Stockholm university

Markus FurendalResearcher

About me

Markus Furendal is Postdoctor at the Department of Political Science, specializing in the political philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, distributive justice, and the future of work.

Personal website


ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2378-750X


2023. "The Global Governance of Artificial Intelligence: Next Steps for Empirical and Normative Research". International Studies Review. Vol. 25, No. 3. (Open access. With Jonas Tallberg, Eva Erman, Johannes geith, Mark Klamberg, and Magnus Lundgren.)


2023. “The Future of Work: Augmentation or Stunting?” Philosophy & Technology. (Early view, open access, with Karim Jebari).

2022. "Tying ourselves to the mast, or acting for the sake of justice? Ethos, individual duties, and social sanctions." Journal of Social Philosophy. (Early view, open access)


2022. "Work, Justice, and Collective Capital Institutions: Revisiting Rudolf Meidner and the Case for Wage-Earner Funds". Journal of Applied Philosophy (Early view, open access, with Martin O'Neill).


2022. "Artificial Intelligence and the Political Legitimacy of Global Governance." Political Studies (Early view, open access, with Eva Erman)


2022. “The Global Governance of Artificial Intelligence: Some Normative Concerns.” Moral Philosophy & Politics, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 267-291 (with Eva Erman). Open access


2022. Artificiell intelligens, likriktningsproblemet och politisk filosofi – en översikt. Tidskrift för politisk filosofi, Vol. 25, no 2, p. 1-14. Open access

2020 “Do Your Bit, Claim Your Share: Justice, Ethos, and the Individual Duty to Contribute”.
Dissertation, Dept. of Political Science, Stockholm University. ISBN: 978-91-7911-305-6

2018 ”Rescuing Justice from Indifference: Equality, Pareto, and Cohen’s Ethos”, Social Theory and Practice. Volume 44, No. 4, pp. 485-506.

2018 “Jonathan Wolff: Varför läsa Marx idag?” Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift. Volume 120, No. 3-4, pp. 610-612. Book review.

2017 “Defining the duty to contribute: Against the market solution”. European
Journal of Political Theory. Volume 18, No. 4, pp. 469-488. First published 20 February 2017.

2017 "Appearances of Ēthos in Political Thought: The Dimension of Practical Reason". Political Studies Review, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp. 604-605 (November 2017). Book review.

2015 “Finding Oneself in the Other, Written by G. A. Cohen.” Journal of Moral Philosophy. Volume 12. No. 3, pp. 343–346. doi:10.1163/17455243-01203002. Book review.

Other output

I've participated in a discussion on socialism, in the public broadcaster Sveriges Radio's program 'Filosofiska Rummet'.

My essay for Sveriges Radio's program OBS, about the promise of new technologies and the ways they are used to con people.


Ph. D. Political Science, Stockholm University 2020.
Degree of Master of Science. Political Science, Stockholm University 2014
Degree of Bachelor of Science. Political Science, Stockholm University 2012




Samtida Politisk Teori, Statsvetenskap III (Contemporary political theory, Political Science III)

C-uppsats (Bachelor’s thesis)

Politisk teori, Statsvetenskap I (Political theory, Political science I)

Jämlikhetens teori och praktik, Statsvetenskap II (The theory and practice of equality, Political Science II)

Att studera demokrati, Statsvetenskap II (The Study of Democracy, Political Science II)


The social and ethical impact of Artificial Intelligence

I am interested in issues related to AI governance and the ethics of AI. Specifically, I pursue questions such as how the benefits and burdens created by increasingly capable AI ought to be distributed, and what it takes for AI governance to be democratically legitimate. My contributions to this field try to bring insights from theorizing about distributive justice and democratic theory to bear on the concrete problems and possibilities that transformative AI brings with it.

I am currently a postdoc in a research project that asks what the key features of emerging international AI regimes are, how the nature of the evolving regimes can be explained, and what the implications of these regimes are for justice and democracy.

I will convene a panel focused on "Governing AI" at the 2023 Mancept Workshops. Please see the CfA for more information. It will be similar to the panel I arranged at the 2021 workshops (see the first panel's CfA.)

