Research

My research targets topics in ethics and political philosophy. I detail below the current projects I am working on. A recurring idea in these projects is understanding the connection between moral values and real-world politics. Part of my research focuses on the underlying mechanisms of this connection, while other aspects focus directly on the application of moral and political principles to the resolution of real-world problems. As far as world problems are concerned, my primary focusses are climate change and the market economy.

These projects will lead to one or more papers, or books. This page summarizes their content, what has already been published and how they are progressing. I begin with my book project, Justice in a Non-Ideal World, London: Rowman and Littlefield International, Forthcoming 2019.

 

    •  Do moral and social principles guide political action? How do principles of justice and principles of moral responsibility connect with real-world politics? My book – titled ‘Justice in a Non-Ideal World’ – explores the methodology and the content of a theory of justice that turns the spotlight to these questions. This unveils the defining elements of a theory of justice designed for a non-ideal world. This book casts light on the concepts that occupy the space between political theory and read-world politics, which are often used as reasons to obstruct the progression of justice, e.g. feasibility, fact-sensitivity, compliance and path-dependence. It argues for a re-appropriation of these concepts in the name of justice. Many examples will be provided, especially in the fields of social justice, taxation, and climate politics. The realisation of justice requires moral principles and political action. This book offers a roadmap for these two notions to connect. The central contributions of this book fall into three different levels: explaining how action-guiding principles are formulated by seeking cross-disciplinary input (mete-theoretical); offering a normative framework to address issues such as climate justice, tax evasion and tax avoidance, and carbon pricing (theoretical), and showing how the work in non-ideal theory helps bridging the gap between political theory and real-world politics (practical). This book proceeds from the analysis of crucial problems of justice as they arise in the arena of today’s politics and offers a way to summon moral principles in these contexts, in order for these principles to meaningfully guide action. It thereby suggests that there is a role for the political philosopher in bridging the gap between political theory and real-world politics. Besides my book, two papers on this topic have appeared in the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy and in Moral Philosophy and Politics.
    •  One of my central research projects targets the Ethics of Carbon Pricing. A first paper on this topic will appear soon in Ethics, Policy and Environment. Market-based approaches feature prominently around climate roundtables and will very likely become a central pillar of mitigation policies. The economic literature on market-based approaches to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions dates back to the 1970’s. Yet, the existing literature lacks materials that integrate the ethical and the distributive components of market- based instruments. This absence is salient, considering that the distribution of burdens in the emissions reduction effort between nations is among the key obstacles to effectively implementing an international agreement. Utilizing empirical studies on market-based instruments for climate change mitigation (MBIs) and theoretical literature on climate justice, this interdisciplinary project – bridging climate ethics and environmental economics – aims at providing normative tools for moving forward in the political decision-making process about carbon-pricing mechanisms. In order to do so, I explore four questions at the intersection of ethics and economics, with regard to (i) the justification of market-based policies and (ii) the distributive implications of these instruments. This will result on the normative framework with which we will assess the design of carbon-pricing instruments.