Assistant Professor of Political Philosophy, Leiden University, Netherlands
Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:September 2021–December 2021
Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften: »Facing Authority: A Theory of Political Legitimacy«
When people take to the streets and demand the fall of the regime, they contest the authorities’ legitimacy, or right to rule. What can one do, and what must one know, in order to judge the legitimacy of a regime from a practical standpoint, in the face of disagreement and uncertainty? My book in progress develops a philosophical theory of political legitimacy, arguing that judging legitimacy is not simply a matter of applying moral knowledge, provided by political philosophy, but of engaging in various forms of political contestation—contestation over the representation of power (what is the nature of the regime?), collective selfhood (who am I, and who are we?), and common history (what happened here—a coup, or a revolution?). (Thomas Fossen)
Research partner:Thomas Fossen is a Humboldt research fellow staying at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften of Goethe University on the invitation of Rainer Forst (Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at Goethe University).
Scholarly profile of Thomas Fossen Thomas Fossen is University Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Political Philosophy at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He received his PhD from Utrecht University in 2011, worked as a postdoc and lecturer at the universities of Utrecht and Leiden, and held visiting positions at the University of Chicago, KU Leuven and the University of Essex. In 2020–2021 he was a member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
Please find more information about Thomas Fossen here.
Main areas of research:Political legitimacy, political judgment, democratic theory, political representation.
- »Political Legitimacy as an Existential Predicament«, in: Political Theory (forthcoming)
- »Constructivism and the Logic of Political Representation«, in: The American Political Science Review 113:3 (2019), S. 824–837.
- »Judgment and Imagination in Habermas' Theory of Law«, in: Philosophy & Social Criticism 41:10 (2015), S. 1069-1091 .
- »The Grammar of Political Obligation«, in: Politics, Philosophy & Economics 13:3 (2014), S. 215–236.