School of Politics and International Relations

Image of Mathew Humphrey

Mathew Humphrey

Professor of Political Theory, Faculty of Social Sciences



Professor of Political Theory and Co-Director, Centre for the Study of Political Ideologies.

Expertise Summary

I teach across three different areas of political theory. Firstly with regard to the theory of environmental politics, secondly on analytical political philosophy and theories of justice, and finally on theories of ideology.

Modules taught include:

M14125/M14225 Justice Beyond Borders

M13086 Global Justice

M13125 Nature, Ecology, and Political Thought

M13011 Theories of Ideology

M12013 Anglo-American Political Philosophy

M14108/M14109 The Politics of Climate Change

Research Summary

My main area of research is in political theory and the environment, with a subsidiary interest in theories of ideology. The most recent work in the former field is a book published in 2007 with… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

My main area of research is in political theory and the environment, with a subsidiary interest in theories of ideology. The most recent work in the former field is a book published in 2007 with Routledge, Ecological Politics and Democratic Theory. My 2002 book with OUP, Preservation versus the People? argues for a transcendence of the ecocentric/anthropocentric split in environmental ethics. I have edited a special issue of 'Environmental Politics' on political theory and the environment, and more recently a special issue of 'Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy' with Michael Freeden and Gayil Talshir, entitled 'Taking Ideology Seriously: 21st Century Reconfigurations'

Current Research Projects

I have, with my colleagues Professor Michael Freeden (SPIR) and Professor Maiken Umbach (History), recently launched the Centre for the Study of Political Ideologies (CSPI) at the University of Nottingham. Viewing ideology as neither (necessarily) a form of false consciousness, nor as rigid, doctrinaire political thinking, but rather as a term for structured patterns of political concepts that help people to make sense of the world around them, we are engaged with a number of research projects relating to 'vernacular' forms of political thinking. This includes comparative work with colleagues in the USA, China, and Malaysia. Prof. Umbach and I are currently co-authoring work on the concept of 'authenticity' in political discourse.

  • MAIKEN UMBACH and MATHEW HUMPHREY, 2018. Authenticity: The Cultural History of a Political Concept Palgrave Pivot.
  • STEDMAN, R.C.,, EVESEN, D, O'HARA, S.L. and HUMPHREY, M., 2016. Comparing the relationship between knowledge and support for hydraulic fracturing between residents of the United States and the United Kingdom Energy Research and Social Science. 20, 142-148
  • ANDERSSON-HUDSON, JESSICA, KNIGHT, WILLIAM, HUMPHREY, MATHEW and O'HARA, SARAH, 2016. Exploring support for shale gas extraction in the United Kingdom Energy Policy. 98(November), 582-589
  • HUMPHREY, M., 2012. Getting 'real' about political ideas: conceptual morphology and the realist critique of Anglo-American political philosophy. In: JACKSON, B. and STEARS, M., eds., Liberalism as ideology: essays in honour of Michael Freeden Oxford University Press. 241-258
  • STEARS, M. and HUMPHREY, M., 2012. Public reason and political action: justifying citizen behavior in actually existing democracies The Review of Politics. 74(2), 285-306
  • HUMPHREY, MATHEW, 2010. Green Political Theory. In: BELL, DUNCAN, ed., Ethics and World Politics Oxford University Press. 181-199
  • HUMPHREY, M I, 2009. Mapping the Moral Future: Environmental Problems and What We Owe to Future Generations Res Publica. 15(1), 85-95
  • HUMPHREY, M. I., 2008. Rational Irrationality and the 'Paradox' of Climate Change BC Journal of International Affairs. Fall, 117-126
  • HUMPHREY, M., 2008. Environmentalism, fairness, and public reasons Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. 11(2), 177-192
  • HUMPHREY, M I, 2008. Seeing is Believing?: Aesthetics and the Politics of the Environment Environmental Politics. 17(1), 138-146
  • HUMPHREY, M.I., 2007. Ecological politics and democratic theory: the challenge to the deliberative ideal London: Routledge.
  • HUMPHREY, M., 2007. `Imagined Autonomy': or, Any Colour You Like, as Long as it's Green CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL THEORY. VOL 6(NUMB 2), 246-261
  • HUMPHREY, M., 2006. Democratic legitimacy, public justification and environmental direct action Political Studies. 54(2), 310-327
  • HUMPHREY, M. and STEARS, M., 2006. Animal rights protest and the challenge to deliberative democracy Economy and Society. 35(3), 400-422
  • HUMPHREY, M.I., ed., 2006. Taking Ideology Seriously: 21st Century Reconfigurations Routledge, London and New York.
  • HUMPHREY, M., 2005. (De)Contesting Ideology: The Struggle over the Meaning of the Struggle over Meaning Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. VOL 8(NUMB 2), 225-246
  • HUMPHREY, M.I., 2004. ÄEcology, Democracy and Autonomy: a Problem of Wishful Thinking. In: Liberal Democracy and Environmentalism Routledge, London and New York. 115-126
  • HUMPHREY, M.I., 2003. Intuition, reason, and environmental argument. In: LIGHT, A. and DE-SHALIT, A., eds., Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.. 45-76
  • HUMPHREY, M.I., 2003. Environmental policy. In: DUNLEAVY, P ET AL., ed., Developments in British Politics 7 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd, Basingstoke, UK. 302-20
  • HUMPHREY, M.I., 2003. Nonbasic environmental goods and social justice. In: BELL, D.A. and DE-SHALIT, A., eds., Forms of Justice: Critical Responses to David Millers Political Philosophy. Rowman and Littlefield, Inc, Boulder. 331-46
  • HUMPHREY, M.I., 2002. Preservation versus the people? Nature, humanity, and political philosophy Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • HUMPHREY, M.I., 2002. The ideologies of green welfare. In: FITZPATRICK, T. and CAHILL, M., eds., Environment and welfare: towards a green social policy Palgrave Macmillan Ltd, Basingstoke, UK. 43-60
  • HUMPHREY, M., 2001. Reassessing Ecology and Political Theory Environmental Politics. VOL 10(PART 1), 1-6
  • HUMPHREY, M., 2001. Three Conceptions of Irreversibility and Environmental Ethics: Some Problems Environmental Politics. VOL 10(PART 1), 138-154
  • HUMPHREY, M.I., ed., 2001. Political Theory and the Environment: a Reassessment Cass (Frank) & Co. Ltd, Liford, Essex, UK.
  • 2000. Ontological Determinism and Deep Ecology: Evading the Moral Questions?. In: Beneath the Surface: Critical Essays in the Philosophy of Deep Ecology MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.. 85-105
  • HUMPHREY, M., 2000. `Nature' in deep ecology and social ecology: contesting the core Journal of Political Ideologies. VOL 5(PART 2), 247-268
  • HUMPHREY, M., 1999. Deep Ecology and the Irrelevance of Morality Environmental Ethics. VOL 21(NUMBER 1), 75-80
  • HUMPHREY, M., 1997. The "Self-Realization Thesis" in Deep Ecology: Beyond Politics. In: Contemporary Political Studies 1997 Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom, Belfast, UK. 598-606

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