Egalitarianism and the Future of Work

I am also interested in questions related to egalitarianism and work more broadly, and have co-organized a conference in Rotterdam on the future of work together with Huub Brouwer (Tilburg),  Willem van der Deijl (Tilburg), and Nicholas Vrousalis (Erasmus). We organized a similar conference at the Institute for Futures Studies in Stockholm, in May 2021. For more information, click here.


Dissertation project

My dissertation ("Do Your Bit, Claim Your Share: Justice, Ethos, and the Individual Duty to Contribute") is about how individual action influences distributive justice, and how principles of distributive justice should influence individual action. Specifically, it addresses the questions of what justice requires of individuals, and why. I argue that individuals should not only comply with just institutions, but that they also have a pro tanto duty to contribute in their daily lives towards the furthering of a just society, based on principles of equality, reciprocity, and fairly sharing burdens. Further, I try to show that a system of informal and decentralised social sanctions – an ethos – is the best way to promote adherence to this duty. The dissertation develops and defends an account of contributive justice, specifying who should contribute to justice and why, as well as what a contribution is and how an individual duty to contribute should be enforced.

Parts of this project were conducted as a visiting Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, Harvard University and as a Visiting Doctoral Student at the Department of Politics and International Relations and The Centre for the Study of Social Justice, Oxford University. I also had the chance to be on two periods of parental leave during the project.

Other research interests

I hope to one day find the time to think more about the legitimacy of systems of norms and sanctions, the moral aspect of markets, and the political and philosophical relevance of hypocrisy.

Research projects


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Rescuing Justice from Indifference: Equality, Pareto, and Cohen's Ethos

    2018. Markus Furendal. Social Theory and Practice 44 (4), 485-505


    G. A. Cohen has argued that egalitarian justice proscribes equality-upsetting economic incentives, but that individuals nevertheless are required to make a sufficiently large productive contribution to society. This article argues, however, that Cohen’s claim that justice is insensitive to Pareto concerns and simply is equality, undermines such a duty. In fact, Cohen cannot say that justice prefers a distribution where everyone is equally well off to one where everyone is equally badly off. Individuals hence cannot have a duty of justice to use their talents at a more productive level. This indifference risks removing Cohen’s egalitarianism’s appeal as an alternative to the Rawlsian position it challenges. Several ways of avoiding this problem are proposed and evaluated. Ultimately, it is argued that such a duty to contribute must instead be based on a concern for both equality and human flourishing. The ethos Cohen defends must hence be made pluralist, and encourage a commitment to both principles.

    Read more about Rescuing Justice from Indifference
  • Defining the duty to contribute: Against the market solution

    2019. Markus Furendal. European Journal of Political Theory 18 (4), 469-488


    If there is a duty of justice to contribute to society, which asks individuals to produce a specific amount of goods and services that can be redistributed, we need a decision-procedure to know when we have done our part. This paper analyses and critically assesses the commonly suggested decision-procedure of relying on market prices to measure the value of one’s contribution. It is usually assumed that a high salary indicates that one’s talents are put to good use, but this presupposes both that market prices of labour are correct reflections of supply and demand, and that market prices are correct reflections of social value. I criticise both assumptions and argue that the social value of a contribution cannot simply be a function of its market value, but is also influenced by the principles of justice that support the duty to contribute. Further, the market solution is incapable of valuing contributions that lack market prices, like non-marketised care labour. The market solution thus fails as a decision-procedure under other than special circumstances. This does not mean, however, that we need to give up the idea of a duty to contribute.

