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Clare Woodford


  • OAv, 10-11 Pavilion Parade

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Research interests

Clare Woodford is Senior 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 second book on love and desire in democratic theories of the subject. Clare works at the interstices of political philosophy, poststructuralism and democratic theory. Questioning the division between theory and practice, passivity and action, she rethinks ethics, education, 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:


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Southampton

External positions


4 Jan 2016 → …

1 Jan 20161 Jan 2021

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

1 Jul 2011 → …


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

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Research Output 2012 2019

Logics of Revolt: Laclau and Ranciere

Devenney, M. & Woodford, C. 1 Jun 2019 (Accepted/In press) Populism: the logic of revolt or a revolt against logic?. Stagnell, A. & Payne, D. (eds.). London

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Deseando el populismo

Woodford, C., Devenney, M., Lopez, P., Ingala Gomez, E., Gunnerson-Payne, J. & Hansen, A. 1 Apr 2018 (Accepted/In press) Populismo y hegemonía: retos para la política emancipatoria, I. Presupuestos teóricos. Ema Lopez, P. & Ingala Gomez, E. (eds.).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Giving Life to Politics: Ethics of sex, nonviolence and the body

Woodford, C., Huzar, T., Devenney, M., Butler, J., Honig, B., Cavarero, A., Guaraldo, O., Bernini, L., Battersby, C. & Forti, S. 1 Aug 2018 (Accepted/In press) 230 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook - edited

Hatred and Democracy?: Populism in Europe

Woodford, C. 1 Jul 2018 (Accepted/In press) The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary European Social Movements. Feenstra, R. & Fominaya, C. (eds.).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Is democracy dead or alive?: What democracy exactly are we supposed to nourish?

Woodford, C., Gagnon, J-P. & Urbinati, N. 2 Feb 2018

Research output: Other contribution

Open Access

Activities 2016 2019

  • 6 Invited talk
  • 4 Oral presentation
  • 1 Visiting an external academic institution

Debt, dependency, emancipation

Woodford, C. (Invited presenter), Gulshan Khan (Presenter)
9 Jan 2019

Activity: Invited talk

Post-redemption politics

Woodford, C. (Presenter)
18 Jun 2019

Activity: Invited talk

Universitat Jaume I

Woodford, C. (Visiting researcher)
24 Jan 201830 Jan 2018

Activity: Visiting an external academic institution

Void, representation and aesthetics for Populism

Woodford, C. (Presenter)
11 Jan 2018

Activity: Oral presentation

Who is the subject of populism?

Woodford, C. (Presenter)
22 Jan 2018

Activity: Invited talk