effective political action, the problem of dirty hands and a political ethic.Anglo-American theories of justice – Rawls, Dworkin, Sandel, Walzer etc.Informal logic and argumentation theory.Democracy – theory and practice.Theories of secular accounts of evil.

Current research projects

I am currently finishing a manuscript on the problem of ‘dirty hands’.I co-editor the journal Representation (with Andrew Russell)

Vittorio Gerosa

Role: Teaching Associate

Admin: MANCEPT Workshops Organiser 2019, 2020, 2021


Research interests

Political and Democratic Theory, Deliberative Democracy, Deliberative Systems, Neo-Republicanism, Pragmatism


PhD Politics, University of Manchester; MA – Philosophy and Political Theory, University of Manchester; MA – Philosophical Methods, University of Genoa; BA – Philosphy, University of Genoa.


2017 – 2018 – Teaching Assistant, “Challenges to Democratic Politics”, University of Manchester, Second year undergraduate course.

2018 – 2019 – Teaching Assistant, “Challenges to Democratic Politics”, University of Manchester, Second year undergraduate course.

2019 – 2020 – Teaching Assistant, “Ideals of Social Justice”, University of Manchester, Second year undergraduate course.

2021 – Teaching Assistant, “Introduction to Political Theory”, University of Manchester, First year undergraduate course.

2021-2022 – Teaching Associate – Political Theory

Stephen Hood

Role: Lecturer in Political Theory


Tel: 0161 3066929

Office:  2.029 Arthur Lewis Building

Research Interests

The main theme of my research is an evaluation of key socio-economic institutions, informed by liberal theories of distributive justice. In particular, I am interested in the role played by markets in the coordination of productive activity. I therefore focus closely upon questions relating to the appropriate scope and functioning of market institutions, and to potential conflicts between commercial behaviour or attitudes and that necessary to ensure the stability of a just society. Beyond this, I also have interests in democratic theory and the debate over ideal and nonideal theory.

Karolina Jedrzejczak

I am a PhD student at the University of Manchester. My research interests revolve around broadly understood democratic theory – in particular, challenges faced by modern liberal democracies. Currently, I am working on a reconceptualisation of liberal democracy which will be better equipped to encompass debates on the democratic crisis. 

I have also been a Teaching Assistant on the first-year course POLI10702 Introduction to Political Theory. 

Tim Kenyon


I have a long-standing association with Mancept. Previously I taught at the universities of Warwick, Liverpool, Manchester and York. I have also held research fellowships at Warwick, Liverpool and Manchester. For a considerable period of my career I worked across a number of areas of ‘government’ in the field of ‘public policy’, including within the Whitehall/Westminster sphere.


The major focus of my attention is to progress a book on labour’s entitlement to the product as a dimension of social justice with particular reference to ‘Ricardian Socialism’ / ‘left-libertarianism’ . This examines the manner in which 3 major traditions of thought (natural rights, political economy/utilitarianism and communitarianism) found expression in the efforts of the respective ‘Ricardian Socialists’ (Bray, Gray, Hodgskin, Thompson) to identify principles of distributive justice at a time of radical change in the processes of production and of population increase and dislocation. The project focus in particular upon the challenge represented by inter-generational factors and seeks to evaluate the extent to which the thinkers in question not only worked within evolving traditions but also anticipated unresolved issues that remain pertinent to this day. Several ‘themes’ pervade the project, most notably: (i) the inter-relationship between political economy and ethics, (ii) the extent to which respective Ricardian Socialist writers anticipated ‘left-libertarianism’ and (iii) the extent to which their diverse responses to a shared understanding of the predicament of labour says something about liberal pluralism. The methodology combines analytical and contextual approaches.

An attendant exercise is the attempt to write something , that might well be aimed at a more popular audience, dealing with inter-generational entitlements and access to markets (including the labour market).

Related but more tenuously is a long-standing interest in William Paley – an engagement motivated in part by the opportunity to access Paley’s private library.


