Could I Be Your Supervisor?

The Question

Since I've become Doctoral Programme Director, many students ask me whether I can be their supervisor. I like being asked, but I do get asked quite a bit, and often by students who should really not be supervised by me because my interests and areas of competence do not match their project. On this page I try to give some guidance to find out what kind of applications I would consider to be of interest.

(Please also remember that, even if I'm interested, the decision to make offers is made by a committee after a competitive reading and interview process, not by me.)

My Approach and Interests

My approach can best be described as analytical political philosophy (broadly conceived), but I am also interested in philosophy of the social sciences, including methodological questions in political theory and political science. I like research in political philosophy that builds bridges to game theory, social choice theory, or behavioural economics. I have recently worked on self-serving biases, on the holism-individualism debate in the social sciences, on epistemic democracy, on ethical issues related to climate change, on feasibility constraints in political theory, on the justice of lotteries, and on theories of social norms.


A Checklist

Could I be the right supervisor? Here is a brief checklist:

  • Do you have some background in political theory or political philosophy? (If the answer is "no" I'm probably not the right supervisor for you.)
  • Do you consider the broadly "analytical" tradition in political philosophy as a point of departure and/or as a source of methodological guidance for your project? (If your answer is "no" or "I have no idea what you're talking about", then I'm probably not the right supervisor.)
  • Is your research project broadly related to one of my (quite wide-ranging) research interests, as described on this website and in my publications? (If "no", you really have a lot of convincing to do in order to get me interested.)