This is the website for the Role Ethics Network, an AHRC-funded project running from May 2016 to October 2017.


The various roles we occupy (FRIEND, PARENT, BOSS, etc.) shape a great deal of our practical decision-making. This influence is under-acknowledged and poorly understood within theoretical ethics.

Or to be accurate, the importance of roles is recognized in work on particular morally charged cases (military roles, gender roles, family roles, etc.), but there has been precious little cross-domain work on the ethical significance of roles per se. Given how socially pervasive they are, and given the enormous impact they clearly have on our normative outlook, the literature on roles in general within ethical and political theory is surprisingly thin and scattered.

There are signs that role ethics as a sub-field in its own right is slowly starting to be given the attention it warrants. This project is intended to foster that process.


Some of the existing work can be found under the literature tab above. More about the topic can be found under the goal and themes tab. If any aspect of what you find here interests you, please join us at one of our events or contact us using the links on this website.