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Political Theory

The Political Theory Cluster brings together a broad range of theoretical and philosophical approaches to the study of politics.


Political theory explores the foundational values of social life and their application to political questions. It provides analytical tools to investigate issues such as justice, gender, democracy and rights, and to reflect critically on actions, events, institutions, and policies. 

At Newcastle, the political theory cluster houses a variety of philosophical approaches to these endeavours. This includes specialisms in analytical political philosophy, critical theory, feminist theory, and democratic theory. 

Among our strengths is the application of political theory to public policy and politics. In this vein, our members work on issues ranging from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to trade policy and feminist commodity activism. For further details of our research, please visit our staff page. 

Cluster activities 

The cluster organises seminars and other research events throughout the academic year. In recent years, highlights have included workshops on the writings of Adam Smith and on issues of Labour Market Injustice, as well as the Association of Social and Political Philosophy Annual Conference 2019. Across these events, we have welcomed internationally renowned scholars, such as Annabelle Lever (SciencesPo), Victor Tadros (Warwick), Jo Wolff (Oxford), and Lea Ypi (LSE). 

The cluster provides a thriving environment for post-doctoral and PhD researchers and we welcome applications in most areas of political theory. Current projects explore everyday actions in combatting climate change, epistemological commitments in reading political thought, and concepts of human/non-human relations. Please visit the relevant webpages for more information on postgraduate funding opportunities and the application process for applying to study for a PhD.

For further information on any of the cluster’s activities, please contact the Political Theory Cluster Convenors, Johannes Kniess and Andrew Walton.