Global Ethics

Birmingham academics work on major issues in international ethics and global justice and train the next generation of students to tackle these issues.

The Centre for Global Ethics at Birmingham is an international hub of interdisciplinary research, impact and engagement. We work across global ethics with focus areas on justice and development, environment and health, gender justice and conflict and security. 

The Centre’s core team comprises Dr Gulzaar BarnProfessor Alison M. JaggarDr Herjeet Marway,  Dr Jonathan Parry,  Dr Wouter Peeters, Dr Angie PepperDr Merten ReglitzDr Jeremy Williams, and Professor Heather Widdows.

We consider the philosophical and ethical dimensions of many topics, including women’s rights, our bodies, work, health, climate justice, democracy and legitimacy, development, militarism and war, conflict and security. 

As well as teaching and disseminating the results of their research, the Centre’s philosophers have edited, contributed to and written books considering issues such as: how we should approach animal use and exploitation, violence both ‘done to’ and ‘done by’ women, climate change and individual responsibility, and the exploration of delusions/unusual beliefs that can significantly disrupt people's lives. They also provide comment and evidence for parliamentary and other enquiries, and support several groups and organisations.

We also run an annual conference, focusing on a single topic - this year’s was ‘A Post-Liberal World?’ - as well as a programme of lectures, talks and ‘Tea Seminars’ throughout the year featuring speakers from different institutions and organisations. Next year’s conference theme is ‘Bodies and Embodiment’ which will explore issues related to the ethics and governance of the body, for example - commodification, objectification, sexualisation, and marginalised and vulnerable bodies.

Current and recent projects: 

PERFECT: Pragmatic and epistemic role of factually erroneous cognitions and thoughts. A five-year project funded by the European Research Council, PERFECT aims to establish whether cognitions that are inaccurate in some important respect can ever be good for us from a pragmatic and an epistemic point of view. 

A duty to be beautiful? The work of Professor Heather Widdows on body image and the perception of the self is currently formed of two main strands: Perfect Me, her latest book, and the Beauty Demands Project and Network.

“There is an ethical dimension to nearly all issues and activities that we encounter at one time or another in our lives. The academics in the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics are dedicated to getting to the root of these issues in order to offer new perspectives, influence policy and behaviour, and contribute to further understanding and research.”

Dr Herjeet Marway

Dr Herjeet Marway

Lecturer in Philosophy, Co-Director of the Centre for Global Ethics

Researchers