I began my Ph.D. at the School of Politics and International Relations in February 2018. My doctoral thesis was passed in October 2022, with my formal graduation to occur in July 2023. I also hold an undergraduate degree in International Relations with first-class honours, and a Bachelor of Laws with second-class honours.
My research agenda, broadly conceived, is concerned with various questions and themes under the broad umbrella of methods in political theory, politics, philosophy, and economics, and the history of political thought. In pursuing this research agenda, I employ an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on principles from the history of political thought, quantitative political science, cognitive psychology, and politics, philosophy, and economics.
My doctoral research examines the role that principles from the philosophy of language can have in our understanding of political concepts and the history of political thought. Specifically, my research involves drawing on recent principles from the philosophy of language, specifically semantic externalism (the idea that meaning is a product of factors external to a speaker) and Saul Kripke’s causal theory of reference, to provide the basis of an original model of conceptual change. I seek to show how semantic externalism and the causal theory (primarily concerned with proper names and natural kinds) can apply to political and social concepts, before drawing on a number of their core mechanisms as the basis for a model of conceptual change. This externalist model allows for a clearer understanding of how we diagnose and understand conceptual change.
Beyond my doctoral thesis, my research extends into questions and issues of methods in political theory more broadly. These include the use of intuitions by contemporary political theorists and the nature of democracy in light of social choice theory.
The last element of my research agenda involves pedagogy in political theory. Having been employed as a teaching assistant/tutor throughout my doctoral studies, I have sought to advance the ways that we teach political theory. In ‘Classroom Games to Teach Contemporary Political Theory’ I report on the use of two original games to teach principles of equality of opportunity and the right to just remuneration. These games form part of a broader catalog of active learning activities I draw on when teaching and speak to my interest in teaching.
My work has so far been published in The Journal of Politics, The Journal of Political Science Education, and Commonwealth and Comparative Politics.