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Tom Sorell


Professor of Politics and Philosophy

Email: t dot e dot sorell at warwick dot ac dot uk
Tel: 02476 528 031
Room: E2.26
Advice and Feedback Hours: Tuesdays 11 am


Prof Sorell leads the Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group, including the Security and Ethics Group.





Tom Sorell is Professor of Politics and Philosophy and Head of the Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group in PAIS. He is an RCUK Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellow (2013-2016). Previously, he was John Ferguson Professor of Global Ethics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics, University of Birmingham. In 1996-7 he was Fellow in Ethics at Harvard. He was Co-ordinator of the FP7 DETECTER project and is leader of two Work Packages in the FP7 SURVEILLE project.

He directs the major AHRC project, FinCris, and is a participant in the FP7 ICT ACCOMPANY project on care robotics. Formerly, he was Co-Director of the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex. He has published extensively in moral and political philosophy, including four books, and many journal articles. His current research is in the moral and political issues raised by emergencies, including terrorist emergencies. He has led a project on ethics and border guarding for FRONTEX, and advises the FP7 security projects INDECT, FOCUS, MOSES, and FASTPASS. He is advisor to the FP7 ICT project FROG and has also worked as a consultant on security-sensitive material in UK universities. He has also worked on the committee advising the AHRC on the Internet of Things.


Hobbes; contemporary liberal political philosophy; the scope of moral theory; scepticism about moral theory; emergency and its theory; ethics and security: counter-terrorism; ethics of surveillance; the value of privacy; financial justice: responsibilities for and in the financial crisis; ethics of financial exclusion and microfinance; assistive technology: ethics of telecare; ethics of care robotics; cyber ethics.

Recent podcasts

Recent contributions to books

  • 'Minority Rights’ in in L. Foisneau, J.C. Velasco Arroyo, Ch. Hiebaum (ed.), Open Democracies,(Hamburg, Springer, 2012) in press
  • ‘Hobbes, Public Safety and Political Economy’ in R. Prokhovnik and G Slomp,eds. International Political Theory After Hobbes (London: Macmillan, 2011) pp. 42-55.
  • ‘Hobbes, Locke and the State of Nature’ in S Hutton and P Schurmann, eds., Studies on Locke: Sources, Contemporaries and Legacy (Dordrecht: Springer, 2008) pp. 27-44
  • ‘Spinoza’s Unstable Politics of Freedom’ in. C. Hueneman, ed. Interpreting Spinoza: Critical Essays (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008) pp. 147-165.
  • ‘Thomas Hobbes’ in Encyclopaedia Britannica 2008
  • ‘Project Finance and the Special Responsibilities of Multinationals’ in M. Salmon et al. eds Shared Responsibilities: Human Rights and Development in the 21st Century (Interscientia, 2007), pp. 265-282
  • ‘Public Health, Parental Choice and Expert Knowledge: the strange case of the MMR vaccine’ in M Vereweij and A Dawsion, eds., Ethics, Prevention, and Public Health (Oxford, 2007), pp. 95-110.

Recent peer-reviewed papers

  • and Amirabdollahian.F, Akker. R, Bedaf. S, Bormann.R, Draper. H, Evers.v, Gallego Perez. J, Jan Gelderblom. G. Gutierrez Ruiz. C, Hewson.D, Hu. N, Lee Koay. K, Krose.B, Lehmann. H, Marti. P, Michel. H, Prevot-Huille. H, Reiser. U, Saunders.J, Stienstra. J, Syrdal.D, Walters.M, Dautenhahn.K ‘Assistive technology design and development for acceptable robotics companions for aging years’ PALADYN Journal of Behavioral Robotics, 4(2):94-112
  • with Nicholas Oakley (2012): ‘Medical Repatriation: the Need for a Bigger Picture’ American Journal of Bioethics
  • with Heather Draper (2012) ‘Telecare,Surveillance and the Welfare State’ American Journal of Bioethics
  • In press with Heather Draper (2012) ‘Telecare and ‘Care’ Bioethics
  • (2011) Preventive Policing, Surveillance and European Counter-Terrorism, Criminal Justice Ethics 30 (1) 1-22.
  • and Damery, S., Wilson, S., Draper, H., Greenfield, S., Ives, J., Parry, J., Petts J., (2010) Non-Professional Healthcare Workers and Ethical Obligations to Work during Pandemic Influenza, Public Health Ethics, 3(1): 23-34
  • (2010) ‘Cholera and Nothing More’ Public Health Ethics, 3 (1): 60-62