Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Thomas Fossen

University Lecturer Political Philosophy

Dr. T. Fossen
+31 71 527 5244

Thomas Fossen is a University Lecturer at the Institute for Philosophy.

More information about Thomas Fossen

Thomas Fossen is assistant professor of political philosophy.

Research interests

Fossen’s research is in political philosophy (or political theory), at the intersection with political science and philosophy of language. His work addresses questions of political legitimacy, political obligation and political representation. Another strand of his research is in democratic theory, including theories of agonistic democracy and applied work on online Voting Advice Applications. He also has an interest in theoretical methods and approaches and has written on philosophical pragmatism and political realism.

His book Facing Authority: Legitimacy, Judgment, and the Practical Point of View is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. The book examines what is involved in judging the legitimacy of a regime from a practical standpoint, in the face of disagreement and uncertainty. It develops a pragmatist approach to political legitimacy, as an alternative to the predominant moralist and realist approaches.


Fossen studied political science and philosophy at Leiden University and the University of California at Berkeley and received his PhD in Philosophy from Utrecht University in 2011. He worked as a postdoc in Leiden on conceptions of conflict in democratic theory and in Utrecht on Voting Advice Applications and political theory. Fossen held visiting positions at the University of Chicago, KU Leuven (Belgium) and the University of Essex. In 2015 he received a Veni grant from NWO. In 2020–2021 he was a member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and a Humboldt Fellow at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften (Goethe University, Frankfurt).

(Profile photo by Stefanie Wetzel)


University Lecturer Political Philosophy

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte

Work address

P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden
Room number 2.14



No relevant ancillary activities

This website uses cookies.  More information.