Vincent Harting

Vincent Harting

PhD Candidate

Department of Government

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English, Spanish
Key Expertise
Normative Political Theory, Marxism, Constitutionalism, Democratic Theory

About me

My main research interests are in normative political philosophy and the history of socialist political thought, with a particular focus on the consequences of the latter for constitutional theorizing and institutional design.

Before starting my Ph. D., I completed a MSc in Political Theory here at LSE and a BA in Philosophy from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. In 2022, I spent a quarter term at the University of Chicago as a Non-Degree Visiting Research student.

Research interests: Normative Political Theory | The History of Socialist Political Thought | Constitutionalism | Democratic Innovations | Theories of Economic Justice

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Material Constitutionalism and the Politics of Anti-Oligarchy

Against the background of the strong tendencies of liberal democracies to degenerate into oligarchic plutocracies, my thesis defends that the socialist tradition provides distinctively valuable resources for conceptualizing and realizing the egalitarian aspirations underlying these constitutional orders. In particular, I argue that, in the process of transitioning to more meaningfully democratic political systems, we should push for constitutionalizing authoritative political institutions of exclusive access to economically disempowered classes – and argue that such an institutional arrangement is, for several reasons, normatively appealing.

Job market paper

An Egalitarian Case for Class-Specific Political Institutions

Political theorists concerned with counteracting the oligarchic tendencies of liberal democracies have recently paid more attention to the employment of “class-specific institutions” (CSIs) — i.e., political institutions formally excluding wealthy elites from participation. This article disputes a general objection levelled against the justifiability of CSIs, according to which their democratic credentials are outweighed by their transgression of formal political equality. I argue that CSIs’ exclusionary thrust is, amongst other things, justified because they unfold against the background of badly ordered, class-divided societies. Yet, I also claim that the justification of CSIs depends on their orientation toward overcoming such divisions because, otherwise, they might wrongfully entrench them.

Selected publications

Teaching record

  • Introduction to Political Theory (GV100) - 2021/22
  • Contemporary Political Theory (GV262) - 2020/21