Mr Udit Bhatia
Constitutions and Government Democratic theory International relations Constitutions, Institutions and Governments Democracy and Democratic Theory International ethics and global Justice Law and International law
I am a political theorist whose research focuses on normative democratic theory, comparative constitution-making, and social epistemology. I am a college lecturer in politics at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford and currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the Department of Politics and International Relations. From October 2018, I will be a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford.
My research engages with epistocracy, the notion that competent persons ought to enjoy exclusive or disproportionate political power. I examine the role played by this idea in constitutional moments in the United States, Britain and India. I then draw upon these case studies to develop a normative critique of epistocracy.
Alongside this project, I have also been working on how constitutions ought to regulate the relationship between political parties and legislative assemblies. For more on this subject, you can read my paper on the epistemic impact of strict party discipline for legislative deliberation available here. For the next phase of this research, I am working on party constitutions and the grounds on which these could be regulated to facilitate their legislative role.
I am currently also thinking about states’ epistemic obligations towards asylum-seekers. In particular, I am interested in relatively ‘costless’ duties that Southern states ought to fulfil. These include, among other things, the duty to offer resistance against norms that foster misrecognition of asylum-seekers.
Teaching specialism, interests and experience
In my role at Lady Margaret Hall, I teach undergraduates in all three years, and also participate in interviews for admissions and marking examinations. I am able to teach contemporary political theory as well as the history of political thought. At Oxford, I have taught the following courses: Theory of Politics (Prelims), Theory of Politics, Political Thought: Plato to Rousseau, Political Thought: Bentham to Weber, Politics in South Asia.
Cracking the Whip: The Deliberative Costs of Strict Party Discipline, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 2018 (Online First)
Conference Papers and Presentations
2018 Economic Refugees and the Hermeneutical Duty of Justice (The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø)
2018 Against Epistocracy: Rethinking the Epistemic Case against Epistocracy (Workshop in Social and Political Epistemology, Copenhagen University)
2017 Cracking the Whip: The Deliberative Costs of Strict Party Discipline (Conference on Law and Democracy, Yale Law School)
2017 The Epistocratic Second Chamber (Legal Studies Conference, Brown University)
2016 Precautions in a Democratic Experiment: The Nexus between Political Power and Competence (Columbia University)
2015 Mill's Educational (Dis)Qualification (LSE Graduate Conference in Political Theory)
2014 Minority Educational Rights in Comparative Perspective (Aage Sørensen Memorial Conference, Princeton University)