Universiteit Leiden

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Centre for Political Philosophy

Research projects

Research within the centre is broad and pluralistic, ranging from the history of political thought to contemporary analytic and continental political philosophy and critical social theory. Members of the CPP also participate in the Research Profile Area on Political Legitimacy. The Centre is the proud home of several research programmes.

Between Deliberation and Agonism: Rethinking conflict and its relation to law in political philosophy Researchers

This research programme addresses the impasse between two influential currents in contemporary political philosophy.
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Critical moments: How do events affect how we should judge the legitimacy of political authorities?

Popular uprisings in the Middle East and shifting sovereignty in the EU make the question of political legitimacy as pressing today as ever. But how can we judge whether or not the authorities we face are legitimate (in a normative sense)? This project focuses on a crucial aspect of legitimacy that political philosophers often overlook: the significance of events. In what ways do historical and current events affect how we should judge the legitimacy of political authorities? For example, how did the revolution of Tahrir Square affect what counts as a good judgment of the subsequent Egyptian regime?
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Democratic Secrecy: A Philosophical Study of the Role of Secrecy in Democratic Governance

Whereas the importance of transparency seems undisputed, many feel that complete transparency would undermine effective functioning of governments, and that some degree of secrecy is needed. Take the public responses to the Wikileaks disclosures: many of the disclosures were assessed favorably, but few people defended the idea of total transparency that inspired them. If both complete secrecy and complete transparency are to be rejected, what ratio of secrecy and transparency in democratic politics should we seek? 
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Rethinking Conflict: Political Agonism, the Clash of Fundamentalisms, and Cosmopolitan Democracy

A three-way collaborative research project (2012-14) between the Leiden Institute for Philosophy, the Institute of Humanities and School of Political Science at Universidad Diego Portales (Chile), and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Iceland. This is a project involving staff- and graduate student-exchanges, yearly seminars organised in each of the three universities on a topic of common interest, and the development of a shared PhD programme.

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