I am the author of Utopian Communism and Political Thought in Early Modern England and am the editor of The Ricardian Socialists: Collected Works (inc. an extended introduction). Besides having articles published in a number of journals (History of Political Thought, Teaching Politics, Political Studies, Journal of the History of Philosophy, History of European Ideas, Politics, Government and Opposition, Contemporary Political Studies) I have contributed to numerous edited collections.

Davide Pala

Role: Doctoral Researcher and Teaching Assistant


I am a PhD candidate at the Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT), University of Manchester. In my research, I try to develop a republican approach to human rights. In particular, my research focuses on the foundation of human rights from a republican perspective, on the precise content of such human rights, and on the institutions required to realise them.  

Supervisors: Miriam Ronzoni & Christian Schemmel


James Pattison

James Pattison is a Professor of Politics at the University of Manchester. His work focuses on ethical issues in international politics, with research expertise on humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect (R2P), Just War Theory, private security, and the alternatives to war (e.g. sanctions). He has written three books (all with Oxford University Press) and published in journals such as British Journal of Political Science, Ethics & International Affairs, European Journal of International Relations, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Political Philosophy, and Review of International Studies. He is currently working on two projects: (1) the ethics of prioritising global responsibilities and (2) international ethics in a post-liberal order.  He also co-edits a book series on War, Conflict, and Ethics for Routledge.


Matthew Perry

Role: Doctoral Researcher, Teaching Assistant and Widening Participation Fellow

Research Interests: I am particularly interested in questions of moral status, equality and basic rights, with an emphasise on the rights of animals. My thesis investigates the notion of Dignity as a grounding for basic/”human” rights. I argue that Dignity should not be restricted to humans and develop an account of Dignity which can apply to nonhuman animals. I also have interest in: applied political theory, ideal and real world political theory, social and legal policy, environmental justice, animal ethics, social justice, feminism, racism, anarchism, meta-ethics, human rights and theories of knowledge.

Teaching: I have taught on three political theory modules: Introduction to Political Theory (1st Year), Ideals of Social Justice (2nd Year) and Challenges for Democratic Politics (2nd Year). I have also conducted several workshops aimed at students from underrepresented backgrounds as a part of my Widening Participation Fellow role.



Dennis Pirdzuns

Role: PhD candidate & Teaching Assistant

Studies: I have received my MA in Philosophy and Political Theory from the University of Manchester, and my BA in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Wuppertal.

Research: For my PhD, I look into possible connections between sufficiency-focussed theories of justice and suffering-focussed theories of ethics. Both approaches, I believe, can illuminate the political problem of poverty, and support the notion of a special moral urgency to aid those affected by deprivation. More generally, I am interested in normative ethics (esp. consequentialist theories), distributive justice (esp. axiological & teleological approaches), value theory (esp. welfarist theories), as well as 19th century moral and political thought (esp. J.S. Mill).

Supervisors: Liam Shields & Juri Viehoff

Teaching: As Teaching Assistant, I have taught the following undergraduate tutorials:

  • “Ideals of Social Justice” (2nd year course) at the University of Manchester in 2021/2022; and
  • “Introduction into Political Science” (1st year course) at the University of Wuppertal in 2018/2019, 2017/2018, 2014/2015, and 2012/2013

I have also conducted the following workshop formats:

  • “Sustainability in Higher Education” aimed at university students, working for “netzwerk n”; and
  • “Understanding the EU” aimed at high school students, working for the “Schwarzkopf Foundation Young Europe”


Costanza Porro
I am a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at MANCEPT. Before joining the University of Manchester, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Hamburg. I obtained my PhD from the Dickson Poon School of Law of King’s College London. My research interests are at the intersection between moral, legal, political and feminist philosophy with a focus on moral and relational equality, the philosophy of vulnerability, the ethics and politics of care and the philosophy of criminal punishment. My current project explores how the fact of our need to receive and provide care shapes the way in which we should conceive an egalitarian society.
For further details see my website.
Molly Powell

Role: PhD Researcher

My research focuses on digital privacy rights, technological solutions and state obligations. I consider both conceptual and normative aspects of privacy theory, as well as how these translate into more practical questions of policy. I also consider both how novel technologies shape our shifting understandings of privacy, often causing new types of problems, and potentially also form the basis of solutions.

