Chair for International Political Theory and Philosophy


Goethe University Frankfurt

Faculty of Social Sciences
Institute for Political Science

Cluster of Excellence, House "Normative Ordnungen"
Max-Horkheimer-Straße 2
3rd floor, room 3.11
Map of Campus Westend

Postal address:
Goethe-Universitaet Frankfurt am Main
Fach EXC 14
60629 Frankfurt am Main

Question about Teaching:

Office hours: by arrangement

Administrative Assistent

Ellen Nieß
phone: +49 (0) 69 / 798 - 31521
fax: +49 (0) 69 / 798 - 31402 
house "Normative Ordnungen"
room 3.12

Office hours for students:

Currently, there are no fixed office hours. Please contact Ellen Nieß via e-mail.


I am a political theorist and an environmental, moral, and political philosopher. I also have interests in the philosophy of economics and political economy.

As a graduate student I focused as much as possible on contemporary continental Philosophy, and I wrote a dissertation on Hegel’s philosophy of subjective spirit. After that I gravitated towards contemporary Anglo-American moral and political philosophy. I see value in both traditions, and I am not fond of using the distinction between traditions to close off areas of Philosophy for serious consideration, as is sometimes done.

I have written papers and chapters on a variety of topics, including most recently climate justice, global justice, hope, and just war theory. Some of my recent publications are available below. I have published two books on global justice, Cosmopolitan Justice (Westview 2000) and Global Inequality Matters (Palgrave 2009), and one on climate justice The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change; Values, Poverty, and Policy (Cambridge 2014). I have another book on climate justice forthcoming, Mobilizing Hope: Climate Change and Global Poverty (Oxford).

The sort of philosophical research I do is driven by problems in our lives and the world in which we live. These matters are more important to me than problems in the literature.

Student supervision

I receive many requests to supervise bachelor’s thesis. I accept these requests in the following order of priority:

1. Students who have taken classes with me and who are working in areas in which I have enough expertise to supervise get first priority.
2. Next comes students working in environmental political theory or environmental philosophy.
3. Finally, as my capacity allows, other students working in areas in which I have sufficient expertise, with priority going to students writing in English.

Anyone wishing to have their bachelor thesis supervised by me should schedule an appointment with me through my secretary, Frau Nieß.



Professional Bio

How I Got Here

“[I] tried to ask myself, when writing: precisely what does this sentence contribute to the developing exposition or argument, and is it true? You become analytical when you practise that sort of (frequently painful) self-criticism.” –G.A. Cohen

“Only an expressed thought is succinct, rendered succinct by its presentation in language; what is vaguely put is poorly thought.” –Theodor W. Adorno

Kürzlich veröffentlichte Artikel und Kapitel

Three Interpretations of the Anthropocene: Hope and Anxiety at the End of NatureEthics, Politics, and Society, 3, 2020.

Responsibility for Increasing Mitigation Ambition in Light of the Right to Sustainable DevelopmentFudan Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 13, 2020, 181-192.

Hope in Political PhilosophyPhilosophy Compass, April 2020. Co-authors: Jakob Huber and Claudia Blöser.

Hope for Material Progress in the Age of the Anthropocene” in Claudia Blöser and Titus Stahl, eds. The Moral Psychology of Hope (London and New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).

Considerations of distributive justice principles in economic modelling of climate change, ” Zeitschrift für Umweltpolitik und Umweltforschung, 2020. Heft 1. Co-author Axel Schaffer and Sebastian Brun.

Economic Contagion and Pro-Poor Social EpidemiologyJournal of Social Philosophy (on line early)

 “The Cry of the Earth and The Cry of the Poor,” in Robert McKim ed. Laudato Si' and The Environment: Pope Francis' Green Encyclical (London: Routledge, 2019).

Real World Global Egalitarianism” in Robin Eckersley and Chris Brown ed. Oxford Handbook of International Political Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Progress, Destruction, and the Anthropocene,” Social Philosophy and Policy, 34:2, 2017, 66-88.

Ending Wars” in Helen Frowe and Seth Lazar eds. The Oxford Handbook of the Ethics of War, Oxford University Press, 2018.

Sophia Halamoda has illustrated Prof Moellendorf's approach to climate justice: