Dr Paul Gunn

Paul’s work looks at political complexity, error, and ignorance, and the institutional mechanisms available in contemporary political economy that can address these problems.

Staff details

Dr Paul Gunn


Lecturer in Politics


Politics and International Relations


p.gunn (@gold.ac.uk)

Paul Gunn is a lecturer in political economy. His research and teaching sit at the intersection of politics, philosophy, and economics, covering questions concerning the theory and practice of economic governance, the history of political economy, and the economics and ethics of political intervention in the environment. Figuring more or less explicitly in each of these topics is the question of what role government (or government-like institutions) should play in guiding and regulating the individuals and organisations that comprise the private sphere. And behind this question lies a deeper theoretical question, concerning the capacity of democracies to meet the demands made by citizens in complex modern societies. Paul’s research is currently focused on this question, and in particular on the ways in which democracy might be used to solve social, environmental, and economic problems.

Paul’s recent publications have focused on deliberative and epistemic approaches to democracy, the causes and nature of ignorance and error in political decision-making, and the question of what democratic decision-making can contribute to economic and environmental governance.

Academic qualifications

BA (Hons) Economics and Sociology, Oxford Brookes University, 2004

MRes Public Policy Research, Queen Mary University of London, 2007

PhD Political Economy, Queen Mary, University of London, 2011


Paul is the convenor of the Economics, Politics, and Public Policy BA programme at Goldsmiths. He currently teaches Introduction to Political Economy (year 1), Political Economy (year 2), and The Ethics and Economics of Environmental Protection (year 3).

Areas of supervision

Paul welcomes PhD proposals in the fields of political economy, public policy, and political theory. Proposals which explore the interactions between these fields and/or their contributions to the analysis of governance and social decision-making are particularly welcome.

Publications and research outputs

Edited Book

Gunn, Paul, ed. 2013. Democratic Deliberation in the Modern World. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415702852


Gunn, Paul. 2015. Looking But Not Seeing: The (Ir)relevance of Incentives to Political Ignorance. Critical Review, 27(3-4), pp. 270-298. ISSN 0891-3811

Gunn, Paul. 2015. Getting Democratic Priorities Straight: Pragmatism, Diversity, and the Role of Beliefs. Critical Review, 27(2), pp. 146-173. ISSN 0891-3811

Gunn, Paul. 2014. Democracy and Epistocracy. Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society, 26(1), pp. 59-79. ISSN 0891-3811