Research


Fields

Political Theory  •  International Relations  •  Environmental Policy

Research Interests

Environmental justice, food justice, climate ethics, ethics of risk, human rights, rights of migrants, just war theory  •  peace and war, intrastate conflict and civil war  •  environmental risk management

Dissertation Project


“The Ethics of Precaution: Taking Responsibility for Uncertain Threats of Environmental Harm”

Committee: Ben Hale (chair), David Mapel, J. Sam Fitch, Krister Adersson, William Boyd

Should actions that create uncertain threats of environmental harm to public health be regulated?  Some insist that uncertainty about the severity of potential harm or the probability the harm will occur justifies implementing precautionary regulations.  Conversely, others claim that uncertainty justifies the absence of regulations until sufficient evidence corroborates a strong probability of severe harm.  This dissertation overcomes this impasse in its defense of exercising precaution by shifting the focus from how to manage uncertainty to what it is we owe each other morally.  It argues that actions that create uncertain threats wrongfully gamble with the welfare of those who are exposed, and neglect the reciprocity that our equal moral standing demands.  If we take the moral equality and rights of others seriously, we have a duty to exercise due care to strive to prevent putting them in possible harm’s way.  These conclusions challenge policy arguments that reject the precautionary principle, as well as conventional theories of moral responsibility and the ethics of risk that deny that we have any such obligations when uncertainty prevails.

Peer-Reviewed Publications


Szentkirályi, Levente, and Michael Burch. “An Umbrella of Legitimacy: Rebel Faction Size and External Military Intervention.” International Political Science Review (forthcoming).

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications


Miller, Caleb, Colin Brown, Levente Szentkirályi, Joshua Dean, and Jake Eschenburg. “2016 APSA Teaching and Learning Conference and Track Summaries: Teaching How to Teach.” PS: Political Science and Politics. 49.3 (2016): 583-4.

Szentkirályi, Levente.Review of Politics of Precaution: Regulating Health, Safety, and Environmental Risks in Europe and the United States by David Vogel. Global Environmental Politics 14.1 (2014): 140-2.

Manuscripts Under Review


Luck Has Nothing To Do With It: Taking Responsibility for Uncertain Threats of Environmental Harm

Works in Progress


Precautionary Risk Regulation as a Matter of Right (invited book chapter in Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy for Palgrave Macmillan)

How Writing Instruction Enhances Critical Thinking Skills and Enriches the Service-Learning Experience

Rights Against Environmental Harms: The Enduring Appeal of Natural Rights Theory

Left to Stand and Die Alone: Collective Self-Determination and Prejudice Against Small Rebel Groups

Conference Presentations


Mistaken About Our Students’ Critical Thinking and Writing Skills: A Proposal for a Keystone Writing in Political Science Course • American Political Science Association Annual Meeting • Philadelphia, PA • September 2016

Uncertain Threats of Environmental Harm and Obligations of Due Care (poster session) • American Political Science Association Annual Meeting • Philadelphia, PA • September 2016

How Formal Writing Instruction Can Improve Critical Thinking Skills and the Service-Learning Experience • American Political Science Association Teaching and Learning Conference • Portland, OR • February 2016

Safeguarding Against Uncertain Threats of Environmental Harm • American Political Science Association Annual Meeting (poster session) • Washington, DC • August 2014

Precautionary Risk Regulation as a Matter of Right • Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting • Seattle, WA • April 2014

Environmental Harms and the Enduring Appeal and Merit of Natural Rights • Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting • Hollywood, CA • March, 2013

An Umbrella of Legitimacy: Rebel Faction Size and External Military Intervention, with Michael Burch • Peace Science Society Annual Conference (poster session) • Savannah, GA • October, 2012

Lowering the Bar for Justified Military Intervention in Intrastate Conflicts? A Reply to Walzer • Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting • Portland, OR • March, 2012

Bottom-up Governance of the Environment and the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme, with María Fernanda Enríquez • International Studies Association Annual Convention • Montreal, Quebec, Canada • March, 2011

Lockean Libertarianism and Risks of Injury: Is the Lockean Libertarian Really Lockean or Simply Confused? • Human Rights Conference • University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute (HRI) • Storrs, CT • April, 2009

Justice As Fairness and Reinventing Direct Democracy • Humane Studies Fellowship Research Colloquium • Institute for Humane Studies • Arlington, VA • May, 2008

Reconciling Libertarianism with Restricted Self-Ownership • American Philosophical Association Central Division Conference • Chicago, IL • April, 2007