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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 is the author of articles and chapters on democratic disorientation and ambivalence, the work of Rancière, Butler, Cavell, Honig, Rawls, Laclau and Foucault with respect to performance, extremism, transnational populism, democratic activism and the ethics of friendship. Her first book Disorienting democracy: politics of emancipation (London; Routledge) juxtaposed Rancière’s thought with that of Butler, Cavell, Menke and Derrida to draw out the practical implications of his writing for emancipatory politics. She is currently working on a project on love and desire in democratic theories of the subject. Clare works at the interstices of political philosophy, poststructuralism and democratic and gender theory. Questioning the division between theory and practice, passivity and action, she rethinks ethics, education, sexuality, literature and aesthetics for a powerful conceptualization of democracy as ongoing egalitarian emancipatory struggle.

Clare’s research is primarily motivated by concern about the relationship between inequality and violence and unrest and how this plays out 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, belief and action; performance and politics 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 of the above areas. 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; and ESRC;

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Southampton

Award Date: 10 Sep 2010

External positions

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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