Queen's University

Dr. Margaret Moore

Professor, Department of Philosophy, Department of Political Studies
LinkedIn profile for Dr. Margaret Moore


I am Professor in the Political Studies department at Queen’s University, where I teach political theory.

I received my PhD at the London School of Economics in 1990 and have held positions at York University (Toronto) and University of Waterloo prior to coming to Queen’s.

My first book, Foundations of Liberalism (Oxford University Press), was a philosophical analysis of the justificatory arguments for liberalism, with a focus on the relationship between the individual and the community in liberal political theory. The argument was largely based on my doctoral dissertation. However, soon after returning to my native Canada, from doing a PhD in England, I found my native country embroiled in questions related to minority nationalism, secession, identity politics, and indigenous rights, which were un-theorized in the fairly analytical liberal theory in which I had been trained. That led to a series of articles and publications, which led to my second book, also published by Oxford University Press, called Ethics of Nationalism.

My most recent book A Political Theory of Territory (2015) was winner of the Canadian Philosophical Association Biennial Best Book Prize in 2017 and has been the subject of journal symposia and author-meets-critics roundtables and conferences. It offers a philosophical analysis of territory, which has been largely under-theorized in political theory, which has focused on the relationship between the state and citizens.

In addition, I have also written numerous chapters and articles, in such journals as Journal of Political Philosophy, Political Theory, Ethics & International Affairs, Philosophical Studies, and Political Studies and edited or co-edited three other books. I am currently (autumn, 2018) the Olof Palme Research Professor at the University of Stockholm.

I continue to be interested in issues related to territory, including land rights, processes of gentrification, historic injustices, resource justice, global justice (and injustice) and justice towards future generations (which has a significant resource justice element).

My current work focuses on resource justice and I am writing a book entitled Who Should Own the World’s Natural Resources? It examines different arguments for control over (jurisdiction) and property rights in natural resources, as well as what resources we ought to pass on to future generations. To that end, I defend an account of resource sustainability.

Most Recent Project

Corrective Justice and Land

My SSHRCC-Insight grant funded project examines claims for corrective justice in cases where individuals and groups have been expelled from land that they previously occupied.

The first part of the project involves conceptual and normative analysis of the rights violated in cases of expulsion from land: individual (and/or group) rights to property; individual rights of residency; and group rights to collective self-determination within a territory. The normative dimension of the project aims to explicate the justificatory argument behind different kinds of rights.  This is essential for understanding what should be done to remedy rights-violations; which rights might be weakened over time; or the conditions under which new occupants can acquire rights.  The second part of the project applies this normative and conceptual analysis of different place-related rights to three cases where expulsions and expropriations have taken place. 

Keep Reading...

Other Projects

  • A Political Theory of Territory

    My central research interest is on questions of territorial justice, including boundary drawing, ethics of secession and contested territory.  Moore’s 2015 book defends a philosophical theory of territory, including what justifies it, who holds rights to territory, and what these rights are.

    Keep Reading...