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Methods of Normative Political Theory

Standing Group

Established 2022 - Number of members: 226

Steering Committee Chair

  • Jonathan Floyd (University of Bristol)

Steering Committee

  • Keith Dowding (Australian National University)
  • Eva Erman (Stockholm University)
  • Sune Lægaard (University of Roskilde)
  • Lisa Herzog (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)
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Our group focuses on the way arguments can and should work in political philosophy. Within this area, we are interested in the full range of methods, approaches, tools, and techniques deployed by political philosophers/theorists, as well as the questions these raise regarding our relationships with other cognate disciplines, including history, economics, political science, sociology, and moral psychology. Methodological topics in this area are of growing interest within our subject, as shown by the increasing numbers of panels and papers our group has hosted since 2015, including on, inter alia, 'ideal/nonideal' theory, 'moralism/realism', 'political political' theory, 'comparative/transcendental' theory, the use of thought experiments, the connection between historical and normative work in political theory, the uses we might make of social scientific data, the different 'audiences' political philosophy targets, and the fundamental relationship between facts and principles.


(1) Organising ‘sections’ of panels on related methodological themes at each year’s General Conference; (2) Proposing and organising workshops at the ECPR Joint Sessions; (3) organising regular contributions to the Methods School; (4) arranging an annual prize for the best new work in methodology within political theory/philosophy.