Dr Cain Shelley

Dr Cain Shelley

Visiting Fellow

Department of Government

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Key Expertise
Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy, History of Political Thought

About me

My primary research interests are in social and political philosophy, with a particular focus on questions concerning philosophy and public policy and the ethics of activism.

Before coming to LSE, I received an MA in Political Science from the University of Leeds, and a BA in History and Politics from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Research interests: Class consciousness | Political education | Municipal politics and community organizing | Public ownership and egalitarian alternatives to capitalism | Left populism and its critics

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Class Consciousness and the Struggle for Economic Justice

Political philosophers have developed systematic accounts of the correct principles of economic justice and proposed elaborate institutional schemes to put these principles into practice. But they have had comparatively little to say about what shape the political struggle necessary to realize these principles and institutions ought to take.

My thesis defends the idea that raising the class consciousness of victims of economic injustice is a desirable way to advance the project of egalitarian social change. It also argues that activist practices such as municipal politics and political education can play an important role in building different facets of this consciousness.

Selected publications

  • 2021: “Activist-led Education and Egalitarian Social Change,” Journal of Political Philosophy (early view). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jopp.12247

  • 2020: “Two new socialist manifestos,” Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy. 28(1): 91-95. [on Aaron Bastani’s Fully Automated Luxury Communism & Bhaskar Sunkara’s The Socialist Manifesto].

  • 2019: “Capitalism, Human Rights, and Critical Theory,” Global Justice: Theory, Practice, Rhetoric 12(1): 129-133. [on David Ingram’s World Crisis and Underdevelopment].

Teaching record

  • GV100: Introduction to Political Theory
  • GV262: Contemporary Political Theory