Dr Paul Billingham

Philosophy, Politics and Economics
Junior Research Fellow


BA (Oxon); MPhil (Oxon); DPhil (Oxon)

Academic Background

2012-2015: DPhil in Political Philosophy, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford

2010-2012: MPhil in Politics (Political Theory), Lincoln College, University of Oxford

2007-2010: BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Queen’s College, University of Oxford

Undergraduate Teaching

Theory of Politics (finals paper in political theory); Theorising the Democratic State (political theory component of politics prelim).

Research Interests

My research centres on the relationship between the actions of the state and the beliefs and values of citizens, especially their religious beliefs. I consider both the way in which citizens’ beliefs might constrain state action, given the liberal demand that laws be justified to all citizens, and the ways in which the state might permissibly seek to influence citizens’ values, to conform them to liberal ideals. The former question concerns public justification and public reason, while the latter concerns the state's role in value-promotion and moral formation. Through this focus, my work touches upon many important topics within political theory, including state legitimacy, pluralism, freedom of conscience, religious exemptions, and the place of religion within public life.

More recently, I have developed an interest in the phenomenon of public shaming, especially online public shaming, and have begun working on the ethical questions raised by this practice.

For more information on my research, see http://paulbillingham.weebly.com/research.html.

Publications Include:

‘Review Essay: Consensus, Convergence, Restraint and Religion’, Journal of Moral Philosophy (forthcoming).

‘Public Reason and Religion: The Theo-Ethical Equilibrium Argument for Restraint’, Law and Philosophy (online first, 2017) DOI

‘Convergence Liberalism and the Problem of Disagreement Concerning Public Justification’, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 47(4) (2017): 541-564.

‘Liberal Perfectionism and Quong’s Internal Conception of Political Liberalism’, Social Theory and Practice, 43(1) (2017): 79-106.

‘How Should Claims for Religious Exemptions be Weighed?’, Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 6(1) (2017): 1-23.

‘Can My Religion Influence My Conception of Justice? Political Liberalism and the Role of Comprehensive Doctrines’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 20(4) (2017): 403-424.

‘Does Political Community Require Public Reason? On Lister’s Defence of Political Liberalism’, Politics, Philosophy & Economics, 15(1) (2016): 20-41.

‘Convergence Justifications Within Political Liberalism: A Defence’, Res Publica, 22(2) (2016): 135-153.