The Faculty

The Centre for the Study of Governance and Society brings together faculty from within the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London and leading universities around the world to advance crucial debates on governance.

Our Team

Mark Pennington

Mark Pennington is Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy in the Department of Political Economy, Head of the Department …

Mark Pennington is Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy in the Department of Political Economy, Head of the Department and Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance and Society.

Mark works at the intersection of philosophy, politics and economics and is particularly interested in the application of non-ideal theorising in both political and economic theory, as exemplified in his development of the ‘robust political economy’ paradigm.

Mark is currently working on major research project ‘The Ideal of Self Governance’, funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Inspired by the research agenda of Vincent and Elinor Ostrom, this project applies the robust political economy perspective to examine both the positive and normative case for governance arrangements that lie ‘beyond markets and states’.

Mark Pennington

Mark Pennington is Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy in the Department of Political Economy, Head of the Department and Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance and Society.

Mark works at the intersection of philosophy, politics and economics and is particularly interested in the application of non-ideal theorising in both political and economic theory, as exemplified in his development of the ‘robust political economy’ paradigm.

Mark is currently working on major research project ‘The Ideal of Self Governance’, funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Inspired by the research agenda of Vincent and Elinor Ostrom, this project applies the robust political economy perspective to examine both the positive and normative case for governance arrangements that lie ‘beyond markets and states’.

Samuel DeCanio

Samuel DeCanio is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London and Associate Director of the …

Samuel DeCanio is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London and Associate Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance and Society.

Dr. DeCanio studies general theoretical questions about how knowledge interacts with social institutions, and specific historical questions about the creation of modern states. His research examines these questions in the context of American politics, American political development, democratic theory, representation, state theory, and public opinion. Dr. DeCanio’s book, Democracy and the Origins of the American Regulatory State (Yale University Press, 2015), has been reviewed in the American Historical Review, Journal of American History, Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, and the Washington Post. His book examines how high levels of voter ignorance prevent modern electorates from controlling the actions of democratic governments. He applies this argument to examine how political elites created the American regulatory state in the late 19th century.

His current research compares how knowledge interacts with markets and firms, democratic politics and political parties, and international relations among states. Prior to arriving at King’s he was an Assistant Professor in the political science department at Yale University.

Samuel DeCanio

Samuel DeCanio is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London and Associate Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance and Society.

Dr. DeCanio studies general theoretical questions about how knowledge interacts with social institutions, and specific historical questions about the creation of modern states. His research examines these questions in the context of American politics, American political development, democratic theory, representation, state theory, and public opinion. Dr. DeCanio’s book, Democracy and the Origins of the American Regulatory State (Yale University Press, 2015), has been reviewed in the American Historical Review, Journal of American History, Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, and the Washington Post. His book examines how high levels of voter ignorance prevent modern electorates from controlling the actions of democratic governments. He applies this argument to examine how political elites created the American regulatory state in the late 19th century.

His current research compares how knowledge interacts with markets and firms, democratic politics and political parties, and international relations among states. Prior to arriving at King’s he was an Assistant Professor in the political science department at Yale University.

Irena Schneider

Irena Schneider earned her PhD in political economy from King’s College London in the fall of 2017. Her dissertation research …

Irena Schneider earned her PhD in political economy from King’s College London in the fall of 2017. Her dissertation research has focused on cross national survey methodology, the dynamics of political trust in authoritarian regimes, and the political economy of corruption.

Most recently, she has begun a manuscript on the history of causal claims across the social sciences, alongside a philosophy project exploring our understanding of science as a polycentric order. Specifically, how does decentralized governance help scientists approach objectivity? What does the governance of science teach us about liberal democracy?

To advance this latter research program, she is particularly interested in the works of Vincent Ostrom, Michael Polanyi and Helen Longino.

She is the Assistant Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance and Society.

Irena Schneider

Irena Schneider earned her PhD in political economy from King’s College London in the fall of 2017. Her dissertation research has focused on cross national survey methodology, the dynamics of political trust in authoritarian regimes, and the political economy of corruption.

Most recently, she has begun a manuscript on the history of causal claims across the social sciences, alongside a philosophy project exploring our understanding of science as a polycentric order. Specifically, how does decentralized governance help scientists approach objectivity? What does the governance of science teach us about liberal democracy?

To advance this latter research program, she is particularly interested in the works of Vincent Ostrom, Michael Polanyi and Helen Longino.

She is the Assistant Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance and Society.

Scott James

Dr Scott James studied for a BA (Hons) in Politics at the University of Liverpool between 1998 and 2002. He …

Dr Scott James studied for a BA (Hons) in Politics at the University of Liverpool between 1998 and 2002. He was awarded an ESRC Research Studentship to undertake an MA in European Politics (Research) and doctoral research on the ‘Europeanisation of National Policy Making’ at the University of Manchester from 2004 to 2008. He joined King’s College London as Lecturer in European Public Policy in September 2008, and in 2014 was made a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy and Deputy Head of Department. During 2017, Dr James was a Visiting Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

Dr James was the Principal Investigator for the ESRC Project: ‘Voices in the City: Understanding the Role of the City of London as a Multi-Level Policy Actor and the Impact of the Financial Crisis’.

From 2016, he is a co-investigator on the UK research team for the nine-country Horizon 2020 project ‘ EMU Choices: The Choice for Europe since Maastricht’.

ESRC UK in a Changing Europe Initiative: http://ukandeu.ac.uk/

Scott James

Dr Scott James studied for a BA (Hons) in Politics at the University of Liverpool between 1998 and 2002. He was awarded an ESRC Research Studentship to undertake an MA in European Politics (Research) and doctoral research on the ‘Europeanisation of National Policy Making’ at the University of Manchester from 2004 to 2008. He joined King’s College London as Lecturer in European Public Policy in September 2008, and in 2014 was made a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy and Deputy Head of Department. During 2017, Dr James was a Visiting Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

Dr James was the Principal Investigator for the ESRC Project: ‘Voices in the City: Understanding the Role of the City of London as a Multi-Level Policy Actor and the Impact of the Financial Crisis’.

From 2016, he is a co-investigator on the UK research team for the nine-country Horizon 2020 project ‘ EMU Choices: The Choice for Europe since Maastricht’.

ESRC UK in a Changing Europe Initiative: http://ukandeu.ac.uk/

Vera Kichanova

Vera Kichanova is an urbanist and journalist from Russia currently seeking her PhD degree in Public Policy at King’s College …

Vera Kichanova is an urbanist and journalist from Russia currently seeking her PhD degree in Public Policy at King’s College London. In parallel, she works as an urban policy researcher at Zaha Hadid Architects. Previously, she worked as Editor-in-Chief at Kiev-based Reed.media, an educational online media outlet focusing on post-Soviet countries.

In 2012, she was elected to the Municipal Council in Moscow as an independent non-partisan candidate. Apart from leading Russian media outlets, her comments were published by The New York Times, Forbes, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and Spiegel. Vera is a regular panelist at international conferences and the 2013 Democracy Award winner (by the US National Endowment for Democracy).

Vera holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Oxford and an Applied Master’s degree with honours in Journalism from Moscow State University. The goal of her PhD dissertation is to find out whether grassroots cooperation can replace the top-down approach in urban development.

Vera Kichanova

Vera Kichanova is an urbanist and journalist from Russia currently seeking her PhD degree in Public Policy at King’s College London. In parallel, she works as an urban policy researcher at Zaha Hadid Architects. Previously, she worked as Editor-in-Chief at Kiev-based Reed.media, an educational online media outlet focusing on post-Soviet countries.

In 2012, she was elected to the Municipal Council in Moscow as an independent non-partisan candidate. Apart from leading Russian media outlets, her comments were published by The New York Times, Forbes, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and Spiegel. Vera is a regular panelist at international conferences and the 2013 Democracy Award winner (by the US National Endowment for Democracy).

Vera holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Oxford and an Applied Master’s degree with honours in Journalism from Moscow State University. The goal of her PhD dissertation is to find out whether grassroots cooperation can replace the top-down approach in urban development.

Matias Petersen

Matias’s research interests include moral and political philosophy, the philosophy of social science and the history of social thought. He …

Matias’s research interests include moral and political philosophy, the philosophy of social science and the history of social thought.

He is currently working on a broadly neo-Aristotelian account of political and economic institutions. In the past, he has worked on theories of justice (Sen and Rawls), the philosophy of poverty alleviation, the relationship between market institutions and moral character, and debates about causality in the social sciences.

Matias has a BA in Social Sciences from Adolfo Ibañez University (Chile), an MA in Philosophy from Los Andes University (Chile), and an MA in Political Economy from King’s College London (with distinction). Before beginning his doctoral research, he worked at Los Andes University.

Matias Petersen

Matias’s research interests include moral and political philosophy, the philosophy of social science and the history of social thought.

He is currently working on a broadly neo-Aristotelian account of political and economic institutions. In the past, he has worked on theories of justice (Sen and Rawls), the philosophy of poverty alleviation, the relationship between market institutions and moral character, and debates about causality in the social sciences.

Matias has a BA in Social Sciences from Adolfo Ibañez University (Chile), an MA in Philosophy from Los Andes University (Chile), and an MA in Political Economy from King’s College London (with distinction). Before beginning his doctoral research, he worked at Los Andes University.

