Dr Guy Aitchison

BA in History (University of Cambridge), MA in Legal and Political Theory (University College London), PhD in Political Philosophy (University College London)

  • Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Studies

Dr. Aitchison joined Loughborough as a Lecturer in Politics and International Studies in 2019. He previously taught in the Philosophy department at King’s College London and before that he held an Irish Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at University College Dublin. He also spent a year as a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. He completed his PhD in Political Philosophy at University College London in 2015.

Dr. Aitchison is a political theorist working within the normative analytical tradition with interests in political resistance, human rights, democratic theory and migration. He is particularly interested in how normative concepts, such as rights, are used in political conflict and the issues of legitimacy which arise when people mobilise outside official institutional structures.

He is currently managing ‘Starving for Dignity: Re-framing the Ethics of Hunger Strikes’, which is a two-year research project funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grants scheme. The project uses grounded political theory to examine the moral issues surrounding hunger strikes and other forms of ‘sacrificial resistance’.  You can find out more about the project here

Dr. Aitchison’s initial strand of work (arising from the PhD) was on the politics of rights. This work sets out a distinctive political account of rights based on the role the concept plays in political argument, identifying the value rights have as a tool to challenge unjust structures of power and inequality. Other published writings challenge the narrow focus within liberal political theory on civil disobedience, developing new conceptual categories, justifications and norms of engagement. A particular focus here has been the political mobilisation of irregular migrants and refugees. As a researcher and educator, he is keen to develop research proposals, co-organised conferences, discussions and other collaborative work that engages these issues.