Dr Laura Valentini

Dr Laura Valentini

Associate Professor of Political Science

Department of Government

+44 (0)207 107 5407
Room No
CBG 4.21
Office Hours
Thursdays 14:00 - 15:00 (by appointment)
Connect with me

English, Italian
Key Expertise
Political Theory, Ideal vs Non-ideal Theory, Democracy Theory, Human Rights

About me

Laura Valentini holds a first degree (“laurea”) in Political Science from Pavia University (Italy), and an MA and a PhD in Political Philosophy from University College London. She was a Junior Research Fellow at The Queen’s College (Oxford University), and a postdoc at the Center for Human Values (Princeton University). Prior to joining the LSE, she was a Lecturer in Political Philosophy at UCL. Laura Valentini has held visiting positions at the Australian National University, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, the University of Uppsala, and Harvard University. In 2015, she was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Politics and International Relations.


Justice in a Globalized World: A Normative Framework
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)

While the lives of millions of people are overshadowed by poverty and destitution, a relatively small subset of the world's population enjoys an unprecedented level of wealth. No doubt the world's rich have duties to address the plight of the global poor. But should we think of these as duties of egalitarian justice much like those applying domestically, or as weaker duties of humanitarian assistance? In this book, Laura Valentini offers an in-depth critique of the two most prominent answers to this question, cosmopolitanism and statism, and develops a novel normative framework for addressing it. Central to this framework is the idea that, unlike duties of assistance - which bind us to help the needy - duties of justice place constraints on the ways we may legitimately coerce one another. Since coercion exists domestically as well as internationally, duties of justice apply to both realms. The forms of coercion characterizing these two realms, however, differ, and so the content of duties of justice varies across them. Valentini concludes that given the nature of existing international coercion, global justice requires more than statist assistance, yet less than full cosmopolitan equality.

Research interests

  • Contemporary political theory
  • Ideal vs non-ideal theory
  • Democratic theory
  • International justice/human rights
  • Political authority
  • Freedom
  • Justice vs beneficence

Teaching responsibilities

  • GV262: Contemporary Political Theory (LT)
  • GV501/GV503: Doctoral Workshop in Political Theory and Political Philosophy Seminar (co-organized with Leigh Jenco and Kai Spiekermann)

Selected publications

'Freedom as Independence' (with Christian List), Ethics, 126 (4) (2016), 1043-1074.

'On the Distinctive Procedural Wrong of Colonialism', Philosophy & Public Affairs, 43 (4) (2015), 312-331.

'Social Samaritan Justice: When and Why Needy Fellow Citizens Have a Right to Assistance', American Political Science Review, 109 (4) (2015), 735-749.

No Global Demos, No Global Democracy? A Systematization and Critique’, Perspectives on Politics, 12 (4) (2014), 789-807.

Justice, Disagreement, and Democracy’, British Journal of Political Science, 43 (1) (2013), 177-99.

Human Rights, Freedom, and Political Authority’, Political Theory, 40 (5) (2012), 573-601.

Coercion and (Global) Justice’, American Political Science Review, 105 (1) (2011), 205-20.

On the Apparent Paradox of Ideal Theory’, Journal of Political Philosophy, 17 (3) (2009), 332-55.