Political Theory Group

Researching political theory and philosophy

The LSE is a leading centre for the study of political theory and philosophy, constituting one of the UK's largest concentrations of researchers in this area and related fields. The Political Theory Group in the Department of Government maintains close relations with political theorists and philosophers in other parts of the School, for example in the Departments of Law, Philosophy, and International Relations.

The Group is characterised by a vibrant research culture, centred around an active doctoral programme and a highly regarded external speaker series. We provide a research-led teaching programme at the MSc level, which attracts students from many different parts of the world.


The group runs a regular Political Philosophy Research Seminar and Doctoral Workshop: Political Theory.

GV503 Political Philosophy Research Seminar

The Political Theory Group invites domestic and international guest speakers to present and discuss papers. The seminar is attended by staff members, and PhD students from the Department of Government, but it also has regular participants from other departments and universities. Visitors are welcome.

Programme 2020/21

All seminars take place Thursday 16:00-17:30 via zoom (link will be provided via email to the seminar mailing list). 

Speakers will have the option to pre-circulate their papers; if you would like to receive a copy of the paper, please email Signy Gutnick Allen (s.gutnick-allen@lse.ac.uk) one week before the seminar. 

Michaelmas Term

1 October 2020
Hwa Young Kim (LSE): Responsible Moralism: What Political Principles Need to Guide Real Political Agents

15 October 2020
Leigh Jenco (LSE): Moral Knowledge and Empirical Verification in Late Ming China 

29 October 2020
Signy Gutnick-Allen (LSE): Hobbes on the Definition of a Legal Sphere: Clues from his Account of Crime and Punishment

19 November 2020
Luke Davies (LSE): Unilateral choice, property acquisition, and independence

3 December 2020 
Will Bosworth (LSE): Justice as Impartiality Across Species 

10 December 2020
Bruno Leipold (LSE): A German Res Publica: The Young Marx’s Republicanism, 1842-1843

Lent Term 

28 January 2021
Jennie Ikuta (University of Missouri): Contesting Conformity: Democracy and the Paradox of Political Belonging

11 February 2021
Alex Gourevitch (Brown University): Themselves Must Strike the Blow: The Socialist Argument for Strikes and Self-Emancipation
NOTE - This seminar will run 15:30-17:00

4 March 2021
Lucia Rubinelli (University of Cambridge): Plebiscites and Democracy

18 March 2021
Torrey Shanks (University Toronto): Improperty

Mailing List

To receive the latest information on our seminar and selected other political theory events please subscribe to our mailing list.

Email listserv@listserv.lse.ac.uk with this text in the body of your message (not the subject line):


for instance: SUBSCRIBE GOV-POTY-ANNOUNCE-L Edgar Example

And to unsubscribe:

Email listserv@listserv.lse.ac.uk from the email address you want to unsubscribe with this text in the body of your message (not the subject line):


Research areas

One of the Group's key assets is the breadth and diversity of interests and expertise, including:

  • Contemporary moral philosophy and political theory

  • History of political thought

  • Comparative political theory

  • Philosophy of social science

  • Rational and social choice theory