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Assistant Professor in Politics, University of Canberra

Jean-Paul Gagnon is a social and political philosopher specializing in democratic theory. He joined the University of Canberra in mid-2015 as assistant professor in politics and is based in the School of Government & Policy (Bruce). He co-edits the Berghahn (Oxford, New York) journal Democratic Theory and also co-edits the Palgrave Macmillan book series The Theories, Concepts and Practices of Democracy.

His research focuses on democratic theory - especially innovations in democracy, the philosophy of democracy and democratization, and comparative democracy studies. This research is supported by directly related inquiries into critical theory and the philosophy of knowledge. Key epistemic influences include post-foundationalism, post-universalism, cosmopolitanism, 'secret histories' of democracy, 'Second Modernity', and hybridity theory.

His teaching focuses on democracy, Australian politics, comparative politics, the politics of China, topics in political theory, and public policy and administration.

He has published two books with another two forthcoming. He has also published a number of research articles in such journals as the Brill Journal of African and Asian Studies, the African Journal of Legal Studies, AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, the Journal of South Asian Studies, the International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, and the Taiwan Journal of Democracy.


  • 2015–present
    Assistant Professor, University of Canberra
  • 2013–2015
    University Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Australian Catholic University


  • 2010 
    Queensland University of Technology, PhD/Political Science


  • 2014
    Democratic Theorists in Conversation: Turns in Contemporary Thought, Palgrave Macmillan
  • 2013
    Evolutionary Basic Democracy, Palgrave Macmillan
  • 2012
    "The Taliban did not create the Taliban, Imperialism did", Journal of South Asian Development
  • 2012
    "Post-Colonial Public Law: Are Current Legal Establishments Democratically Illegitimate?", African Journal of Legal Studies
  • 2011
    "Surface and Sub-Surface Land Ownership: Realpolitik for 4th World Empowerment", Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues
  • 2011
    "Huron Socialism: A New Political System", AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples
  • 2011
    "A Potential Demarcation between ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Democratic Theory?", Social Alternatives
  • 2011
    "Establishing Indigeneity in African Pluralities using PRO169 Parameters", Brill Journal of African and Asian Studies
  • 2011
    "China’s Naval Policy off the Coast of Somalia", Journal of Global Analysis
  • 2010
    "Democratic Theory and Theoretical Physics", Taiwan Journal of Democracy

Research Areas

  • Political Science (1606)
  • Comparative Government And Politics (160603)
  • Public Policy (160510)
  • Public Administration (160509)
  • Political Theory And Political Philosophy (160609)
  • Social Theory (160806)