Maria Alejandra Mancilla

Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22841677
Visiting address Blindernveien 31 Georg Morgenstiernes hus 0313 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1020 Blindern 0315 OSLO

I am associate professor of practical philosophy at the University of Oslo. I hold a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Australian National University, and bachelor degrees in philosophy and social information from Universidad Católica de Chile. I was previously a postdoc at the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature at the University of Oslo.

One of my areas of interest in political philosophy is the connection between moral cosmopolitanism, global poverty and human rights. In my book, The Right of Necessity, I ask what is morally permissible for the needy to do for themselves and by themselves in order to get out of their chronically deprived situations. You can listen to an interview about the book here.

With Tom Campbell, I have also co-edited a book on Theories of Justice.

Another area of interest is the normative foundation of territorial rights and rights over natural resources. Currently, I am leading a three-year research project financed by the Polar Programme of the Norwegian Research Council, entitled Political Philosophy Looks to Antarctica. Its aim is to develop a normative framework to assess claims over territory and resources in the White Continent, as well as to inquire into the legitimacy of the international arrangements governing it (i.e., the Antarctic Treaty System and its related instruments and conventions).

I also have a book in Spanish about the figure of the impartial spectator in Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments.

When it comes to ethics, I am curious about the foundations of animal rights (see this article on Veganism), and our relationship towards the non-human world in general (see, for example, this article where I discuss two very different approaches to environmental ethics by two very different film directors, James Cameron and Hayao Miyazaki).

An updated list of publications (with links to them), talks and my cv can be found in my personal webpage.

Tags: Philosophy, Political philosophy, Ethics, History of ideas



2016 The Right of Necessity: Moral Cosmopolitanism and Global Justice. London: Rowman and Littlefield (An interview about the book can be found here).

2008 Espectador imparcial y desarrollo moral en la ética de Adam Smith. Navarra, Spain: Cuadernos Filosóficos.

Edited Books

2012 Theories of Justice. Co-edited with Tom Campbell. London: Ashgate.


Forthcoming. ‘What the Old Right of Necessity Can Do for the Contemporary Global Poor.’ In Journal of Applied Philosophy. DOI:10.1111/japp.12170.

2016. ‘Shared Sovereignty over Mobile Natural Resources.’ In Res Publica 22, no. 1 (2016): 21–35

2015. ‘What We Own Before Property: Hugo Grotius and the Suum’. In Grotiana 36 (2015): 1-15.

2015. 'The Volcanic Asymmetry, or the Question of Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Disasters.' In Journal of Political Philosophy 23 (2): 192-212.

2014. 'The Environmental Turn in Territorial Rights.' In CRISPP: Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. DOI: 10.1080/13698230.2013.868981

2013. 'The Bridge of Benevolence: Hutcheson and Mencius.' In Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy. DOI 10.1007/s11712-012-9313-y.

2012. 'Noncivil Disobedience and the Right of Necessity. A Point of Convergence'. In Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy 3: 3-15.

2012. 'Samuel Pufendorf and the Right of Necessity'. In Aporia 3: 47-64.

2009. 'Non-human Animals in Adam Smith’s Moral Theory.' In Between the Species Online Journal 13(9).

2009. “La beneficencia como virtud moral y política en la ética de Adam Smith.” In Empresa y Humanismo 13(1): 103-144.


Forthcoming. The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory. Edited by Teena Gabrielson, Cheryl Hall, John M. Meyer and David Schlosberg. In Political Studies Review.

2016 The Polar Regions. An Environmental History. By Adrian Howkins. In Polar Record. doi: 10.1017/S0032247416000413.

2013. Animal Rights with a Grain of Salt. By Paul Waldau. In Society & Animals 21, no. 3 (2013): 318-319.

2011. Should Trees Have Standing?. By Christopher Stone. In Pandora’s Box 18: 91-99.

2011. Nature, Aesthetics and Environmentalism: From Beauty to Duty. By Allen Carlson and Sheila Lintott (eds.) In Environmental Values 20(3): 449-452.

2010. Naturaleza y valor. By Margarita Valdés (comp.) In Crítica 42(126): 79-86.


Pensando la Tierra (Translation of Baird Callicott’s Earth’s Insights).


2015. 'A can of tomato juice in the sea', Philosophy Now 107: pp. 20-21.

2011. 'Avatar vs. Mononoke', Philosophy Now 85: pp. 44-46.


The moral limits of territorial claims in Antarctica: A preliminary analysis. Political science seminar, University of Oslo, June 2017; CSMN Final Conference, University of Oslo, May 2017; Territorial Rights: New Directions and Challenges, University of Quebec at Montreal, April 2017.

Necessity knows no law. Does it know any borders? Private property and territorial rights workshop, University of Bayreuth, May 2017.

Greening Global Egalitarianism. University of Bristol, UK, January 2017.

