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James Dempsey

Research Fellow

Email: j dot dempsey dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk
Tel: 024 7652 8034
Room: E2.25


Since July 2012 I have been Research Fellow on the AHRC-funded project on Responsibilities, Ethics and the Financial Crisis (FinCris), which runs from 2012-2015. I joined PAIS in January 2013 as part of the Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group, led by Prof. Tom Sorell. Prior to joining the FinCris project, I was Teaching Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Applied Ethics Centre at the University of Leeds.

My research on the FinCris project focuses on developing a theory of responsibility for the financial crisis that explains which individuals and institutions can be held accountable, and why, and the implications of these conclusions for obligations that arise out of the crisis. I am particularly interested in the relationships between individuals, organisations, and culture, and the implications of these relationships for responsibility in complex events such as the crisis.

I wrote my PhD on the subject of ‘Business Ethics and Collective Responsibility’ in the St Andrews and Stirling joint programme in philosophy, prior to which, from 1999 – 2007 I worked in a number of corporate roles. Most of this time I spent in the management consulting business of Accenture, where I focused on information strategy.

Research Interests

In addition to the application of responsibility theory to the financial crisis, my research interests include:

  • Other ethical questions related to the financial crisis, and the financial sector more broadly; for example, the sense in which financial institutions have a ‘purpose’, and the difference this makes;
  • Application of responsibility theory to business, and how this relates to the identification of a distinct field of ‘business ethics’;
  • Investigation of different ways we employ ‘responsibility’ terms, and what we can learn from this for the construction of ethical theory;
  • Theories of business ethics more broadly.

More details about my research interests can be found on my Research Page.

I work in the Financial Justice research area in the Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group.

Recent Publications

  1. ‘Corporations and Non-Agential Moral Responsibility’, Journal of Applied Philosophy, 30 (4): 334–350. doi: 10.1111/japp.12029 (2013)
  2. Pluralistic business ethics: the significance and justification of moral free space in integrative social contracts theory’, Business Ethics: A European Review, 20: 253–266 (2011)

For more details, see my Publications Page.


Further information