Program Area(s): Comparative Politics; Political Theory
Need, Utility and Politics Beyond Civil Society
Dissertation Committee: Lars Tønder (Chair), Sara Monoson, Sam Weber, Miguel Vatter
Research Interests: Ancient Greek Political Thought; Democratic and Critical Theory; Political Economy.
For some time now democratic theorists have largely abandoned the concepts of need and utility to economists as part of their rejection of the economization of politics, whether under neoliberal or other circumstances. In this dissertation, I seek to critique neoliberal utility—which I argue is only the latest stage of a protracted historical and political process—but also to recover utility for alternative purposes. I do so by turning selectively to Aristotle, Spinoza and Marx to form an assemblage to develop an approach to utility that affirms democratic politics.