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Guy Aitchison

Research student

Guy Aitchison


Guy Aitchison is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at UCL and a Teaching Assistant for the MA course on Theoretical Foundations of Human Rights. He is also a Teaching Assistant in Political Theory at the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. 

He is currently completing his PhD under the supervision of Cecile Laborde and Richard Bellamy with support from a UCL Graduate Research Scholarship. Guy holds a BA (First) in History from the University of Cambridge and an MA (Distinction) in Legal and Political Theory from University College London. 

Research Interests

PhD thesis: “Claiming from Below: Rights, Power and Social Movements” 

Guy’s research aims to provide a theoretical account of rights that captures the vital role the concept plays in the struggles of social movements outside and against the law. In contrast to existing debates within the philosophical literature, which focus on the relative virtues of judges and parliaments, his research draws on agonistic understandings of democracy to theorize how rights are realized outside state institutions through popular mobilisation, civil disobedience and direct action.

Alongside his current research, Guy’s research interests include theories of democracy, agonism, citizenship and the history of political thought in the 17th and 18th century.

Prior to beginning his doctoral research, Guy was Deputy Director of The Convention on Modern Liberty and a Managing Editor at openDemocracy.

Journal Papers

  • “Reform, rupture or re-imagination: Understanding the purpose of an occupation”, Social Movement Studies, 10(4), (2011) pp. 431–439.

Conference Presentations

  • “The Limits of Constitutional Citizenship: A Critique of Jeremy Waldron and Richard Bellamy”, University of Warwick Graduate Conference in Legal and Political Theory, February, 2014.
  • “The Agonistic Dimension of Rights”, University of Braga, Portugal, International Conference on Ethics and Political Philosophy, November 2012.
  • “Rights as Political Claims”, University of Pavia Graduate Conference in Political Philosophy,  September, 2012.

Personal Webpage

For a CV and fuller list of Guy’s papers (available to download) see:

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Page last modified on 05 mar 14 15:38

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