Department of Political Science

Dr Avia Pasternak

Dr Avia Pasternak

Associate Professor in Political Theory

Dept of Political Science

Faculty of S&HS

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2014

Research summary

My research investigates how citizens should respond to state injustices. Under that general theme I have written on various topics. A central question I am interested in concerns the collective responsibility of citizens for their state’s unjust policies. I have published several articles on this topic in various journals, including The Journal of Political Philosophy, Politics, Philosophy Economics, Political Studies, and The Journal for Applied Philosophy. I am currently completing a book manuscript for Oxford University Press titled Responsible Citizens Irresponsible States: Should Citizens Pay for their State Wrongdoings?    


A second research project concerns the appropriate response of citizens to state injustices. Here I am particularly interested in the question of whether oppressed citizens may resort to violent protest against their state, and how should unjust states respond to citizens who resort to such violence. My work on this topic has been published in Philosophy and Public Affairs and I am currently developing several papers on this question. 


I have also written on the question of wrongful benefits and whether citizens who benefit from their state’s wrongdoings have special obligations to their victims. My work on this question appeared in Law and Philosophy and in The Journal of Moral Philosophy and I edited a special issue in the Journal of Applied Philosophy on the duties that fall on beneficiaries from wrongdoing. 

Teaching summary

I am on currently on research leave


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow | 2015
University of Oxford
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2007
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 2003
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Other higher degree, Bachelor of Arts Master of Science | 2000


I am an Associate Professor in Political Theory at UCL. I joined the Department of Political Science in 2014. Before that I was a member of the Department of Government at the University of Essex. Before joining Essex  I held a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, and a  British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCL.


I earned my D.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University, where I studied at Nuffield College. My BA and MA degrees are from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 


In 2018-19 I was awarded the British Academy Senior Fellowship to work on my book on collective responsibility. In 2019-20 I am a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Princeton University’ Center for Human Values.