Professor Christian List

Professor Christian List

Professor of Political Science and Philosophy & Fellow of the British Academy

Department of Government

+44 (0)207 955 6785
Room No
CON 4.04
Office Hours
Currently on leave (LT 2018)
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About me

Christian List’s work falls into the overlap between philosophy, political science, and economics. He has made contributions to subjects such as judgment aggregation, rational choice theory, group agency, deliberative and epistemic democracy, models of group decisions in biology, methodological individualism and holism in social science, and free will.

A graduate of the University of Oxford, he held research or visiting positions at Oxford, the Australian National University, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, the University of Konstanz, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, and the University of Uppsala. He has received several awards, including a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Philosophy, the 5th Social Choice and Welfare Prize (with F. Dietrich), a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellowship at the Princeton Center for Human Values, and a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship.

He served as Editor of Economics and Philosophy, where he is currently on the Advisory Board, and is serving as Associate Editor of Episteme and Corner Editor of the Journal of Logic and Computation. In autumn 2015, he will join the editorial board of Mind. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Research interests

  • Social choice theory
  • Decision theory
  • Political philosophy
  • Philosophy of the social sciences
  • Metaphysics

Research projects

Teaching responsibilities

  • GV4A3: Social Choice Theory and Democracy
  • GV4H4: Foundations of Political Theory
  • PH221: Problems of Analytic Philosophy
  • PH456: Rationality and Choice
  • PH501: Philosophical Problems


Group Agency: the possibility, design, and status of corporate agents
(Christian List and Philip Pettit, Oxford University Press, 2011)

Are companies, churches, and states genuine agents? Or are they just collections of individual agents that give a misleading impression of unity? This question is important, since the answer dictates how we should explain the behaviour of these entities and whether we should treat them as responsible and accountable on the model of individual agents.

Group Agency offers a new approach to that question and is relevant, therefore, to a range of fields from philosophy to law, politics, and the social sciences. Christian List and Philip Pettit argue that there really are group or corporate agents, over and above the individual agents who compose them, and that a proper approach to the social sciences, law, morality, and politics must take account of this fact. Unlike some earlier defences of group agency, their account is entirely unmysterious in character and, despite not being technically difficult, is grounded in cutting-edge work in social choice theory, economics, and philosophy.

My research