We are delighted to award our 2023 Mid-Career Prize to Dr Alfred Moore of the University of York, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the discipline of political theory. Since defending his PhD at the University of Bath, Dr Moore has held academic positions at University College Cork, the University of British Columbia, as well as Cambridge University, before joining the University of York, where he is currently Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics.
Dr Moore’s research showcases political theory at its very best: philosophically rich, thoroughly interdisciplinary, and driven by the desire to address some of the most pressing problems of our times. In his monograph Critical Elitism: Deliberation, Democracy, and the Politics of Expertise (CUP, 2017) Dr Moore grapples with the fraught relationship between democratic inclusion and expertise, arguing that the democratic public play a crucial role in contesting expertise. This work brings together insights from democratic theory and science and technology studies.
Dr Moore’s work has also deeply enriched our understanding of online political discourse in a polarized age. Perhaps most notable here is his groundbreaking work on pseudonymity, which has appeared in the Journal of Political Philosophy and Political Studies. Using an impressive combination of philosophical and empirical analyses, Dr Moore persuasively shows how architects of online discursive spaces can use pseudonymity to avoid the pitfalls associated with both anonymous and real-name online environments.
Dr Moore’s work is remarkable not just in virtue of its philosophical rigour and interdisciplinarity, but also in virtue of its relevance to, and engagement with, non-academic actors and audiences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, Dr Moore (with Dr Michael MacKenzie) offered key lessons for policymakers, published in the prestigious British Medical Journal, outlining the importance of being open about disagreement between expert advisers.
Beyond his research, Dr Moore has consistently contributed to political theory in Britain and Ireland through extensive professional activities (for example, as co-convenor the 2022 PSA Conference, and co-convenor of the PSA specialist group on deliberative and participatory democracy); and as a dedicated teacher, whose specialised module “Knowledge and Democracy” remains a popular choice amongst students at York. For all of these reasons, the BIAPT judges considered Dr Moore a worthy winner of this year’s Mid-Career Prize.
Dr Moore said: “This award is a really wonderful surprise. I am hugely grateful to the BIAPT judges, to my excellent colleagues in the Department of Politics at the University of York, and to everyone who has supported my work over the years.”