Maurits de Jongh

Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Professor of political philosophy, Utrecht University (Netherlands)

Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
September 2019–October 2020

Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
»The Primacy of Public Goods«

Project outline:
What is the meaning and significance of public goods for politics and social life? How can they foster rather than disable individual and collective agency? At Justitia Amplificata, I work on a book manuscript »The Primacy of Public Goods.« The underlying motive for writing this book is that an orientation on objects, and on public goods in particular, does not block our sight of (in)justice in social relationships, but instead helps us to illuminate and criticize it in unforeseen ways. The book argues that public goods do not only constitute the currency of real politics, but compose the crucial texture social life in general.

More specifically, it articulates the primacy of public goods in two senses. First, an infrastructure of public goods and social services, which is backed up by governmental coordination and compulsion, is constitutive of just and orderly social life, including private and common modes of providing and enjoying goods. The first sense of the primacy of public goods thus captures a very simple idea, namely, that both market mediation for private goods and the radical democratic governance of the commons is not as self-sustaining as their advocates claim them to be. Second, an abundant diversity of public goods has primacy over, and should not be reduced to, monist and potentially exclusionary conceptions of the common good. My book argues that if the authoritative provision and enjoyment of public goods are to enable rather than to impede individual and collective agency in pluralistic societies, it is crucial to appreciate their phenomenological diversity and political contestability. (Maurits de Jongh)

Funding of the stay:
»Justitia Amplificata. Rethinking Justice − Applied and Global«

Scholarly profile of Maurits de Jongh

Maurits de Jongh is an assistant professor of political philosophy at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. He received his PhD in 2019 from Sciences Po (Institut d’études politiques de Paris), and was previously a Fox Fellow at Yale University and a lecturer at Leiden University.

Please find more information about Maurits de Jong hier.

Main areas of research:
Political philosophy and the history of economic ideas; theories of political economy and justice; public goods; the commons; privatization; the welfare state.

Selected publications:
  1. »Public goods in Michael Oakeshott’s ›world of pragmata‹«, in: European Journal of Political Theory, 2019. [].
  2. »Is political liberalism self-defeating? [Le libéralisme politique se réfute-il lui-même?]«, in: Revue Française de Science Politique, 68:3 (2018), p. 515-538.
  3. »Specters of Arendt«, in: Raisons politiques (special issue co-edited and introduced with Marianne Fougère), 70 (2018), p. 5-131.
  4. »Democratic legitimacy, desirability and deficit in EU governance«, in: Journal of Contemporary European Research, 13:3 (2017), p. 1283-1300.