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The Australian National University

Geoffrey Brennan

School or Centre: Centre for Moral, Social and Political Theory

Phone: 61 2 6125 3411, x 53411
Location: HC Coombs Building, Room 2204

Website: My profile website


PhD (Australian National University, 1976)


Trained as an economist, but now self-identifies as a PPE person, publishing mainly in political science and political and moral philosophy.


Geoffrey Brennan joined the Economics Faculty of the ANU in 1968, after studies in Economics at the Australian National University. From 1976-1983 Geoffrey was Professor in the Public Choice Center at Virginia Tech, where he worked extensively with (1987) Nobel Laureate James Buchanan, co-authoring two books and a dozen articles with him over that period. Geoffrey returnes to the ANU in 1984 to be Head of the Economics Department in the then Faculty of Economics; was seconded to RSSS in 1988 and became Director in 1991. He joined the Social and Political Theory program in RSSS in 1997 and the Philosophy Program in 2010. Since 2005 he has spent a semester each year in the joint Duke/UNC PPE program as the General Director.

Research Interests

Geoffrey's research interests lie broadly across the intersection between Economics and Moral and Political Philosophy. He considers most important work to be on the expressive theory of voting; and on the role of esteem in social settings.


The Economy of Esteem (2004) (with Philip Pettit)

Explaining Norms (2014) OUP (with Eriksson, Goodin and Southwood)

And articles in Public Choice, the Monist, Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, Social Philosophy and Policy.


Honorary Doctorate (University of St Gallen)

Annual Distinguished Fellow Award of the Economic Society of Australia (2013); Hayek Medal (German Hayek society) (2014)


Academy of Social Sciences in Australia; Public Choice Society (ex-President); Tampere Club (President)

Projects and Grants

Norms project (ARC)

Feasibility in Ethics project (ARC)


PPE Integrative Seminar (Year 2) 2014; 2015 (ANU)

PPE Gateway – Spring semester Duke/UNC (2005 – 2016)

PPE Capstone – Spring semester Duke/UNC (2006-2016)

Updated: 18 November 2016/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher