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Maxime Lepoutre

Maxime Lepoutre

Department: Philosophy

Supervisor: Dr Clare Chambers

College: Trinity College

AHRC Subject Area: Philosophy

Title of Thesis: The Structure and Scope of Democratic Representation


I am a French PhD candidate in philosophy. After completing my undergraduate degree in Politics and Philosophy at the London School of Economics, I studied the BPhil in Philosophy at Oxford University. I specialize in political philosophy. I am particularly interested in articulating a picture of democratic decision-making and democratic representation in such a way as to elucidate what we take to be so valuable about democracy by contrast with other forms of rule, and to identify what promoting more democratic institutions requires.

Accordingly, my thesis examines some of the following questions: Who belongs to the demos? Is it undemocratic for some states to make decisions that affect other states without giving them a say in those decisions? And what does it mean to be included in the demos? What types of considerations can be appealed to in public democratic debate? Relatedly, what place do emotions have in the public realm? I believe that considering the theories of social structure developed by Iris Marion Young, Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu, and other sociologists helps articulate a coherent answer to these philosophical questions, as these theories offer important insights that are often overlooked by political philosophers working in the liberal tradition. 

Other academic interests

I am interested in a range of issues in contemporary political philosophy besides democratic theory:  Structural injustice (esp. What does it mean for an injustice to structural? Who bears responsibility for remediating structural injustices?); Philosophical methodology (esp. Should political philosophers work under idealizing assumptions? Can they do otherwise?); Theories of social and global justice; Feminism (esp. When and why do feminist and multiculturalist political demands conflict, and how can we arbitrate between these claims?).

I am also fascinated by philosophical topics outside contemporary political philosophy:  the history of political and moral philosophy, especially Rousseau, Kant, and Nietzsche; ethics and meta-ethics; philosophy of science; social epistemology.

When I am not studying philosophy, I enjoy reading literature, playing the bass, and playing football.