At Edinburgh University I am Professor of Environmental Political Theory, founding Director of the Just World Institute and the Ethics Forum, Convenor of the Fair Trade Academic Network, and Programme Director of the MSc International Political Theory.
Beyond Edinburgh I administer the Political Theory Email List, including its facebook page; serve as treasurer for the Global Justice and Human Rights Specialist Group of the UK’s Political Studies Association; and am a founding member of the Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought.
My academic field is social and political philosophy, with a particular interest in taking an ecological perspective on its core questions, especially in relation to global justice. I also look closely at questions of rights, both conceptual and practical. A current research theme is the idea of fairness, as a concept and as a ‘touchstone’ of social and political thought in a variety of applied areas including autism, bullying policy, education, and trade.
An interest that links my academic research to both my politics and personal life is learning from Cuba – a country of amazing people who have been through so much and give the world so much, both in practical terms and in terms of ideas of how to live with vibrant sustainability. My ambitions here are modest – and I am always mindful of the retired professor in Havana who told me that in his seventy years he didn’t feel he’d really got to understand the country – but that doesn’t mean we cannot learn a few useful things.