Photo - Edmund Tweedy Flanigan

Edmund Tweedy Flanigan

PhD Candidate in Political Theory
Department of Government
Harvard University

Curriculum Vitae (September 2020)
Google Scholar | PhilPeople

About Me

I am a doctoral student in the Government Department at Harvard University, studying issues in contemporary moral and political philosophy. In 2019-2020 I was a Graduate Fellow at the EJ Safra Center for Ethics.

My research focuses on the moral foundations of the state-subject relationship and on the political ethics of the oppressed. As part of this project, I have written on the permissibility of violent protest, the standing of the state vis-à-vis the oppressed, the duty to obey the law, and the law's authority. I have also written on the topics of value comparability and climate ethics.

I have an AB in philosophy from Georgetown University and an MPhil in political theory from the University of Oxford, where I wrote a thesis on climate change and future generations.


2020. ‘Do We Have Reasons to Obey the Law?,’ Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy, 17(2): 159-197.

2018. ‘The Small Improvement Argument, Epistemicism, and Incomparability,’ with John Halstead, Economics & Philosophy, 34(2): 199-219.

Work in Progress

From Self-Defense to Violent Protest

Futile Resistance as Protest


2011. ‘On Discount Rates in the Cost-Benefit Analysis of Climate Change,’ MPhil Thesis Chapter, Department of Politics, University of Oxford.


Graduate Seminars

‘Ethical Foundations of Political Thought’ (Gov 2088)
Fall 2018, co-taught with Michael Rosen

Undergraduate Seminars

‘EJ Safra Center for Ethics Undergraduate Fellows Research Seminar’
Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, co-taught with Danielle Allen

‘Topics and Resources in Political Theory’ (Gov 63)
Spring 2018, co-taught with Cheryl Welch

As Teaching Fellow

‘EJ Safra Center for Ethics Undergraduate Fellows Seminar’ (Gov 94saf)
Spring 2018, Spring 2019, for Arthur Applbaum

‘Dissent and Disobedience in Democracies’ (Gov 1038/DPI 218)
Spring 2019, for Arthur Applbaum

‘Theory and Practice of Republican Government’ (ER 44)
Fall 2017, for Daniel Carpenter

‘Foundations of Political Theory’ (Gov 10)
Spring 2017, for Eric Beerbohm

‘Ethics, Biotechnology, and the Future of Human Nature’ (Gov 1093)
Fall 2016, for Michael Sandel and Douglas Melton

‘Money, Markets, and Morals’ (ER 39)
Fall 2015, for Michael Sandel