Book projects

global-ethics-intro-coverGlobal Ethics: An Introduction
By Heather Widdows

Global ethics addresses some of the most pressing ethical concerns today, including rogue states, torture, scarce resources, poverty, migration, consumption, global trade, medical tourism, and humanitarian intervention. It is both topical and important. How we resolve (or fail to resolve) the dilemmas of global ethics shapes how we understand ourselves, our relationships with each other and the social and political frameworks of governance now and into the future. This is seen most clearly in the case of climate change, where our actions now determine the environment our grandchildren will inherit, but it is also the case in other areas as our decisions about what it is permissible for humans beings to do to each other determines the type of beings we are. This book, suitable for course use, introduces students to the theory and practice of global ethics, ranging over issues in global governance and citizenship, poverty and development, war and terrorism, bioethics, environmental and climate ethics and gender justice.

handbook-global-ethics-coverThe Routledge Handbook of Global Ethics
Edited by Darrel Moellendorf and Heather Widdows

Global ethics focuses on the most pressing contemporary ethical issues - poverty, global trade, terrorism, torture, pollution, climate change and the management of scarce recourses. It draws on moral and political philosophy, political and social science, empirical research, and real-world policy and activism. The Routledge Handbook of Global Ethics is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems and debates in this exciting subject, presenting an authoritative overview of the most significant issues and ideas in global ethics. The 31 chapters by a team of international contributors are structured into six key parts:

  • normative theory
  • conflict and violence
  • poverty and development
  • economic justice
  • bioethics and health justice
  • environment and climate ethics.

Covering the theoretical and practical aspects of global ethics as well as policy, The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Global Ethics provides a benchmark for the study of global ethics to date, as well as outlining future developments. It will prove an invaluable reference for policy-makers, and is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy, international relations, political science, environmental and development studies and human rights law. 

global-social-justice-coverGlobal Social Justice
Edited by Heather Widdows and Nicola J. Smith

Global Social Justice provides a distinctive contribution to the growing debate about global justice and global ethics. It brings a multidisciplinary voice - which spans philosophical, political and social disciplines - and emphasises the social element of global justice in both theory and practice. Bringing together a number of internationally renowned scholars, the book explicitly addresses debates about the scope and hierarchies of justice and considers how different approaches and conceptions of justice interrelate. It explores a diversity of themes relating to global social justice including globalization, human rights, ecological justice, gender and sexuality, migration and trafficking, global health challenges, post-conflict resolution and torture.


connected-self-coverThe Connected Self: The Ethics and Governance of the Genetic Individual
by Professor Widdows 

This book is about how to balance individual and communal models of ethics and argues that: Currently, the ethics infrastructure – from medical and scientific training to the scrutiny of ethics committees – focuses on trying to reform informed consent to do a job which it is simply not capable of doing. Consent, or choice, is not an effective ethical tool in public ethics and is particularly problematic in the governance of genetics. Heather Widdows suggests using alternative and additional ethical tools, and argues that if individuals are to flourish it is necessary to recognise and respect communal and public goods as well as individual goods. To do this she suggests a two-step process – the ‘ethical toolbox’. First the harms and goods of the particular situation are assessed and then appropriate practices are put in place to protect goods and prevent harms. This debate speaks to core concerns of contemporary public ethics and suggests a means to identify and prioritise public and common goods.

philosophy-happiness-coverPhilosophy and Happiness
Edited by Dr Lisa Bortolotti

Philosophy and Happiness addresses the need to situate any meaningful discourse about happiness in a wider context of human interests, capacities and circumstances. How is happiness manifested and expressed? Can there be any happiness if no worthy life projects are pursued? How is happiness affected by relationships, illness, or cultural variants? Can it be reduced to preference satisfaction? Is it a temporary feeling or a persistent way of being? Is reflection conducive to happiness? Is mortality necessary for it? These are the questions people ask themselves when they stop and think about how they feel, how their lives are going, and how they would be going if different choices had been made or different values had been prioritized. These are the questions that contributors to this volume begin to answer, adopting different methodologies, among which the analysis of widespread intuitions about imaginary and real-life scenarios, and reflection on the interpretation of the relevant empirical evidence emerging from psychology and economics.

Women and ViolenceWomen and Violence: The Agency of Victims and Perpetrators 
Edited by Herjeet Marway and Heather Widdows

This book explores violence both ‘done to’ and ‘done by’ women through the philosophical (and cognate discipline) lens. The volume addresses questions about how women are presented as lacking agency when it comes to violence – they are either powerless victims of male aggression (as in domestic and sexual violence), or they are manipulated or forced into becoming perpetrators of violence (as in pedophilia and terrorism), for instance – and it investigates ways in which agency can be better accounted for. The collection builds on a workshop held at the University of Birmingham in June 2011.

The Ethics of Humanitarian Intervention: An Introduction (under contract with Routledge)
By Jonathan Parry

This book will provide an accessible yet rigorous introduction to the morality of humanitarian intervention. This is an extremely timely and important topic, which moral philosophers have made important contributions to over the past decade. However, this work is often somewhat technical and scattered throughout research papers and monographs on a range of topics. The proposed book will provide the first systematic guide to this philosophical terrain, thereby bringing these exciting ideas and arguments to a wider, non-specialist audience. 

