- Political philosophy
- Jurisprudence and legal theory
- Moral philosophy
- Normative ethics
- Public international law
- Human rights law
- Private law (including tort, contract, and property)
My more theoretical scholarship encompasses legal and political philosophy, broadly construed. Doctrinally, my main areas of interest are the more ‘constitutional’ elements of public international law, including the law of statehood, the sources of international law, and the principle of sovereign equality.
At present, I have three ongoing strands of research:
‘Statehood as Political Community’
My primary research strand concerns the concept of statehood as it exists within public international law. I ask how we should understand the state, both from without and from within, using a combination of doctrinal analysis and philosophical investigation. My forthcoming monograph, Statehood as Political Community: International Law and the Emergence of New States (Cambridge University Press), examines the law that governs state creation from this unique interdisciplinary perspective. Further elements of this work have been funded by the Modern Law Review Covid-19 Response Fellowship and a Hong Kong Research Grants Council Early Career Scheme award.
Indigenous Justice and Legal Pluralism
Complementing my first strand of research is an interest in Indigenous peoples that have been denied recognition as independent states. In particular, I ask what the legal orders of settler-states owe to the Indigenous legal orders that exist within and alongside them. My forthcoming book, co-authored with Dr Jennifer Hendry from the University of Leeds, examines this and other issues under the title Legal Pluralism: New Trajectories in Law (Routledge Glasshouse).
The Rule of Law and Communities of Principle
Further upstream from both of these projects lies a more abstract fascination with the nature of political community as such. In particular, I am interested in the connections between the existence of distinct political communities and the moral value of the rule of law.