Simon Wigley


Department Chair

Ph.D., London School of Economics and Political Science

Areas of Interest: Political Philosophy, Ethics, Global Health

Personal Homepage:

Phone: +90-312-290 3348 / 1072
Office: H249


Simon Wigley studied philosophy, politics and economics at Otago University. After completing his masters and doctoral studies at London School of Economics and Political Science he started working at the department of political science at Bilkent University. In 2003 he moved to the newly created department of philosophy at Bilkent. His research interests are varied, ranging from theoretical work in normative political philosophy to empirical work in comparative politics. At the moment much of his research time is devoted to a long term project on the impact of political institutions on population health. This has an important bearing on the question of whether democracy can be justified because of the outcomes it produces. Further research interests include the oil curse, justification of parliamentary immunityeducation and the capabilities approach, as well as the apparent incompatibility between automatic unconscious behavior and moral responsibility. He has published in journals such as The Lancet, The British Medical Journal, Lancet Global Health, World Politics, International Studies Quarterly, Social Science & Medicine, Public Choice, Human Rights Quarterly, Philosophical Psychology, Law and PhilosophyPolitics, Philosophy & Economics, and the Journal of Political Philosophy.

Find out more about Simon Wigley in Bilkent’s alumni magazine, Dergi Bilkent (pp. 13-14).


Sample publications

Wigley, S. (2021).  Implementation of non-communicable disease policies from 2015 to 2020: a geopolitical analysis of 194 countries, Lancet Global Health, 9(11), e1528–38  (with L.N. Allen and H. Holmer)

Wigley, S. (2021).  Democracies Linked To Greater Universal Health Coverage Compared With Autocracies, Even In An Economic Recession, Health Affairs, 40(8), 1234-1242  (with T. Templin,  J.L. Dieleman, J.E. Mumford, M. Miller-Petrie, S. Kiernan,  and  T. Bollyky)

Wigley, S. (2020). Autocratization and universal health coverage: a synthetic control study. The British Medical Journal (with J. L. Dieleman, T. TemplinJ.E. Mumford, and T. Bollyky).

Wigley, S. (2020). “Democracy and implementation of non-communicable disease policies,” Lancet Global Health8(4), PE482-E483 (with J. L. Dieleman, T. TemplinSamantha Kiernan, and T. Bollyky).

Wigley, S. (2019). “The relationships between democratic experience, adult health, and cause-specific mortality in 170 countries between 1980 and 2016: an observational analysis,” The Lancet393(10181), 1628-1640 (with T. Bollyky, T. Templin, M. Cohen, D. Schoder, and J. L. Dieleman).*

* See our explainer article in the Washington Post and op-ed for CNNFor data visualizations click here. The video of the panel discussion to launch the article, held at at the Council on Foreign Relations, is available here. This article has been covered by BBC World News & PBS, NPR, the GuardianBloomberg News, the Hindustan Times, BMJ, BBC Newsday, US News & World Report and other outlets.

Wigley, S. (2018). Is there a Resource Curse for Private Liberties? International Studies Quarterly, 62(4), 834-844.

Wigley, S. (2017).  The Impact of Democracy and Media Freedom on Under-5 Mortality, 1961-2011Social Science & Medicine, 190, 237-246  (with Arzu Akkoyunlu).

Wigley, S. (2017). The Resource Curse and Child Mortality, 1961-2011Social Science & Medicine, 176, 142–148.

Wigley, S. (2012). Justicized Consequentialism: Prioritizing the Right or the Good? The Journal of Value Inquiry, 46(4), 467–479.

Wigley, S. (2011). The Impact of Regime-Type on Health: Does Redistribution Explain Everything? World Politics, 63(4), 647–677 (with Arzu Akkoyunlu).

Wigley, S. (2011). Do Electoral Institutions Have an Impact on Population Health? Public Choice, 148(3–4), 595–610 (with Arzu Akkoyunlu).

Wigley, S. (2009). Disappearing Without a Moral Trace? Rights and Compensation During Times of Emergency. Law and Philosophy, 28(6), 617–649.

Wigley, S. (2007). Automaticity, Consciousness and Moral Responsibility. Philosophical Psychology, 20(2), 209–225.

Wigley, S. (2006). Voluntary Losses and Wage Compensation. Politics, Philosophy & Economics, 5(3), 363–376.

Wigley, S. (2003). Parliamentary Immunity: Protecting Democracy or Protecting Corruption? Journal of Political Philosophy, 11(1), 23–40.