Carmen Pavel

Carmen Pavel is a Lecturer in International Politics in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London, and has …

Carmen Pavel is a Lecturer in International Politics in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London, and has previously held positions at the University of Virginia and University of Arizona. Her interests include liberal theory and contemporary challenges to it, ethics and public policy, environmental ethics, international justice and the authority of international law. Carmen has published her first book Divided Sovereignty: International Institutions and the Limits of State Authority with Oxford University Press in 2015 and is the editor of the volume The Oxford Handbook of Freedom (with David Schmidtz) published in 2018. Her articles have appeared in Political StudiesLaw and PhilosophyJournal of Global Ethics, and Social Theory and Practice. Carmen’s second book project, tentatively entitled Reasons for International Rules: Dynamic Coordination, State Consent, and Binding Law, examines under what conditions international law is compatible with the sovereignty claims of constitutional democracies.

Carmen Pavel

Carmen Pavel is a Lecturer in International Politics in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London, and has previously held positions at the University of Virginia and University of Arizona. Her interests include liberal theory and contemporary challenges to it, ethics and public policy, environmental ethics, international justice and the authority of international law. Carmen has published her first book Divided Sovereignty: International Institutions and the Limits of State Authority with Oxford University Press in 2015 and is the editor of the volume The Oxford Handbook of Freedom (with David Schmidtz) published in 2018. Her articles have appeared in Political StudiesLaw and PhilosophyJournal of Global Ethics, and Social Theory and Practice. Carmen’s second book project, tentatively entitled Reasons for International Rules: Dynamic Coordination, State Consent, and Binding Law, examines under what conditions international law is compatible with the sovereignty claims of constitutional democracies.

Anja Shortland

Anja Shortland is a Reader in Political Economy and has worked at the King’s Department of Political Economy since 2013. …

Anja Shortland is a Reader in Political Economy and has worked at the King’s Department of Political Economy since 2013. She studied Engineering at Oxford and has a PhD in International Relations from LSE. Anja works on the economics of crime and violence, usually with an interdisciplinary approach. Anja’s current research examines the governance of criminal markets. She is particularly interested in the governance of tricky and opaque transactions between legal entities and extra-legal groups such as protection contracts, the trade in hostages, maritime piracy, and stolen art. Her work contrasts the highly effective, polycentric governance architecture created by insurers to stabilize and order these markets with problematic government participation in the economic underworld- e.g. the ransoming of hostages from terrorist groups. Anja has consulted widely on Somali piracy, including for the World Bank. She is currently writing a book on Kidnap for Ransom for Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2018).

Anja Shortland

Anja Shortland is a Reader in Political Economy and has worked at the King’s Department of Political Economy since 2013. She studied Engineering at Oxford and has a PhD in International Relations from LSE. Anja works on the economics of crime and violence, usually with an interdisciplinary approach. Anja’s current research examines the governance of criminal markets. She is particularly interested in the governance of tricky and opaque transactions between legal entities and extra-legal groups such as protection contracts, the trade in hostages, maritime piracy, and stolen art. Her work contrasts the highly effective, polycentric governance architecture created by insurers to stabilize and order these markets with problematic government participation in the economic underworld- e.g. the ransoming of hostages from terrorist groups. Anja has consulted widely on Somali piracy, including for the World Bank. She is currently writing a book on Kidnap for Ransom for Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2018).

Robin Douglass

Robin Douglass joined the Department of Political Economy in 2012 and he is now Senior Lecturer in Political Theory. He …

Robin Douglass joined the Department of Political Economy in 2012 and he is now Senior Lecturer in Political Theory. He previously studied at the Universities of York and Exeter. His expertise is in the history of modern political thought and he is especially interested in assessing how interpretations of historical thinkers continue to influence and structure debates in contemporary political philosophy. He is the author of Rousseau and Hobbes: Nature, Free Will, and the Passions (Oxford University Press, 2015) and has published widely on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century political thought, as well as co-editing a forthcoming volume on Hobbes on Politics and Religion (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Robin’s most recent work examines Bernard Mandeville’s impact on eighteenth-century debates about sociability and commercial society, while future plans include a monograph on Mandeville’s political philosophy. Robin is a co-founder and current President of the European Hobbes Society, serves on the board of the Rousseau Association, and is co-editor of the European Journal of Political Theory.

Robin Douglass

Robin Douglass joined the Department of Political Economy in 2012 and he is now Senior Lecturer in Political Theory. He previously studied at the Universities of York and Exeter. His expertise is in the history of modern political thought and he is especially interested in assessing how interpretations of historical thinkers continue to influence and structure debates in contemporary political philosophy. He is the author of Rousseau and Hobbes: Nature, Free Will, and the Passions (Oxford University Press, 2015) and has published widely on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century political thought, as well as co-editing a forthcoming volume on Hobbes on Politics and Religion (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Robin’s most recent work examines Bernard Mandeville’s impact on eighteenth-century debates about sociability and commercial society, while future plans include a monograph on Mandeville’s political philosophy. Robin is a co-founder and current President of the European Hobbes Society, serves on the board of the Rousseau Association, and is co-editor of the European Journal of Political Theory.

