Levente (Lev) Szentkirályi is a Political Science Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Colorado.  His interdisciplinary research bridges normative political theory with environmental politics and policy.  Lev’s writing has largely focused on risks of environmental harm, rights of self-defense, and Lockean liberalism.  His dissertation project, for instance, illustrates the moral indefensibility of the current U.S. approach toward environmental risk regulation—which neglects to restrict the release of chemical substances whose potential to harm the public remains scientifically uncertain—and constructs a normative theory for managing environmental risk from a rights-based, precautionary policy approach.

However, Lev also has substantive research interests and teaching experience in international relations.  He is also concerned, e.g., with better understanding why third-party states intervene militarily on behalf of rebel groups, how the international community judges which revolutions are legitimate challenges to state authority, what the normative merits and limits of resorting to revolutionary violence in self-defense are, and the mechanisms for implementing enduring public policies that successfully promote global food security and access to adequate potable water.

Levente will be presenting a chapter of his dissertation at the 2015 Western Political Science Association conference, in which he argues that even if the consequences of releasing chemical substances into the environment remain scientifically uncertain (more generally, even if one’s potentially harmful actions prove to be benign), there still exists a moral obligation to exercise due care.  That is, as a matter of respecting the moral equality of others, an obligation prevails to strive to prevent exposing our fellows to avoidable and undeserved, uncertain environmental harms.

† pronounced: sěnt-kē-rŏ-yē  ::  “sent-key-rah-yee”