    Read more about Defining the duty to contribute
  • Do Your Bit, Claim Your Share: Justice, Ethos, and the Individual Duty to Contribute

    2020. Markus Furendal.

    Thesis (Doc)

    Contemporary political philosophy primarily conceives of justice as a virtue of major social institutions. Yet, much advocacy of justice is increasingly focused on how well particular individuals live up to its demands, and proceeds by calling out and criticising their unjust behaviour. The institutional focus renders political philosophy unable to inform and evaluate such attempts to change, not legal frameworks, but rather the principles that people find acceptable and act on in their daily lives. To address this shortcoming, this dissertation provides a political philosophical analysis of what justice requires of individuals, and why. It does so by developing and defending an account of contributive justice, which answers the inquiry’s guiding questions of who should contribute to justice and why, as well as what a contribution is, and how individual duties of justice should be enforced. The arguments provided support the conclusion that achieving a just society is not simply a question of designing and complying with the right kind of institutions, but that we all have a pro tanto duty to contribute in our day-to-day lives towards the furthering of a just society, and that relying on informal and decentralised social sanctions is the best way to promote adherence to this duty.

    The duty to contribute defended in this dissertation differs from existing policies that make access to welfare state services conditional on individuals’ willingness to work or study. It also differs from prominent existing philosophical defences of similar positions, centred around the ideas of equality, reciprocity, and fairly sharing burdens. Critically analysing these accounts, the dissertation shows that, although each account can justify a duty to contribute, their specific answers to the guiding questions are ultimately unsatisfactory. For instance, they are unable to explain both why it is unjust to opt out from doing your bit of the labour necessary to meet the demands of justice, and why individuals who cannot contribute should nevertheless be able to claim the share that they are due.

    These shortcomings can be avoided, however, by combining concerns about equality, reciprocity, and fairly sharing burdens into a hybrid account. This generates a two-part pro tanto duty to contribute whereby, firstly, everyone has a duty to contribute towards making sure that everyone receives what they are due as a matter of justice. If and when this level is reached, everyone then has an obligation to benefit others, conditional upon them benefitting from the work of others. While it is unjust to refuse to contribute in the first way, the hybrid account leaves room for people to reject additional benefits and thereby absolve themselves from having to contribute further. Furthermore, the pro tanto nature of this duty means that it could be outweighed by other morally important considerations. Although demanding, it will hence not crowd out all personal pursuits.

    The dissertation also suggests that adherence to this duty should be enforced not through state action, but rather by individuals responding to and upholding a system of social sanctions. Contrasting this so-called ethos of justice with similar systems of social control, such as peer-to-peer online monitoring and sanctioning, and the Social Credit System currently being implemented in China, arguably shows that the informal and decentralised nature of the ethos allows it to avoid the potentially freedom-curtailing effects of the similar systems.

    Read more about Do Your Bit, Claim Your Share
  • Tying Ourselves to the Mast, or Acting for the Sake of Justice? Ethos, Individual Duties, and Social Sanctions

    2022. Markus Furendal. Journal of social philosophy


    Many contemporary political movements focus more on changing the values and principles that people act on in their daily lives rather than institutions and legal frameworks. Political-philosophical theories of justice, however, often focus more on the Rawlsian “basic structure” than the “ethos” of a just society, and rarely discuss how individuals may be encouraged to act in accordance with principles of justice. This article attempts to redress this, and draws on moral, social and political philosophy to argue that an ethos exists in a group or society either i) when its members internalize and act from a particular principle, or ii) when its members uphold a decentralized system of informal social sanctions that increases their compliance with a particular principle. 

    Read more about Tying Ourselves to the Mast, or Acting for the Sake of Justice? Ethos, Individual Duties, and Social Sanctions
  • The Global Governance of Artificial Intelligence: Some Normative Concerns

    2022. Eva Erman, Markus Furendal. Moral Philosophy and Politics 9 (2), 267-291


    The creation of increasingly complex artificial intelligence (AI) systemsraises urgent questions about their ethical and social impact on society. Since thisimpact ultimately depends on political decisions about normative issues, politicalphilosophers can make valuable contributions by addressing such questions.Currently, AI development and application are to a large extent regulated throughnon-binding ethics guidelines penned by transnational entities. Assuming that theglobal governance of AI should be at least minimally democratic and fair, thispaper sets out three desiderata that an account should satisfy when theorizingabout what this means. We argue, first, that an analysis of democratic values,political entities and decision-making should be done in a holistic way; second,that fairness is not only about how AI systems treat individuals, but also about howthe benefits and burdens of transformative AI are distributed; and finally, thatjustice requires that governance mechanisms are not limited to AI technology, butare incorporated into a range of basic institutions. Thus, rather than offering asubstantive theory of democratic and fair AI governance, our contribution ismetatheoretical: we propose a theoretical framework that sets up certain normative boundary conditions for a satisfactory account.