Sarah Wilford

Sarah Wilford is a PhD student in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London, where Professor Jeremy Jennings …

Sarah Wilford is a PhD student in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London, where Professor Jeremy Jennings supervises her research. Her research aims to recover the political thought of Alexis de Tocqueville concerning family, women, and the preservations of democratic conditions. Other research interests include the relationship between religion and democracy in Tocqueville, the history of ‘the woman question’ during the nineteenth century, the political significance of North American travelogues, and the use of Tocqueville in later twentieth and twenty-first-century political theory.

Sarah holds an MA in the History of Political Thought and Intellectual History from Queen Mary, University of London and University College London (2013) and an MA (Hons) in Medieval History from the University of St Andrews (2012).

Sarah Wilford

Sarah Wilford is a PhD student in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London, where Professor Jeremy Jennings supervises her research. Her research aims to recover the political thought of Alexis de Tocqueville concerning family, women, and the preservations of democratic conditions. Other research interests include the relationship between religion and democracy in Tocqueville, the history of ‘the woman question’ during the nineteenth century, the political significance of North American travelogues, and the use of Tocqueville in later twentieth and twenty-first-century political theory.

Sarah holds an MA in the History of Political Thought and Intellectual History from Queen Mary, University of London and University College London (2013) and an MA (Hons) in Medieval History from the University of St Andrews (2012).

John Meadowcroft

John Meadowcroft is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. His research …

John Meadowcroft is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. His research focuses on the threats to free societies – societies in which individual liberty is protected and valued – in the light of the historical evidence that free societies are far less stable than is often assumed. He is presently pursuing this research via ethnographic research into UK far right organisations with his research collaborator Elizabeth Morrow. This involves attending demonstrations held by far right groups around the UK and interviewing participants.

In the past John’s research has focused more on theories of liberty and power, on the ethics and limits of markets, on the generation and destruction of social capital, and on evaluation of economic and political solutions to social problems, notably in healthcare. He is the author of The Ethics of the Market (Palgrave, 2005), co-author with Mark Pennington of Rescuing Social Capital from Social Democracy (Institute of Economic Affairs, 2007), and author of an intellectual biography of the founder of public choice theory, James M. Buchanan (Continuum, 2011/Bloomsbury, 2013).

Personal website: https://johnmeadowcroft.net

John Meadowcroft

John Meadowcroft is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. His research focuses on the threats to free societies – societies in which individual liberty is protected and valued – in the light of the historical evidence that free societies are far less stable than is often assumed. He is presently pursuing this research via ethnographic research into UK far right organisations with his research collaborator Elizabeth Morrow. This involves attending demonstrations held by far right groups around the UK and interviewing participants.

In the past John’s research has focused more on theories of liberty and power, on the ethics and limits of markets, on the generation and destruction of social capital, and on evaluation of economic and political solutions to social problems, notably in healthcare. He is the author of The Ethics of the Market (Palgrave, 2005), co-author with Mark Pennington of Rescuing Social Capital from Social Democracy (Institute of Economic Affairs, 2007), and author of an intellectual biography of the founder of public choice theory, James M. Buchanan (Continuum, 2011/Bloomsbury, 2013).

Personal website: https://johnmeadowcroft.net

Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis is Reader in Economics and Public Policy. He was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and Christ Church, Oxford. Prior …

Paul Lewis is Reader in Economics and Public Policy. He was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and Christ Church, Oxford. Prior to moving to King’s, he was a Newton Trust Lecturer in the Faculty of Economics and Politics, and the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Emmanuel and Selwyn Colleges. He is a retained supervisor in economics at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and a member of the Cambridge Social Ontology Group. He was a Visiting Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, and the Shackle Scholar at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, in the Easter Term 2013. He won the 2016 Society for the Development of Austrian Economics for the Best Essay in Austrian Economics, for his paper on “The Emergence of ‘Emergence’ in the Work of F.A. Hayek: An Historical Analysis”.

Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis is Reader in Economics and Public Policy. He was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and Christ Church, Oxford. Prior to moving to King’s, he was a Newton Trust Lecturer in the Faculty of Economics and Politics, and the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Emmanuel and Selwyn Colleges. He is a retained supervisor in economics at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and a member of the Cambridge Social Ontology Group. He was a Visiting Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, and the Shackle Scholar at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, in the Easter Term 2013. He won the 2016 Society for the Development of Austrian Economics for the Best Essay in Austrian Economics, for his paper on “The Emergence of ‘Emergence’ in the Work of F.A. Hayek: An Historical Analysis”.