Department of Political Science


Dr Helen Brown Coverdale

Helen looks into the camera
Lecturer (Teaching) in Political Theory
 3.11, 36-38 Gordon Square
Email: h.coverdale@ucl.ac.uk


I joined UCL in 2017. I previously taught political thought in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics (LSE) and in the Department of Philosophy at King’s College London. I also led on research ethics teaching for a multidisciplinary course at LSE, and for an undergraduate research programme at LSE in collaboration with Imperial College London.

I hold a PhD in Law from LSE, an MA in Legal & Political Theory from UCL, and a BA (Econ) Hons specialising in Government from the University of Manchester. Prior to my PhD, I worked in the criminal justice sector, and as a senior parliamentary researcher.


Humans are enmeshed in relationships with technology, which will change as technology, particularly machine learning and AI, develops. I have an emerging interest in the ethical qualities of these relationships and applications of technology using citizens’ data, as well as the implications for democratic legitimacy, basic rights, and the social justice. Several aspects dovetail together to produce the accountability and transparency necessary for democratic legitimacy and explainable, ethical systems: 1) professional ethics and integrity for programmers, data scientists and engineers; and 2) commercial good practice standards and corporate social responsibility formal legal regulation.


Journal articles
Book chapters


I teach on: ‘Ethics of Crime & Punishment’ (POLS0030); ‘Contemporary Political Philosophy’ (PUBL0071); ‘Equality Justice & Difference’ (PUBL0023); and ‘Justice: Moral Foundations of Politics’ (POLS0061).

At UCL I have previously also taught: ‘Philosophy, Values and the Social Sciences’; ‘Global Ethics’; ‘Peer Assisted Learning for MA Legal & Political Theory’; ‘Public Ethics’; and ‘Justice and Public Policy’.