Intervention and ProtestIntervention or Protest: Acting for Human Animal 
Edited by Gabriel Garmendia da Trindade and Andrew Woodhall

Within current political, social, and ethical debates – both in academia and society – activism and how individuals should approach issues facing nonhuman animals, have become increasingly important, ‘hot’ issues. Individuals, groups, advocacy agencies, and governments have all espoused competing ideas for how we should approach nonhuman use and exploitation. Ought we proceed through liberation? Abolition? Segregation? Integration? As nonhuman liberation, welfare, and rights’ groups increasingly interconnect and identify with other ‘social justice movements’, resolutions to these questions have become increasingly entangled with questions of what justice and our ethical commitments demand on this issue, and the topic has become increasingly significant and divisive. The book considers how this question, and contemporary issues facing non-humans (such as experimentation, hunting, and factory farming) should be answered by drawing on both theory and practice in order to provide grounded, yet actionable, ways forward.


Delusions and other irrational beliefsDelusions and Other Irrational Beliefs 
Lisa Bortolotti

Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs is a contribution to the debate about the nature of delusions and to the literature on the conditions for belief ascription. 

Of the numerous challenges to the view that delusions are beliefs, many are due to the conviction that there needs to be a background of rationality in the behaviour of the people to whom we ascribe beliefs. The view is that delusions cannot be beliefs because: (a) they are badly integrated with the subject’s other intentional states; (b) they are not supported by and responsive to the evidence available to the subject; (c) they are not endorsed with good reasons or consistently acted upon. In the book, Lisa Bortolotti attempts to show that the arguments against the doxastic conception of delusions are misleading when they are based on an idealised notion of belief, and she presents many examples of irrationality in paradigmatic cases of belief. As a result, Bortolotti maintains that we should give up (once and for all) the assumption that belief ascription is hostage to the satisfaction of norms of rationality. By bringing together recent work in philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology and psychiatry, the book offers a comprehensive review of the philosophical issues raised by the psychology of normal and abnormal cognition, defends the doxastic conception of delusions, and develops a theory about the role of judgements of rationality and of attributions of self-knowledge in belief ascription.
This book was awarded the American Philosophical Association Book Prize 2011. The book was also included in the Current World Literature published by Current Opinion in Psychiatry in 2011, and rated as "of outstanding interest".

Lisa Bortolotti

In this book Lisa Bortolotti discusses different conceptions of irrationality and review contemporary debates in philosophy and psychology that involve those conceptions. Judgements of irrationality are made constantly and on many occasions they play an important role in our mutual interactions and social practices. This book is an attempt to understand what we take irrationality to be, what grounds our judgements of irrationality, and how irrationality affects human agency. Judgements of irrationality typically express disapproval towards behaviour deviating from a standard or violating a norm. But which standards and which norms? The book debunks some philosophical myths about human rationality, and aims to contribute to a more psychologically realistic, but not entirely pessimistic, account of human agency. 

Climate change and individual responsibilityClimate Change and Individual Responsibility 
Wouter Peeters, Andries De Smet, Lisa Diependaele, and Sigrid Sterckx

If climate change represents a severe threat to humankind, why then is response to it characterized by inaction at all levels? The authors argue there are two complementary explanations for the lack of motivation. First, our moral judgment system appears to be unable to identify climate change as an important moral problem and there are pervasive doubts about the agency of individuals. This explanation, however, is incomplete: Individual emitters can effectively be held morally responsible for their luxury emissions. Second, doubts about individual agency have become overly emphasized and fail to convincingly exonerate individuals from responsibility. This book extends the second explanation for the motivational gap, namely that the arguments for the lack of individual agency do in fact correspond to mechanisms of moral disengagement. The use of these mechanisms enables consumption elites to maintain their consumptive lifestyles without having to accept moral responsibility for their luxury emissions.

Abortion: three perspectivesAbortion: Three Perspectives
Michael Tooley, Philip E. Devine and Celia Wolf-Devine, Oxford University Press, 2009

he newest addition to the Point/Counterpoint Series, Abortion: Three Perspectives presents a debate between four noted philosophers who develop their ideas in-depth and respond to one another. Michael Tooley argues the "Liberal" pro-choice approach; Philip E. Devine and Celia Wolf-Devine argue the "Communitarian" pro-life approach; and Alison M. Jaggar argues the "gender justice" approach. As philosophers, the authors have special skills in critical analysis and thinking systematically about values. Because they do not rely on religious authority, their arguments address all citizens regardless of their religious beliefs.

Gender and Global JusticeGender and Global Justice 
Alison M Jagger

Issues of global justice have received increasing attention in academic philosophy in recent years but the gendered dimensions of these issues are often overlooked or treated as peripheral. This groundbreaking collection by Alison Jaggar brings gender to the centre of philosophical debates about global justice.

The explorations presented here range far beyond the limited range of issues often thought to constitute feminists’ concerns about global justice, such as female seclusion, genital cutting, and sex trafficking. Instead, established and emerging scholars expose the gendered and racialized aspects of transnational divisions of paid and unpaid labor, class formation, taxation, migration, mental health, the so-called resource curse, and conceptualizations of violence, honor, and consent. Jaggar's introduction explains how these and other feminist investigations of the transnational order raise deep challenges to assumptions about justice that for centuries have underpinned Western political philosophy.

The Individual Deprivation MeasureThe Individual Deprivation Measure: A Gender-Sensitive Approach to Poverty Measurement 
Book length research report by Scott Wisor, Sharon Bessell, Fatima Castillo, Joanne Crawford, Kieran Donaghue, Janet Hunt, Alison Jaggar, Amy Liu, and Thomas Pogge

To develop a new, gender-sensitive measure of multidimensional poverty, we undertook participatory research in Angola, Fiji, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, and the Philippines. Local research teams worked withmen and women in poor communities to understand how they viewed poverty and related hardships, to what extent they saw these as gendered, and how they thought deprivation could best be measured.