Supervisors: Miriam Ronzoni and Richard Child

Miriam Ronzoni

Role: Reader in Political Theory


Location: Arthur Lewis Building
School of Social Sciences
The University of Manchester
M13 9PL

Clara Sandelind


Research Interests

My main research focus is the politics of migration, asylum and nationalism. I’m also interested in methodological questions in political theory, approaches to justice/injustice, feminism, as well as the history and theories of liberalism.


Christian Schemmel

Role: Lecturer in Political Theory

Tel.: 0161 2754771

Office: 4.005 Arthur Lewis Building

Personal website


University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL

Research interests

  • Contemporary political theory, with a particular focus on the following areas:
  • Theories of social/distributive justice and equality and their institutional implications
  • Liberalism and republicanism
  • Global justice
  • Political theory of the welfare state
  • Self-respect and other self-evaluative attitudes

I am a founding member, and currently Chair, of the Global Justice Network.

Liam Shields

Role: Senior Lecturer in Political Theory


Personal Website:


I am a Senior Lecturer in Political Theory working at the University of Manchester. I have research and teaching interests across contemporary political theory, and especially in the areas of distributive justice, equality of opportunity and education, and the distribution of parental rights. In my research and teaching I use the methods of analytic political theory to shed light on important and pressing practical debates about real world problems. For more information about my research and working papers see my personal website.


I have taught on a wide range of courses at undergraduate and graduate level. The courses for which I am primarily responsible are:

  • Arguing about Politics (2nd year UG)Children, the Family and Social Justice (3rd Year UG)Political Theory Research Training (MA)The Ethics of Killing (MA)REPORT THIS AD

You can download the teaching and study materials I have created.


I would be pleased to provide doctoral supervision on justice and the family/children, sufficientarianism and its rivals, and more generally on distributive justice. Prospective doctoral students are welcome to contact me via email.

Hillel Steiner

Role: Emeritus Professor


Location: Arthur Lewis Building School of Social Sciences The University of Manchester Manchester M13 9PL

Hillel Steiner is Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Manchester and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1999. A Canadian, he originally came to Britain to do his PhD here and has been on the faculty at Manchester ever since.The main focus of Hillel’s teaching and publications is contemporary philosophical work on freedom, rights and social justice. His major work is An Essay on Rights which won the Political Studies Association’s best book prize for 1994 and which advances a theory of distributive justice that has come to be known as left-libertarianism.He has held awards from the Economic and Social Research Council, the British Academy, the Nuffield Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust, and has delivered numerous lectures on his research at universities and conferences in Britain and abroad.His organisational memberships include ones in the American Philosophical Association, Aristotelian Society, Association for Legal and Social Philosophy, European Society for the History of Economic Thought, Political Studies Association, Society for Applied Philosophy, and the September Group.

Juri Viehoff

Research interests

  • Contemporary political theory, with a particular focus on the following areas:
  • Theories of social/distributive justice and equality and their institutional implications
  • Solidarity in Social and Political Philosophy
  • Political Morality of the European Union
  • Moral Theory and Risk Imposition
  • Trust in Institutions and Technologies
Riki Yamochi

Role: Doctoral Researcher

My research focuses on how just war theory is influenced by the analogy between states and persons. I aim to propose that the domestic analogy provides a theoretical basis for a certain collective to obtain a moral status that entails the right to wage war. I hold a Master’s degree from Kyoto University (Japan).

Supervisors: James Pattison and Stephen De Wijze


Past Members

  • Billy Christmas, King’s College London
  • Stephanie Collins, Monash University
  • Giacomo Floris, LUISS Guido Carli
  • Ruxandra Ivanescu, King’s College London
  • Nicola Mulkeen, Newcastle University
  • Joseph T F Roberts, The University of Birmingham
  • Sara Van Goozen, The University of York