Declan Sean Kenny

Declan Sean Kenny


My desire to continue researching global justice crystalised when completing my MA dissertation on the topic of ‘realising cosmopolitanism’. This research coincided with the rise of nationalism in the form of Donald Trump and Brexit, which reflected clear obstacles to realising any kind of cosmopolitan project. My views shifted, however, from seeing these events as unfortunate circumstances that somehow need to be circumvented to questioning whether these events pointed to a potential incoherence within cosmopolitan thought itself. Namely, the inability of cosmopolitanism, in its current form, to speak to the global structural injustices produced by globalisation, that on one level goes some way to explaining why people reject cosmopolitan ideas, but on another level reaffirmed the need to conduct further research into these matters. This motivated me to pursue doctoral research that would develop a cosmopolitanism fit for addressing the structural nature of global injustices. To do so, I am funded by the School of Politics and International Studies Postgraduate Research Excellence Scholarship 2018/19. 


Research interests

My doctoral thesis seeks to redress to the tendency within cosmopolitan thought to defend symptomatic global principles of justice that fail to meaningfully examine and challenge global structural injustices.  To do so, I am interested in the work of Iris Marion Young, in particular, her structural injustice framework. I suggest, however, that global structural injustices pose a unique type of injustice that may need to be examined differently from societal accounts of justice, and thus, Young’s account should not simply be extrapolated to the global realm. At the same time, I am interested in the way that injustice ‘here’ is categorised as social justice, whereas injustice ‘over there’ is categorised as global justice. I am attempting to show that this is an unuseful way of framing the globalised nature of structural injustices, which despite playing out in different ways ‘here’ and ‘over there’, cannot be neatly disentangled from one another as the literature often assumes. 

My main research interests are: 

  • Contemporary Political Theory


  • MA Politics (University of Sheffield 2016-17)
  • BA Political Science (University of Birmingham 2012-15)

Research groups and institutes

  • Political Theory and Cultural Values