Clare Woodford
  • OAv, 10-11 Pavilion Parade

    United Kingdom


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Personal profile

Research interests

Clare Woodford is Principal Lecturer in Political Philosophy in the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics (CAPPE)  School of Humanities, University of Brighton; director of the CAPPE Critical Theory research group strand; degree leader for BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Ethics; and co-editor of Rowman and Littlefield’s Polemics series. She has published widely on democratic theory, aesthetics, ethics, equality, extremism, transnational populism, UK politics and policy. Her book Disorienting democracy: politics of emancipation (2017, Routledge) juxtaposed Rancière’s thought with that of Butler, Cavell, Menke and Derrida to draw out the practical implications of Rancière’s writing for emancipatory political strategising. Her collaboration with Adriana Cavarero, Judith Butler, and Bonnie Honig, Towards a Feminist Ethics of Nonviolence (2021, Fordham) brings these thinkers into conversation with other leading feminist and gender theorists to argue that we need to attend more carefully to political infrastructural organisation if we are to construct a less violent world.

Clare currently leads two research projects : 1) opposing authoritarianism, extremism, and right wing populism via collectivism and wellbeing: the wellbeing state - a welfare state fit for the 21st Century; 2) Loving to death - understanding the role of affect (e.g. love, rage, grief) in contemporary movements for social justice, both online and in the streets. Clare works at the interstices of ethics, aesthetics, poststructuralism, democratic, and gender theory.

Clare’s research is primarily motivated by concern about the relationship between inequality and violence and unrest and how we can design feasible but socially just policies to respond to these in advanced capitalist democracy. In a more general sense she is fascinated by concepts of social order and disorder; finitude and the edges of being and knowledge; the inter-play of faith, reason, perception, belief and action; and the varied ways in which social animals communicate with one another and both make themselves (or fail to make themselves) understood and how we seek (or fail to seek) to understand others.

Clare is available to supervise PhDs in any area related to her work. Please email enquiries to

Current PhD funding opportunities:


Supervisory Interests

I welcome enquiries for doctoral research. Successful applicants join CAPPE's thriving Critical Theory research community and benefit from our international exchange programme and research network with Johns Hopkins; Berkeley, UoC; NUI Galway; PoliTesse/Arendt Centre, Verona; University of Buenos Aires; University of Recife; and UNAM. I currently supervise in the areas of radical democratic theory; populism; post-Marxism; poststructuralist thought; queer theory and sexualities; and social policy, but will consider applications across any area of my work. Current competitive funding opportunities are available through University of Brighton; AHRC; ESRC; and

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Southampton

Award Date: 10 Sep 2010

External positions

Reviewer Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique, Fonds National de la Recherche

12 Mar 2021 → …

Philosophy Chair, Arts and Humanities Research Council

1 Jan 2019 → …

Reviewer, DAAD

1 Jan 2019 → …

Member, AHRC Techne Peer Review College

1 Sep 2018 → …

Co-editor, Rowman and Littlefield Int.

4 Jan 2016 → …

AHRC Peer Review College

1 Jan 20161 Jan 2021

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy, UK

1 Jul 2011 → …


  • JC Political theory
  • democracy
  • ethics
  • aesthetics
  • queer theory
  • equality
  • poststructuralism
  • critical theory
  • continental thought


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