I was educated at Leicester University and Wolfson College, Oxford. I worked for many years at University of Wales, Swansea, before coming to Cardiff in 2001. I have held visiting appointments at the University of Ferrara, Emory University and Arizona State University.
My interests range from political philosophy and history of political thought, through modern European federal theory, to contemporary politics and culture in Italy and Romania. I am involved in a major collaborative project (based here at Cardiff) exploring contrasting modes of justification invoked in normative argument. I am also currently completing a book provisionally entitled Philosophical Liberalism: A Defence of Weak Foundations.
My teaching focuses largely on history of political thought and normative political philosophy.
I have worked for many years on diverse aspects of history of political thought, ranging from detailed studies of particular thinkers to broad treatments of themes in the western tradition. Throughout my work I try to set political thought in the context of the emerging institutional, cultural and economic framework of the modern world.
Over the past decade I have also confronted challenging questions about the status of moral and political principles. In recent work I try to model precisely what goes on when we make judgements of value from embedded positions in social and political cultures.
I continue to work on contemporary normative issues in Italy and Romania.