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Contemporary Political Theory Research Group

Contemporary Political Theory Research Group

The Contemporary Political Theory Research Group was founded in October 2009. Its work focuses on issues concerning contemporary pluralism, liberalism, democratic theory and radical politics. It brings together staff working in contemporary continental philosophy, normative political theory, and American pragmatism, and works closely with the Department's Philosophy team and its new Centre for Continental Philosophy. Current and former postgraduate members include students working on normative concepts of responsibility in the context of globalization, Rawlsian liberalism and Islamic theology, the concept of meaningful work, Heidegger and displacement, post-existentialist political theory, the event in Marxist philosophy, the concept of the self and non-linear time, the concept of rhythm in Nietzsche's eternal return, the problem of history in temporal ethics, and numerous projects on the solo and collaborative works of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. The group also has ties to the College’s interdepartmental Humanities and Arts Research Institute (HARI).

The group runs a regular reading group from the College’s central London locations at Senate House and Bedford Square (online since the March 2020 COVID-19 lockdown), and has hosted visits by a number of renowned political theorists and philosophers including William E. Connolly (Johns Hopkins), Jane Bennett (Johns Hopkins), Charlotte Epstein (Sydney), Emma Ingala (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and Gavin Rae (American University of Cairo), and Sean Bowden (Deakin). Recent conferences organized by the group include ‘The Margins of Citizenship’ (in collaboration with the Department of Politics, University of Leicester), ‘Time, Politics and Becoming: A One-Day Conference on William E. Connolly’s A World of Becoming’ (in collaboration with the Department of Politics, Exeter University) and 'Religious Accommodation: From Theory to Practice'. In June 2013 it hosted the Second Annual London Conference in Critical Thought and in July 2019 it organized the 12th Annual Deleuze & Guattari Studies Camp and Conference.

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