I am interested in the relationship between normative theory – particularly political philosophy – and practice/policy related disciplines, such as international development and public policy. My current research proceeds from the claim that each can contribute to the other. Rigorous normative theory can help to usefully clarify and critique the language, values, and goals of a field of practice or policy. Meanwhile, knowledge and insight regarding the real-world mechanisms that produce inequality, injustice, poverty, and so on can help to build more insightful normative and philosophical accounts of values such as equality and justice.
A particular longer-term focus is on the development (building on the on-going work of many others) of a critical relational egalitarian account of social justice, and related questions of social ontology. More practically I am interested in social policy and in institutional experiments in democratisation, as well as the country-specific case of Brazil stemming from my fieldwork relating to young participatory-democratic mechanisms in Brazil's social assistance sector.
I currently work for the Effective States and Inclusive Development research institute at Manchester. Among other tasks, I am carrying out a critical meta-review of ESID’s research findings regarding the drivers of and barriers to the advancement of social justice and inclusive development in developing countries. I organised a workshop held at Manchester in November 2018, ‘Rethinking social justice and the public realm: what can relational approaches offer?’, from which a journal special issue on this theme is being developed.
I am currently lecturing on the Politics, Governance and Development Policy pathway in the Development Fieldwork module. In the past I have been course tutor on the GDI masters modules 'Development as Historical Change' and 'Global Inequalities and Social Development', and the undergraduate module ‘International Development: Principles, Policies, and Practice’.
I was recently Editorial Assistant for the forthcoming Oxford University Press Oxford Handbook of the Brazilian Economy.