Department of Political Science


Dr Emily McTernan

Emily McTernan

Dr Emily McTernan

Lecturer in Political Theory and MA Legal Political Theory Programme Director

Find out more

On sabbatical leave for Term 2, 2016/2017.


Emily McTernan joined UCL in September 2013. She is a Lecturer in Political Theory and Programme Director of the MA in Legal and Political Theory.

Previously, she has been a Fellow in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE (2012-2013) and a Research Associate at the School of Philosophy, ANU (June- December 2015).

She researches four issues
1. Luck, and its lack of significance for our practices of responsibility in moral or political life
2. Facts, and what role they could play in political philosophy
3. Virtues and social norms, and their role in creating justice and injustice
4. The ideal of social equality.

For more about this research, see here: emilymcternan.com

Grants and Awards

I have been awarded research funding from three sources:

Research leave award from the ‘The beacon project', funded by the Templeton Trust (for more see: www.moralbeacons.org/funding-competition/philosophy) (Sept 2016- Jan 2017)

Research leave, from an Australian Research Council grant on feasibility (2015)

British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Grant, social equality research network, co-applicant with Martin O’Neill, Christian Schemmel, and Fabian Schuppert (2014)

Back to top.


  • Microaggressions, equality, and social practices. Journal of Political Philosophy (accepted).
  • Those who forget the past: An ethical challenge from the history of treating deviance. In Treatment For Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice, eds. David Birks & Tom Douglas, Oxford University Press (forthcoming).
  • How to be a responsibility-sensitive egalitarian: From metaphysics to social practice. Political Studies, 64 (3) (2016): 748-764.
  • If you care about social equality, you want a big state: Home, work, care, and social egalitarianism. Juncture, Party Conference Issue, 23 (2016): 138–144. Co-authored with Martin O’Neill, Christian Schemmel and Fabian Schuppert.
  •  Rescuing responsibility for the left. Juncture, Institute of Public Policy Research 22 (2016): 298–303
  • Should fertility treatment be state funded?. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 32 (2015): 227–240.
  • How to make citizens behave: Social psychology, liberal virtues, and social norms. Journal of Political Philosophy, 22 (1) (2014): 84-104.
  • The inegalitarian ethos: Incentives, respect, and self-respect. Politics, Philosophy & Economics, 12 (1) (2013): 93-111.

Back to top.

Selected works in progress

  • Monograph: Making Responsibility Social
  • Short monograph: The Ethics of Taking Offence
  • Justice, feasibility, and social science as it is
  • Contextualism about moral luck

Back to top.


  • Contemporary Political Philosophy II: Social justice and equality
  • Meanings of Liberty: Applied methods in political theory
  • Philosophy, Values, and the Social Sciences

Back to top.