Paula Casal

Universitat Pompeu Fabra


Paula Casal is an ICREA Professor at the Law Department of Universitat Pompeu Fabra. She was previously a Lecturer and a Reader in Moral and Political Philosophy at Reading University (2004-8), and a Lecturer at Keele University (1996-2004). She was also Fellow in Ethics at Harvard University (1999-2000), Keele Junior Research Fellow, also at Harvard (2000-1), Hoover Fellow at Université Catholique de Louvain (2001-02), and Leverhulme Research Fellow at Oxford University (2002-4). Her work has appeared in such journals as Ethics, Economics and Philosophy, Journal of Medical Ethics, Journal of Political Philosophy, Hypatia, Political Studies and Utilitas. She is an Associate Editor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics, co-editor of LEAP, President of the Great Ape Project-Spain, Academics Stand Against Poverty-Spain, and co-director of the UPF Center for Animal Ethics.

Research interests

I work on how social institutions should distribute resources. This requires assessing the general principles (such as equality, priority, and sufficiency) governing distributive decisions as well as more specific policies designed to promote social or global justice. I am particularly concerned with policy responses to global poverty, climate change and gender inequality, including various forms of taxation. I am also interested in the intersection between ethics and primatology, including the origins of empathy and resource-sharing as well as violence and gender inequality, the moral status of non-human animals, and the distinction between natural and social inequality. I have also written about how the costs of raising children should be distributed, sea-access for landlocked states, the moral limits to religious accommodation, and the difference medical ethics draws between therapy and enhancement.

Selected publications

Casal P 2017, ‘Mill, Rawls and Cohen on Incentives and Occupational Freedom’, Utilitas, vol. 29, no. 4, pp 375 – 397.

Casal P 2017,  ‘Peter Singer’ in Key Thinkers on the Evironment, ed. J Palmer, Routledge, London, pp 374-81.

Selected research activities

– Organized Evolutionary Science, Family Structures and Human Rights, event with Robert Trivers, T Bosch, J Bertranpetit, R Nagel and M Santos, 28/11.

– Delivered talks: ‘Cruelty and Culture’, Globalizing Minority Rights Conference, Tromso, 14/3; ‘Social Justice, Gender Equality and Social Publicity’, LOGOS UB, 20/4 ‘Sea Access for the Landlocked’, Carlos III University, Madrid, 5/5; ‘The Egalitarian Trilemma’, Jerusalem University, 17/4; ‘Distributive Justice and Female Longevity’, Marie Curie Conference on Ageing, UPF, 12/7; ‘Conservative Sufficiency and Future Generations’ Fracture Conference, Center for Advanced Studies Justitia Amplificata and Goethe University, Frankfurt, 13/7; ‘Climate Change and Human Rights’ One Young World Conference, Barcelona 14/7; ‘Sufficiency and Future Generations’, Future Generations Conference, UB, 30/6; ‘Conservative and Conservationist Sufficiency’ Princeton-UPF Conference in Political Theory, 2/11; ‘Cambio climático: el conflicto social y cultural’, CCCB 21/11, ‘Justice and Biology’, UPF 28/11.

– Supervised: J Moawad’s MA Thesis ‘Gender Equality and Sport’, R Bravo’s MA Thesis ‘Liberty, Equality and Sufficiency’, M Vallés’ ‘Against Non-Medical Sex-Selective Abortion’, L Marani’s MA Thesis, ‘Regulations Up in Smoke. Spain’s Medical Canabis Law as a Social Justice Failure’.

– Evaluated: J Kapembwa’s PhD ‘Wildlife Rights and Human Obligations’, Reading University, 26/4, MINECO Grants, La Caixa Grants.

– Other: Co-directed with N Almiron UPF Center for Animal Ethics, co-edited LEAP and PPE, served on board of Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, and Public Reason, and founding board of Global Justice Program, School of Transnational Affairs, Delhi; and The Journal of Controversial Ideas.