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Profile: Thomas Fossen (Leiden University)
  1. Joel Anderson & Thomas Fossen (forthcoming). Voting Advice Applications and Political Theory: Citizenship, Participation and Representation. In Garzia Diego & Marschall Stefan (eds.), Matching Voters with Parties and Candidates. ECPR Press. 217-226.
  2. Thomas Fossen (forthcoming). Review of Bert van Roermund, Legal Thought and Philosophy: What Legal Scholarship is About. [REVIEW] Political Theory.
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  3. Thomas Fossen & Joel Anderson (forthcoming). What’s the Point of Voting Advice Applications? Competing Perspectives on Democracy and Citizenship. Electoral Studies.
    Voting advice applications (VAAs) are interactive online tools designed to assist voters by improving the basis on which they decide how to vote. Current VAAs typically aim to do so by matching users’ policy-preferences with the positions of parties or candidates. But this ‘matching model’ depends crucially on implicit, contestable presuppositions about the proper functioning of the electoral process and about the forms of competence required for good citizenship—presuppositions associated with the social choice conception of democracy. This paper aims to (...)
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  4. Thomas Fossen (2013). The Grammar of Political Obligation. Politics, Philosophy and Economics (3):1470594-13496072.
    This essay presents a new way of conceptualizing the problem of political obligation. On the traditional ‘normativist’ framing of the issue, the primary task for theory is to secure the content and justification of political obligations, providing practically applicable moral knowledge. This paper develops an alternative, ‘pragmatist’ framing of the issue, by rehabilitating a frequently misunderstood essay by Hanna Pitkin and by recasting her argument in terms of the ‘pragmatic turn’ in recent philosophy, as articulated by Robert Brandom. From this (...)
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  5. Thomas Fossen (2012). Agonism and the Law. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (3):327-331.
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  6. Thomas Fossen (2012). Politicizing Brandom's Pragmatism: Normativity and the Agonal Character of Social Practice. European Journal of Philosophy 20 (4):371-395.
    This paper provides an agonistic interpretation of Robert Brandom's social-pragmatic account of normativity. I argue that social practice, on this approach, should be seen not just as cooperative, but also as contestatory. This aspect, which has so far remained implicit, helps to illuminate Brandom's claim that normative statuses are ‘instituted’ by social practices: normative statuses are brought into play in mutual engagement, and are only in play from an engaged social perspective among others. Moreover, in contrast to a positivist or (...)
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  7. Thomas Fossen (2012). Taking Stances, Contesting Commitments: Political Legitimacy and the Pragmatic Turn. Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (1):426-450.
  8. Thomas Fossen (2008). Agonistic Critiques of Liberalism: Perfection and Emancipation. Contemporary Political Theory 7 (4):376–394.
    Agonism is a political theory that places contestation at the heart of politics. Agonistic theorists charge liberal theory with a depoliticization of pluralism through an excessive focus on consensus. This paper examines the agonistic critiques of liberalism from a normative perspective. I argue that by itself the argument from pluralism is not sufficient to support an agonistic account of politics, but points to further normative commitments. Analyzing the work of Mouffe, Honig, Connolly, and Owen, I identify two normative currents of (...)
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  9. Thomas Fossen (2008). Nietzsche's Aristocratism Revisited. In Siemens Herman W. & Roodt Vasti (eds.), Nietzsche, Power and Politics: Rethinking Nietzsche's Legacy for Political Thought. De Gruyter.