    Read more about The Global Governance of Artificial Intelligence
  • Artificiell intelligens, likriktningsproblemet och politisk filosofi – en översikt

    2022. Markus Furendal. Tidskrift för politisk filosofi 25 (2), 1-14


    Tekniska framsteg inom Artificiell Intelligens (AI) väcker en rad frågor av moralisk och politisk karaktär kring hur AI-system bör användas, och hur de kan påverka våra samhällen och sociala relationer. Denna artikel ger en överblick över några centrala frågor inom det framväxande fält som kallas AI-etik, utifrån fyra nyligen utgivna böcker. Inom AI-etik har särskilt fokus ofta riktats mot det så kallade likriktningsproblemet: hur vi ska få en AI att frambringa ett utfall som ligger i linje med vad vi vill. I detta unga fält kan emellertid politisk-filosofiska bidrag tillhandahålla en bredare och mer nyanserad analysapparat kring AI-etiska frågor, vilket i sin tur kan leda till teoretiska framsteg.

    Read more about Artificiell intelligens, likriktningsproblemet och politisk filosofi – en översikt
  • Artificial Intelligence and the Political Legitimacy of Global Governance

    2022. Eva Erman, Markus Furendal. Political Studies


    Although the concept of “AI governance” is frequently used in the debate, it is still rather undertheorized. Often it seems to refer to the mechanisms and structures needed to avoid “bad” outcomes and achieve “good” outcomes with regard to the ethical problems artificial intelligence is thought to actualize. In this article we argue that, although this outcome-focused view captures one important aspect of “good governance,” its emphasis on effects runs the risk of overlooking important procedural aspects of good AI governance. One of the most important properties of good AI governance is political legitimacy. Starting out from the assumptions that AI governance should be seen as global in scope and that political legitimacy requires at least a democratic minimum, this article has a twofold aim: to develop a theoretical framework for theorizing the political legitimacy of global AI governance, and to demonstrate how it can be used as a compass for critially assessing the legitimacy of actual instances of global AI governance. Elaborating on a distinction between “governance by AI” and “governance of AI” in relation to different kinds of authority and different kinds of decision-making leads us to the conclusions that much of the existing global AI governance lacks important properties necessary for political legitimacy, and that political legitimacy would be negatively impacted if we handed over certain forms of decision-making to artificial intelligence systems. 

    Read more about Artificial Intelligence and the Political Legitimacy of Global Governance
  • Work, Justice, and Collective Capital Institutions: Revisiting Rudolf Meidner and the Case for Wage‐Earner Funds

    2022. Markus Furendal, Martin O'Neill. Journal of Applied Philosophy


    This article makes the case for a specific variety of what we call Collective Capital Institutions (CCIs), by returning to the idea of Wage-Earner Funds (WEFs) – a 1970s Swedish policy proposal designed gradually to shift ownership and control over parts of the economy to democratically controlled institutions. We identify two attractive rationales in favour of such a scheme and argue that both can fruitfully be transposed to the current worldwide economic situation. The egalitarian rationale is that WEFs could help in the pursuit of equality by giving a wider set of people a stake in collectively owned companies and a right to their profits. The democratic rationale is that WEFs redistribute not only these profits, but also the power over economic decisions made within companies. We then contrast such schemes for collective capital ownership with the similar but much more privatised proposals set out in, for instance, John Rawls's idea of a ‘property-owning democracy’. We argue that CCIs ultimately are more likely to contribute to the development of the ‘sense of justice’ within society that is needed for a stable just society. We conclude that CCIs deserve a great deal more exploration in academic and political discussions of egalitarian economic systems.

    Read more about Work, Justice, and Collective Capital Institutions

Show all publications by Markus Furendal at Stockholm University