Levente (Lev) Szentkirályi† is an advanced doctoral student of Political Science at the University of Colorado. His principal area of (interdisciplinary) research bridges normative political theory with environmental politics and policy; though, he also has substantive research interests and teaching experience in international relations. Lev’s writing has largely focused on environmental risks of harm, rights of self-defense, and Lockean liberalism. His dissertation project, for instance, illustrates the moral indefensibility of the current U.S. approach to environmental risk regulation—which neglects to restrict the release of effluents whose actual risk to public health and safety remain scientifically inconclusive—and argues that a theoretical grounding for a rights-based, precautionary approach to environmental risk regulation can be found in an appeal to principles of Lockean political thought.
However, Lev is also concerned, e.g., with better understanding the determinants of revolutionary conflict and third-party military intervention, the normative merits and limits of resorting to violence in self-defense, and the mechanisms for implementing enduring public policies that successfully promote global food security and access to adequate potable water.
Levente will be presenting a chapter of his dissertation at the 2014 Western Political Science Association conference, in which he argues that appeals to scientific uncertainty—which is commonly invoked to justify the implementation of less stringent environmental policies—fail to absolve polluters of their moral culpability for the risks of harm they beget. Whereby, morally defensible safeguards against environmental risks ostensibly demand a precautionary regulatory approach, which policy-makers have largely abandoned.
† pronounced: sěnt-kē-rŏ-yē :: “sent-key-rah-yee”