My research targets topics in political theory. I detail below the current projects I am working on. A recurring idea in these projects is understanding the connection between politics and real-world politics. I have developed a methodology for non-ideal political theory, which aims to show how political theory guides political action. 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. Regarding world problems, 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.
Another series of papers I am working on focus on climate justice and ‘the development challenge’. My goal is to develop an approach to climate justice that allows to address what has been labelled in the debate ‘the development challenge’, according to which we could not simultaneously realise the goal of climate change mitigation and the goal of allowing poorer people to develop. This research project aims to find ways for global agents to fulfil their moral duties to mitigate climate change in a way that is fair. Distributing the agents’ share of the burden in emissions reduction is an important step in the architecture of climate agreements. A first generation of contributions to the climate justice debate overly focussed on the distribution of right to greenhouse gas emissions. I argue that an analysis of climate scientific constraints informs the moral debate in one important respect: using the right to emit as the ‘currency’ of climate justice research does not allow to overcome the development challenge. A first paper, published in the Journal of Global Ethics (2017), puts forward a normative framework to differentiate between the climate-related responsibilities of different countries in the aftermath of the Paris Agreement. It offers reasons for applying the chief moral principles of ‘historical responsibility’ and ‘capacity’ to climate finance instead of climate change mitigation targets. This will (i) provide a normative basis to realize the goal of climate change mitigation while allowing for developing and newly industrialized countries to develop economically, and (ii) offer an account of the distributive principles that can regulate climate finance. This is a real-world interpretation of the 1992 UNFCCC principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ that takes into account the progress accomplished at the COP21 in Paris and offers a solution to the still unsolved problem of differentiated responsibilities. This paper offers an application of this proposal to the Green Climate Fund.
A second paper, forthcoming in 2018 in The Routledge Handbook of Climate Justice, pursues this thought. Climate finance aims at reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, enhancing carbon sinks, and reducing vulnerability of populations and ecosystems to a changing climate. When signing the Paris Agreement in December 2015, advanced economies maintained their pledged to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 to address the pressing mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries. This sum should represent ‘new and additional’ funds to the total climate finance portfolio. Today, not only present financial commitments are far below the mark, but the existing redistributive mechanisms lack a structured method to replenish their resources. Climate finance needs moral theory, effective political practice and insights about how to connects the two. This paper presents climate finance as an instrument of climate justice and as a signal for effective climate action. As both an instrument and a signal, it aims at allowing countries to develop economically while reducing their GHG emissions. To do so, this paper offers an account of what principles of climate justice should regulate climate finance and what are some of the central practical implications of these principles, including: what agents should be involved in the distribution and what sources of finance should be counted.