La fuerza normativa de los reclamos territoriales en la Antártica. Diplomado de Estudios Antárticos, Universidad de Magallanes, Chile, June 2016.

Derechos territoriales en el Antropoceno: Mirando hacia la Antártica. Antarctica in/and the Anthropocene International Symposium, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, May 2016.

Melting claims: The normative force and weakness of territorial claims in Antarctica. Territory, Justice and Rivers Workshop, Philosophy Department, University of Cork, June 2015; The roles of Chile, Argentina and Norway as Custodians of Peace, Science and Environment in Antarctica Workshop, Arctic University of Tromsø, Norway, June 2015.

What the old right of necessity can do for the contemporary global poor. Responding to Global Poverty Conference, CSMN, University of Oslo, Norway, May 2015; Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, October 2014; Department of Political Science, University of Stockholm, Sweden, October 2014; MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory, University of Manchester, September 2014.

A Cosmopolitan Right of Necessity. Society for Applied Ethics Conference, University of Oxford, June 2014; Philosophy Department, University of Bergen, October 2013; Department of Political Science and Government, University of Aarhus, Denmark, May 2013; Realizing Global Justice Conference, University of Tromsø, Norway, June 2013; Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), Canberra, May 2012; Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN), University of Oslo, September 2011.

El antiguo derecho de necesidad en el debate contemporáneo de justicia global. Instituto de Ciencia Política, Universidad Católica de Chile, December 2014; Departamento de Filosofía, Universidad de Concepción, Chile, Diciembre 2014.

The Volcanic Asymmetry. Sharing Natural Resources in Times of Climate Change, European Consortium for Political Research, Universidad de Salamanca, April 2014; Nordic Network of Political Theory Workshop, Oslo, Norway, November 2013.

Injustice in Migration, or the Case for Shared Sovereignty over Mobile Natural Resources. Ecological Challenges Conference, University of Oslo, Norway, September 2014; MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory, University of Manchester, September 2014; Association for Legal and Social Philosophy Conference, University of Leeds, July 2014.

A Gap in the Contemporary Debate on Global Poverty. Department of Political Science and Government, University of Aarhus, Denmark, May 2013.

An Enforceable Duty of Humanity? Australasian Association of Philosophy Conference, University of Otago, New Zealand, July 2011; Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, June 2011; Faculty of Philosophy, Charles Sturt University, Wagga-Wagga, Australia, May 2010.

The Concept of Benevolence in Adam Smith’s Moral and Political Theory. Philosophy Department, Universidad Católica de Chile, June 2010.

Francis Hutcheson and Peter Singer on Why Humanity Matters. Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, December 2009; New Horizons Conference in Political Philosophy, University of Sydney, December 2009.

Nonhuman Animals in Adam Smith’s Moral Theory. Minding Animals Conference, University of Newcastle, Australia, July 2009.

  • Donoso, Alfonso & Mancilla, Alejandra (2017). Doctors with borders? An authority-based approach to the brain drain. South African Journal of Philosophy.  ISSN 0258-0136.  36(1), s 69- 77 . doi: 10.1080/02580136.2017.1265375
  • Mancilla, Alejandra (2016). Review article: The environmental turn in territorial rights. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.  ISSN 1369-8230.  19(2), s 221- 241 . doi: 10.1080/13698230.2013.868981
  • Mancilla, Alejandra (2016). Shared Sovereignty over Migratory Natural Resources. Res Publica.  ISSN 1356-4765.  22(1), s 21- 35 . doi: 10.1007/s11158-015-9309-7
  • Mancilla, Alejandra (2015). The Volcanic Asymmetry or the Question of Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Disasters. The Journal of Political Philosophy.  ISSN 0963-8016.  23(2), s 192- 212 . doi: 10.1111/jopp.12038
  • Mancilla, Alejandra (2015). What We Own Before Property: Hugo Grotius and the Suum. Grotiana.  ISSN 0167-3831.  36
  • Mancilla, Alejandra (2013). Det vi eide førfast eiendom. Hugo Grotius og suum. Arr. Idéhistorisk tidsskrift.  ISSN 0802-7005.  3, s 3- 14
  • Mancilla, Alejandra (2013). The Bridge of Benevolence: Hutcheson and Mencius. Dao: a Journal of Comparative Philosophy.  ISSN 1540-3009.  12(1), s 57- 72

View all works in Cristin

  • Mancilla, Alejandra (2016). The Right of Necessity: Moral Cosmopolitanism and Global Poverty. Rowman & Littlefield International.  ISBN 978-1783485864.  140 s.
  • Mancilla, Alejandra & Campbell, Tom (ed.) (2012). Theories of Justice. Routledge.  ISBN 9780754629726.  634 s.

View all works in Cristin

Published Jan. 21, 2013 1:36 PM - Last modified Aug. 11, 2017 2:24 PM