Professor Adam Swift
Professor Adam Swift
Professor of Political Theory/Political Philosophy
- Room: 4.01, 29/30 Tavistock Sq
- Telephone: 020 7679 4945 (x24945)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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I joined UCL in 2018. I am a political theorist with some training in sociology. I read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford, did an M.Phil in Sociology at Nuffield College, and then returned to Balliol as a Tutorial Fellow before moving to Warwick in 2013. While at Oxford I was Founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Social Justice. I am an Associate Editor of Philosophy and Public Affairs , an Emeritus Fellow of Balliol, and an Associate Member of Nuffield.
I have worked on the communitarian critique of liberalism, the relation between public opinion and political philosophy, the normative aspects of class analysis and social mobility, the morality of school choice, the methodological debate around 'ideal' and 'non-ideal' theory, the ethics of family relationships, and the relation between justice, legitimacy and democracy.
- How To Regulate Faith Schools (with Matthew Clayton, Andrew Mason and Ruth Wareham) (Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain/Wiley) 2018.
- Educational Goods: Values, Evidence, and Decision-Making (with Harry Brighouse, Helen F. Ladd and Susanna Loeb) (Chicago University Press 2018)Review by David Steiner (Education Next).
- Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships (with Harry Brighouse) (Princeton University Press 2014)Reviews by Samantha Brennan (Theory and Research in Education), Tim Fowler (Ethics), Gideon Calder (European Journal of Political Theory), George Sher (Social Theory and Practice), David Archard (Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews), Jörg Löschke (Ethical Theory and Moral Practice).Symposium in Law, Ethics and Philosophy, 2015 with Luara Ferracioli, Anca Gheaus and Sarah Stroud, and our reply.Symposium in Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy with Anca Gheaus, Colin Macleod, Andree-Anne Cormier, Christine Sypnowich, Daniel Weinstock, and Sarah Hannan and R.J. Leland and our reply.
- Political Philosophy: A Beginners’ Guide for Students and Politicians (Polity 2001, 2006, 3rd edition 2013)This is translated into Chinese, Czech, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Polish and Spanish.
- How Not To Be A Hypocrite: School Choice for the Morally Perplexed Parent (Routledge Falmer 2003)Symposium in Theory and Research in Education, 2004
- Against the Odds? Social Class and Social Justice in Industrial Societies (with Gordon Marshall and Stephen Roberts) (Oxford University Press 1997)
- Liberals and Communitarians (with Stephen Mulhall) (Blackwell 1992, 2nd edition 1996)
This is translated into Japanese, Korean and Spanish.
- "Social Justice: Ideal Theory, Nonideal Circumstances" (with Ingrid Robeyns), special issue of Social Theory and Practice, 34(3) July 2008
- 'The Political Morality of School Composition: The Case of Religious Selection' (with Matthew Clayton, Andrew Mason and Ruth Wareham) (British Journal of Political Science, forthcoming).
- 'Good Education Policy Making: Data-Informed but Values-Driven' (with Harry Brighouse, Helen F. Ladd, and Susanna Loeb), Phi Delta Kappan (December 2018)
- 'Family Ethics and Public Policy: Beyond the medical model' (with Harry Brighouse), American Journal of Bioethics (forthcoming November 2018)
- 'Dethroning Democratic Legitimacy' (with Zofia Stemplowska), Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy 4 (2018).
- 'Family Values Reconsidered: A Response' (with Harry Brighouse), Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy available online November 2017.
- 'Family Value Without Gender' in E. Mbonda and T. Ngosso (eds.) Theories de la Justice: Justice globale, agents de la justice et justice de genre (Louvain UP, 2016)
- 'Educational Goods and Values: A Framework for Decision-Makers' (with Harry Brighouse, Helen F. Ladd, and Susanna Loeb), Theory and Research in Education, 2016.
- 'Advantage, Authority, Autonomy and Continuity: A Response to Ferracioli, Gheaus and Stroud' (with Harry Brighouse), Law, Ethics and Philosophy, 2015.
- 'The Place of Educational Equality in Educational Justice' (with Harry Brighouse) in K. Meyer (ed.) Education, Justice and the Human Good (Routledge), 2014.
- 'The Goods of Parenting' (with Harry Brighouse), in F. Baylis and C. McLeod (eds.) Family-Making: Contemporary Ethical Challenges (Oxford University Press), 2014.
- 'Ideal and Nonideal Theory in Rawls' (with Zofia Stemplowska), in J. Mandle and D. Reidy (eds.) A Companion to Rawls (Blackwell), 2013
- 'Family' and 'Parents' Rights and Responsibilities' (with Harry Brighouse), in H. LaFollette (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Wiley-Blackwell), 2013
- 'Family Values and Schools Policy: Shaping Values and Conferring Advantage', with Harry Brighouse, in D. Allen and R. Reich (eds.) Education, Justice, Democracy (Chicago UP), 2013. [This book won the 2013 American Publishers Award for Scholarly Excellence in the Education category.]
- 'Response to Heckman', contribution to forum on Promoting Social Mobility in the Boston Review September/October 2012
- 'Schools and Social Mobility' (with Vikki Boliver), Sociology Review 22(2) 2012
- 'Ideal and Nonideal Theory' (with Zofia Stemplowska), in D. Estlund (ed.) Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy (OUP), 2012
- 'Legitimate Partiality, Parents and Patriots' (with Harry Brighouse), in A. Gosseries and Y. Vanderborght (eds.) Arguing About Justice: Essays for Philippe Van Parijs (Louvain UP 2011) (.pdf)
- 'Comprehensive Schools and Social Mobility' (with Vikki Boliver), Renewal 19(2) July 2011
- 'Do comprehensive schools reduce social mobility?' (with Vikki Boliver), British Journal of Sociology 62(1) March 2011
- 'School Choice for those who have no choice' (with Harry Brighouse), Questa 1 March 2010 (.pdf)
- 'Educational Equality v Educational Adequacy: A Response to Anderson and Satz' (with Harry Brighouse), Journal of Applied Philosophy 26(2) May 2009
- 'Legitimate Parental Partiality' (with Harry Brighouse), Philosophy and Public Affairs 37(1) Winter 2009 [German translation in M. Betzler and B. Bleisch (eds.) Familiä
- re Pflichten (Suhrkamp, 2015).]
- 'Putting Educational Equality in its Place' (with Harry Brighouse), Education Finance and Policy 3(4) October 2008. (.pdf)
- 'Comment on Carole Pateman and Charles Mills: Contract and Domination', Journal of Political Ideologies October 2008 (.pdf)
- 'The Value of Philosophy in Nonideal Circumstances', Social Theory and Practice 34(3) July 2008. (.pdf)
- 'Political Theory, Social Science, and Real Politics' (with Stuart White), in D. Leopold and M. Stears (eds.) Political Theory: Methods and Approaches (Oxford University Press 2008).
- 'Social Justice and the Family' (with Harry Brighouse), in G. Craig, D. Gordon and T. Burchardt (eds.) Social Justice and Public Policy (Policy Press 2008).
- 'The End of the Tory War on Single Parents?' (with Harry Brighouse), Public Policy Research November 2007
- 'Egalitarianism' (with Harry Brighouse), New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics (2nd ed)
- 'Parents' Rights and the Value of the Family', (with Harry Brighouse), Ethics October 2006. [Reprinted in A. Bailey et al (eds.) The Broadview Anthology of Social and Political Thought: The Twentieth Century and Beyond (2008)]
- 'Equality, Priority and Positional Goods' (with Harry Brighouse), Ethics April 2006
- ’Justice, Luck and the Family’, in S. Bowles, H.Gintis and M.Osborne-Groves (eds.) Unequal Chances: Family Background and Economic Success (Princeton UP 2005)
- ’Political Philosophy and Politics’ in A. Leftwich (ed.) What Is Politics? (Polity 2004)
- The Morality of School Choice Reconsidered: A Response, Theory and Research in Education 2004. [This appears in Catalan in M. Àngel Alegre, X. Rambla and O. Valiente (eds.) L'elecció de centre escolar a Catalunya. Elements per a un debat 2009.] (.pdf)
- ’The Morality of School Choice’, Theory and Research in Education 2004
- 'Would Perfect Mobility be Perfect?’, European Sociological Review 2004
- 'Defending Liberalism in Education Theory' with Harry Brighouse, Journal of Education Policy 2003.
- 'Seizing the Opportunity: The Influence of Preferences and Aspirations on Social Immobility', New Economy 2003
- ’Rawls and Communitarianism’ (with Stephen Mulhall) in S. Freeman (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Rawls (CUP 2003)
- ’Social Justice: Why Does It Matter What The People Think?’ in D. Bell and A. de-Shalit (eds.) Forms of Justice (Rowman and Littlefield 2003)
- 'Class Analysis from a Normative Perspective', British Journal of Sociology 2000
- 'The Relation between Social-Scientific and Philosophical Analyses of Distributive Justice', Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1999
- 'What Is and What Ought to Be: Popular Beliefs about Distributive Justice in 13 Countries' (with Gordon Marshall, Carole Burgoyne, and David Routh), European Sociological Review 1999
- 'On the Meaning and Measurement of Inequality' (with Gordon Marshall), Acta Sociologica 1999
- 'Wesolowski, Walzer and the Complex Good of Education' in Melvin L. Kohn et al (eds.) Power and Social Structure, Essays in Honour of Wlodzimierz Wesolowski (Polish Academy of Sciences, 1999)
- 'Meritocratic Equality of Opportunity: Economic Efficiency, Social Justice, or Both?' (with Gordon Marshall), Policy Studies 1997
- 'Merit and Mobility: A Reply to Peter Saunders' (with Gordon Marshall) Sociology 1996
- 'The Social Self in Political Theory: The Communitarian Critique of the Liberal Subject' (with Stephen Mulhall), in D. Bakhurst and C. Sypnowich (eds.) The Social Self (Sage, 1995)
- 'Class, Gender, and the Asymmetry Hypothesis' (with Gordon Marshall, Carole Burgoyne, David Routh and Stephen Roberts), European Sociological Review 1995
- 'The Sociology of Complex Equality', in D. Miller and M. Walzer (eds.) Pluralism, Justice and Equality (OUP 1995)
- 'Social Class and Social Justice' (with Gordon Marshall), British Journal of Sociology 1993 and in G. Marshall Repositioning Class: Social Inequality in Industrial Societies (Sage, 1997)
Work in progress
- 'The Political Morality of School Composition: The Case of Religious Selection' (with Matthew Clayton, Andrew Mason and Ruth Wareham) (under review)
- 'Justice and Legitimacy in Nonideal Circumstances' (with Zofia Stemplowska)
- 'Legitimate Filial Partiality'
I am an Associate Editor of Philosophy and Public Affairs and on the editorial board of Theory and Research in Education, Moral Philosophy and Politics, Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy.
These commitments mean that I am unlikely to accept invitations to referee for other journals.
I have appeared on TV, radio and in podcasts ('The Moral Maze', 'The Learning Curve'. 'The Westminster Hour', 'The Philosopher's Zone', 'Philosophy Bites') discussing education policy, the morality of school choice, meritocracy, and the family, and have written on those and other issues for a variety of newspapers and magazines.