Alumni Fellow

Dr Joe Hoover

Fellows Unit 3

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Tel:  +49 (0)203 379-5230
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-mail: hoover@spam


Dr Joe Hoover joined Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research as a Fellow. He conducted his research in Research Unit 3 “Global Governance Revisited” from May 2017 to January 2018.

Research Project at the Centre

Justice in the Global City

Our world is globalising; it seems we all know and accept this, but increasingly it is suggested that this globalising world is a cause of injustice. Our contemporary moment is defined by a sense that the injustices we face are profound, multidimensional and global, including political discrimination, racist oppression, gender inequality, a neo-imperial international order and profound lack of economic fairness.

The need for some form of global justice seems obvious, yet the path towards it is much less clear. Despite our recognition that we need to find a more justice social arrangement with global scope, contemporary literature on global justice struggles to comprehend our present reality and existing debates are characterised by excessively idealised approaches. On one side there are attempts to redeem the nation-state as a site of justice, focused on how nationalism can be constrained and community rights balanced against minimal global duties within the state system. While on the other side we have a growing number of appeals for a cosmopolitan conception of justice, rooted in individualism, liberal rights and global institutions. Most work in political theory is not grounded in the contemporary contexts of injustice, but rather draws on idealised national and cosmopolitan accounts of political community that do not actually exist, leaving academic work abstracted from our most pressing problems. However, this need not be the case and this project addresses the limits of contemporary global justice literature by arguing that we need not begin with idealised national and cosmopolitan visions, but rather that we should start with the lived experience of injustice and build upon existing struggles for justice.

Justice and the Global City addresses this gap in the literature, as I explore the question of justice in the context of the global process of urbanisation and the globalisation of cities. I argue for the centrality of the Right to the City in making urban life more democratic and egalitarian for the diverse denizens of global cities. In order to consider the question of justice in context the project focuses on the global city as a distinctive and contemporary political space in which changes in the capacity and nature of the state, alongside the partial and disruptive force of globalised economic flows and transnational institutions, contribute to profound social problems for urban communities, which do not map onto idealised conceptions of the polis. Along with the distinctiveness of the global city as a political space, it is also vital to understand its centrality as a contemporary political space, as the world is increasingly urbanised and cities are ever more independent of national governance structures. This project contributes to and builds upon an important dissident strand of justice theorising that rejects excessive idealism and abstraction, particularly by feminist theorists. It will also contribute to existing literature on urban justice, which has tended to apply existing theories of justice to the urban space rather than theorising justice from contemporary urban experiences.

Research Interests

  • Global Ethics
  • Human Rights
  • Pragmatism
  • Agonism
  • Pluralism
  • Democracy
  • Global Cities

Current Projects

  • Justice and the Global City
  • Right to the City
  • Human Right to Housing
  • Reconstructing Human Rights


Since 09/2016 Queen Mary University of London, UK
School of Politics and International Relations
Lecturer in Political Theory
01/2015-03/2015 University of Chicago, USA
Pozen Family Center for Human Rights
Visiting Professor
01/2013-08/2016 City University of London, UK
Department of International Politics
Lecturer in International Politics
09/2010-12/2012 London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
Department of International Relations
LSE Fellow

Selected Publications

Hoover, J., Hirst, A., Samman, A., Schwarz, E. (forthcoming): Myths and Mysteries in International Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hoover, J. (forthcoming): ‘Democratic Moral Agency: Altering Unjust Conditions in Practices of Responsibility’, in Tobias Debiel et al. (eds.): Moral Agency and the Politics of Responsibility: Challenging Complexity, London: Routledge.

Hoover, J. (forthcoming): ‘The Political Movement for a Human Right to the City’, in B. Schippers (ed.): Critical Perspectives on Human Rights, London: Rowman and Littlefield International.

Hoover, J. (2016): Reconstructing Human Rights: a Pragmatic and Pluralist Inquiry in Global Ethics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hoover, J. (2015): Claiming a Human Right to Housing: Eviction Defence, Home (Re)Occupation and Community Resistance, Third World Quarterly 36 (6): 1092–102.

Hoover, J. (2014): Moral Practices: Assigning Responsibility in the International Criminal Court, Law and Contemporary Problems 76 (3 & 4): 101–24.

Hoover, J. (2013): Towards a Politics for Human Rights: Ambiguous Humanity and Democratising Rights, Philosophy and Social Criticism 39 (9): 935–61.

Hoover, J. (2013): Rereading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Plurality and Contestation, not Consensus, Journal of Human Rights 12(2): 217–41.

Hoover, J. (2012): Reconstructing Responsibility and Moral Agency in World Politics, International Theory 4 (2): 233–68.

Hoover, J. (2012): ‘Human Rights Contested’, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 6 (2): 233–46.

Hoover, J., & Iñiguez de Heredia, M. (2011): Philosophers, Activists, and Radicals: a Story of Human Rights and Other Scandals, Human Rights Review 12 (2): 191–220.

Hoover, J., Sabaratnam, M., & Schouenborg, L. (eds.) (2011): Interrogating Democracy in World Politics, London: Routledge.

Hoover, J. (2011): Egypt and the Failure of Realism, Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies 4: 127–37.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Justice and the Global City, 3rd year undergraduate course, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London
  • Introduction Into Politics, 1st year undergraduate course, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London
  • Modern Political Thought, 2nd year undergraduate course, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London
  • Introduction to Politics, 1st year undergraduate course, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London
  • Global Ethics, postgraduate course, Department of International Politics, City University of London
  • Human Rights and the Transformation of World Politics, postgraduate course, Department of International Politics, City University of London
  • Global Ethics, 3rd year undergraduate course, Department of International Politics, City University of London
  • Myths and Mysteries in World Politics, 1st year undergraduate course, Department of International Politics, City University of London

Seminars and Conferences

  • BISA Ethics and World Politics Working Group, Research Seminars, 2016–2017
  • British International Studies Association Annual Conference, Brighton 2017
  • International Studies Association Convention, Baltimore 2017
  • British International Studies Association Annual Conference, Edinburgh 2016
  • European Workshops in International Studies, Tübingen 2016
  • Political Studies Association International Conference, Brighton 2016
  • Association for Political Thought Conference, Oxford 2015
  • International Studies Association Convention, New Orleans 2015
  • London Conference in Critical Thought, London 2014
  • FLACSO-ISA Joint International Conference, Buenos Aires 2014
  • International Studies Association Convention, San Francisco 2013
  • Political Studies Association: Human Rights Thought and Practice in the Contemporary World, London 2013


  • British Internationale Studies Association
  • Political Studies Association
  • Association for Political Thought
  • International Studies Association
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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