Followers of my social media feeds will already know this, but on 1 January 2019 I take up a new position as Professor of Social and Political Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
It’s a rather exciting opportunity because the whole faculty works in a very boundary-crossing way. The department itself has both analytic and continental philosophers, but also social and political theorists from a number of backgrounds including anthropology, cultural studies, development and more, and so they interpret philosophy very broadly, much more so than is common. Research and teaching are both organised in cross-disciplinary clusters. Given the way that my own work is hard to categorise, I think this is going to be an excellent fit.
My research agenda will continue to focus on deliberative systems and their empirical investigation, especially the use of big data sets; and I’m developing a cultural account of deliberation, and political communication more generally. Both will be given an important boost by my new colleagues in the European Studies research group — of which I will be a member — and Cultural Studies. But I’ll be planning workshops, connecting with colleagues right around Europe, and hope to me a much more regular host and visitor.
At the same time, I will still be Adjunct Professor of Politics in the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra, and will be visiting as often as I can.
Of course, the symbolism of moving to Maastricht in the midst of Brexit has not escaped me. When I got British citizenship, one of the most meaningful things to me was the fact that EU citizenship came with it. I’m looking forward to being at the heart of all that once more.