Department of Political Science


Dr Helen Brown Coverdale 

Helen Brown Coverdale

Dr Helen Brown Coverdale

Teaching Fellow in Political Theory

Programme Director of MSc in Global Governance and Ethics


Dr Helen Brown Coverdale joined UCL in 2017. Previously she taught political thought in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and in the Department of Philosophy at King’s College London. She also led on research ethics teaching for a multidisciplinary course at LSE, and lectured on research ethics for an undergraduate research programme at LSE in collaboration with Imperial College London.

Helen is a legal and political theorist with research interests in equality and inclusion, care and relational ethics, social justice, basic rights, and the philosophy of punishment. Her research focuses on the moral qualities of interactions between the individual and the state. This includes the relevance of context for understanding what morally appropriate treatment requires in practice and the contribution of legal frameworks to supporting morally appropriate treatment of persons by states.

Helen holds a PhD (Law, LSE), an MA in Legal & Political Theory (UCL) and a BA (Econ) hons specializing in Government (Manchester). Her recent publications include an article in the Journal Ethics & Social Welfare. Prior to her PhD, Helen worked in the criminal justice sector, and as a senior parliamentary researcher.


  • Coverdale, Helen Brown 2018 ‘Punishment and Welfare: Defending offender’s inclusion as subjects of care’ in Ethics and Social Welfare 12, 2 pp117-132 doi: 17496535.2017.1364398
  • Coverdale, H.B., 2018. ‘Relating to Carpenter’s virtuous research ethics committee’, in: Emmerich, N. (Ed.), Virtue Ethics in the Conduct and Governance of Social Science Research. Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 127–140.
  • Coverdale, Helen Brown 2017 ‘Nicola Lacey’ in Sellers, Mortimer & Kirste, Stephan (Eds) Encyclopaedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, Springer: Netherlands
  • Coverdale, Helen Brown 2013 ‘How can the ethic of care help us to understand, define and express the limits of state criminal punishment?’ in Mahajan, B., & Bagga, R. eds. Reframing Punishment: Reflections of Culture, Literature & Morals, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press
Current Teaching
  • Contemporary Political Philosophy 1(Postgraduate)
  • Global Ethics (Postgraduate)
  • Equality Justice and Difference (Postgraduate)