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Research Focus

Cillian McBride’s research is in political theory with a particular focus on the ethics and politics of recognition and on republican political theory. His work on recognition deals with the questions of equal respect, civility, toleration, and freedom and draws on work in the analytical and critical theory traditions. His current research project deals with modern conceptions of freedom and the challenge of formulating a distinctively modern conception of republicanism. This deals, on the one hand, with the fragmentation of republican political thought following the French Revolution, when it was subsumed into liberal, socialist, and nationalist political projects, and, on the other hand, with the demands a genuinely modern conception of republican freedom must now meet. This project draws not only on the conception of freedom as non-domination, but also on accounts of individual and political autonomy in order to forge a unified theory of social and political freedom. Questions about the equal standing of persons, struggles for recognition and critical reflection on the authority of social and political norms are common to both republicanism and theories of recognition. Dr McBride welcomes inquiries from students interested in pursuing research in these areas, including the application of these ideas to populism and democratic politics, particularly deliberative conceptions of democracy, collective responsibility, and historical perspectives on the development of modern moral, social, and political ideas. Interdisciplinary applications are also welcome, and recent projects supervised have studied recognition in relations to whistleblowing, crime, and authenticity and musical taste.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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