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.
Aitchison, Guy, “Fragility as Strength: The Ethics and Politics of Hunger Strikes”, The Journal of Political Philosophy, (2021): https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jopp.12261
- Aitchison, Guy, ‘Border-crossing: Immigration law, Racism and Justified Resistance’, Political Studies, (2021): https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00323217211030184
- Aitchison, Guy, ‘Beyond Lockdown? The Ethics of Global Movement in a New Era’, Ethics and Global Politics, (2021). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/16544951.2021.1895487
- Aitchison, Guy and Saladin Meckled-Garcia, ‘Against Online Public Shaming: Ethical Problems with Mass Social Media’, Social Theory and Practice, (2020). https://www.pdcnet.org/soctheorpract/content/soctheorpract_2020_0999_11_17_109
- Aitchison, Guy, ‘Domination and disobedience: Protest, coercion and the limits of an appeal to justice’, Perspectives on Politics, Issue 16 (3), (2018). https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/domination-and-disobedience-protest-coercion-and-the-limits-of-an-appeal-to-justice/3CB8473FEB684BE0C43324C0939D0641
- Aitchison, Guy, ‘Are human rights moralistic?’, Human Rights Review, Issue 1, Vol. 19, (2017/18). https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12142-017-0480-4
- Aitchison, Guy, ‘Foucault, democracy and the ambivalence of rights (review article)’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, (2017). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13698230.2017.1369627
- Aitchison, Guy, ‘Three Models of Republican Rights: Juridical, Parliamentary and Populist’, Political Studies, Vol. 65, Issue 2, (2016/17) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0032321716648339
- Aitchison, Guy, ‘Rights, Citizenship and political struggle’, European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 17, Issue 1, (2015/17) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1474885115578052
For a full list of publications see here.