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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Michael Neu researches in political and moral philosophy, with special interests in the politics and ethics of violence. He publishes on contemporary just war theory, the "Responsibility to Protect", sweatshops, torture and the notion of "complicity". His future research will be on "friendship".

Supervisory Interests

Michael is interested in supervising students in any of the above research areas. His current students are:

Afxentis Afxentiou: The Politics and Ethics of Drone Bombing (with Robin Dunford and Lucy Noakes).

Pam Laidman: On Self-Neglect (with Bob Brecher).

Scholarly biography

Michael completed his PhD on The Dilemma of Justified War at Sheffield University (2010) and was subsequently awarded the Political Studies Association (PSA) Sir Ernest Barker Prize for the best dissertation in Political Theory. He has been teaching at Brighton since 2012, particularly on the Philosophy, Politics, and Ethics BA. He is also a member of CAPPE and the Understanding Conflict Cluster, as well as co-organiser, with the Humanities undergraduate students, of the Humanities Society seminar series.

Michael is committed to interdisciplinary and collaborative work. He has published one monograph, Just Liberal Violence: Sweatshops, Torture, War (London: Rowman and Littlefield International, 2018), and has a second book forthcoming (with Robin Dunford): Just War and the Responsibility to Protect: A Critique (London Zed Books, 2019). He has co-edited and co-authored a volume on Exploring Complicity: Concept, Cases and Critique (with Robin Dunford and Afxentis Afxentiou, Rowman and Littlefield International, Dec 2016) and co-edits, with Bob Brecher and Robin Dunford, a new book series with Rowman and Littlefield International: Off the Fence. In 2016, Michael convened the Political Studies Association "Politics and the Good Life" Conference held at Brighton (with Andy Knott).

In the more distant future, Michael aims to move away from writing about violence and complicity, towards more positive aspects of the human condition: friendship, humour, and, indeed, the good life; essentially the question of how we can begin to discover, and perhaps sustain, a way of living together that is not as dramatically violent, unequal and unjust as the present condition.

Approach to teaching

Teaching is one of the most difficult, wonderful and rewarding activities in the world. A good teacher doesn’t look at students as passive recipients of knowledge but as active collaborators on a common journey that is about learning together. My most important challenge is not to impart knowledge but to inspire students to think for themselves. I always find I can do this best by taking students seriously – as seekers of knowledge and as persons in the world. Good teaching, then, is about attending closely to the individual as much as about creating a joyful atmosphere where everyone can thrive. I am very grateful to our students for being the sorts of people they are: inquisitive, critical, creative. I try to let them know that this is what I think.

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Torture Arts & Humanities

Research Output 2011 2017

Just liberal Violence: Sweatshops, Torture, War

Neu, M. 29 Nov 2017 London. 162 p. (Off the Fence: Morality, Politics and Society)

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authored

Sweatshops
Torture
Defects
Labor
Morality

Exploring Complicity: Concept, Cases and Critique

Afxentiou, A. (ed.), Dunford, R. (ed.) & Neu, M. (ed.) 1 Dec 2016 London. 231 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook - edited

torture
social movement
social structure
Social Relations
politician

Intellectual Complicity in Torture

Brecher, B. & Neu, M. 1 Jan 2016 Exploring Complicity: Concept, Cases and Critique. Neu, M., Dunford, R. & Afxentiou, A. (eds.). London, p. 143-160 18 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Introducing Complicity

Afxentiou, A., Dunford, R. & Neu, M. 1 Dec 2016 Exploring Complicity: Concept, Cases and Critique. Neu, M., Dunford, R. & Afxentiou, A. (eds.). London, p. 1-15 15 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

The supreme emergency of war: a critique of Walzer

Neu, M. 1 Feb 2014 10, 1, p. 3-19 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Emergency
Dirty Hands
Michael Walzer
Moral Reasons
Political Community