I am interested both in applied and theoretical issues in political theory.
As to my interests in applied political theory, I have worked on the relationship between institutions and social norms, the role of institutions in maintaining justice, and practice-dependent approaches to justice. I am currently mainly interested in issues of global, international and transnational socio-economic justice, with a particular focus on the interdependence between domestic and international justice.
In my current research, I analyze to what extent the current global order can be described as raising problems of global background justice between states and between other global actors interacting with one another. I argue that, under specific global circumstances, states no longer possess the degree of autonomy and the problem-solving capacities that are necessary to address domestic public policy effectively, unless those global circumstances are properly tackled by supranational regulatory institutions. The task of such institution would be, however, to tackle negative externalities and thus protect effective statehood, rather than replace it with a cosmopolitan agenda. Examples of factors that potentially erode just global background conditions are international tax competition, escalating trade tariffs, company relocations, the volatility of financial markets, and labour standards in countries with weak regulatory capacities. Over the next five years, I will pursue this particular interest through a Sofja Kovalelvskaja award.
As to the more theoretical and methodological questions within the field, I have special interests in the justification of normative principles, the methodology of constructivism, the role of moral intuitions in constructivism, and the legitimate scope of principles of justice (should they only apply to institutions or also to individual conduct? how much should they impact on our life plans?). Several of these interests overlap with aspects of G. A. Cohen's critique of John Rawls's work. With respect to constructivism, in particular, I hold a view according to which the best justification for the constructivist project is a commitment to intersubjective justifiability which is itself grounded in an agnostic stand towards te existence of objective and independent moral truths.