Young people on a row holding each others hands.
Democracy, equality, justice and freedom are some of the areas studied in the political science field of political theory.
Photo: Duy Pham

Political Theory

Research group

Short description

The field of political theory covers a number of sub-areas, of which the normative political theory is the most prevalent. It addresses a number of important, normative societal issues about the relationship between the individual and society, what makes a society fair, what constraints on freedom are justified in liberal societies, how to resolve value conflicts in multicultural societies, etc. Other areas are the history of political ideas, political theory, conceptual analysis and to a certain extent also philosophy of science.

Examples of political-theoretical issues

  •  What role should notions of individual desert play for notions of a fair distribution of resources?
  • What is the relevance of biological factors for explaining social conditions?
  • What are the civic virtues of the liberal society?
  • What is the political system that, in the most fair and efficient way, enables the sustainable use of the earth's resources?
  • Who should pay the most for the costs of climate change, and why?
  • What role should truth claims have in liberal democracies?
  • How should value conflicts be resolved in a multicultural society?
  •  What causes social norms to emerge and what causes them to change?


Every year the Department of Political Science hosts a workshop in political theory. The event is announced in our calendar.

For more information, please see the calendar on our website.


Research group

The latest publications


Duus-Otterström (forthcoming). Do Offenders Deserve Proportionate Punishments?. Criminal Law & Philosophy.

Duus-Otterström, G. (forthcoming). Sovereign States in the Greenhouse: Does Jurisdiction Speak Against Consumption-Based Emissions Accounting?. Ethics, Policy & Environment.

Duus-Otterström, G. (online first). Fair-Play Obligations and Distributive InjusticeEuropean Journal of Political Theory.


Eriksson, L. (2020). Strategic Justice – Convention and Problems of Balancing Diverging Interests’. Economics and Philosophy 36(3): 455-460, 2020.

Falkemark, G. (2020). Vikten av att läsa klassiker. Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift, 2020/2.

Friberg‐Fernros, H. (2020). The Explanatory Power of the Soul: Why Liberals Should Seriously Consider DualismJournal of Religious Ethics, 48(1): 101-121.


Duus-Otterström, G. & Fredrik D. Hjorthen (2019). Consumption-Based Emissions Accounting: The Normative DebateEnvironmental Politics, 28(5): 866-885.