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Dr Nikolas Kirby

Democracy Visiting Fellow

Harvard Kennedy School

Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation

Faculty: Expert contributors


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Nikolas Kirby is Democracy Visiting Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. He was most recently Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Philosophy and Public Policy, and Director of the Building Integrity Programme, at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University. His research focusses on the philosophy of governance, the executive branch, public trust and institutional integrity.

He was educated at the University of Sydney (BA (Hons), LLB (Hons)) and the University of Oxford (BPhil, DPhil) as a Rhodes Scholar. He is an Honorary Senior Fellow, Melbourne School of Government. He is Co-Convenor of the ECPR, Standing Group on Political Theory and trustee of two charities Aurora UK and Beyond Equality. He was co-author of the ANZSOG Report on public integrity commissioned by the Independent Review of the Australian Public Service, and has published in the British Journal of Political Science, Law and Philosophy, Journal of the British Academy, Res Publica and the Oxford Handbook on Quality of Government.


Nikolas Kirby, The People’s Trust: Trust, Distrust, and the Legitimacy of Government, Palgrave MacMillan (under contract)

Peer Reviewed Articles

Nikolas Kirby and Jo Wolff, (2021),‘Quality of Government: A Philosophical Critique’ in Rothstein, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Quality of Government, (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Nikolas Kirby, (2020), ‘An Institution-First Conception of Public Integrity,’ British Journal of Political Science, 1-16.

Nikolas Kirby, (2020), ‘From Anticorruption to Public Integrity,’ Handbook on Corruption, Ethics and Integrity in Public Administration, ed. A. Graycar, (Edward Elgar), 463-482.

Nikolas Kirby, Andrew Kirton and Aisling Crean, (2018), ‘Do Corporations have a Duty to be Trustworthy?, Journal of the British Academy 6(s1), 75–129. DOI https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/006s1.075

Nikolas Kirby, (2018),‘Basic Equality and Social Contract Theory’, E. Etieyibo, ed., Perspectives in Social Contract Theory, (Washington: Council for Research in Values and Philosophy).

Nikolas Kirby, (2018),‘Two Concepts of Basic Equality’, Res Publica, 24, 3, 297-318.

Nikolas Kirby, (2017),‘The Service Conception: Just One Simple Question’, Law and Philosophy, 36(3), 255-278.

Nikolas Kirby, (2016),‘Revising Republican Liberty: What is the Difference Between a Disinterested Gentle Giant and a Deterred Criminal?’, Res Publica, 22(4), 369-386.

Nikolas Kirby, (2009), ‘When Rights Cause Injustice: A Critique of the Vexatious Proceedings Act 2008 (NSW)’, 31 Sydney Law Review 163, cited by Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of NSW in Teoh v Hunters Hill Council (No. 8) [2014] NSWCA 125 (14 April 2014) [43]; and, Supreme Court of NSW in Attorney General of NSW v Wilson [2010] NSWSC 1008, [139-140, 149].

Commissioned Reports

Nikolas Kirby and Simone Webbe, (2019) ‘Being a trusted and respected partner: the APS integrity framework,’ Commissioned Research Paper for the Independent Review of the Australian Public Service (26 February 2019)

Nikolas Kirby and Andrew Kirton, (2018), ‘Corporations, Business and Social Trust,’ British Council Social Enterprise Reports

Nikolas Kirby and Simone Webbe, (2018) ‘The Australian Public Service Integrity Regime,’ Commissioned Research Paper for the Independent Review of the Australian Public Service (5 September 2018)

Other Publications

Nikolas Kirby, (2019)  ‘Distrusted by the Young? Build Integrity,’ Oxford Government Review, 4, 28-9

Nikolas Kirby, (2018) ‘An Institution-First Conception of Public Integrity,’ Building Integrity Programme Working Paper Series, 3.

Nikolas Kirby, Lucinda Cadzow, and Thomas Robinson, (2018) ‘Investigating Integrity: A Multi-Disciplinary Literature Review’ Building Integrity Programme Working Paper Series, 4.

Nikolas Kirby and Anna Petherick, (2018), ‘Corruption,’ World Economic Forum Transformation Maps.