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Dr Simon Townsend

Associate Lecturer

My main area of interest is the political philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, and I also write on the philosophies and political theories of several twentieth-century Nietzscheans, including Georges Bataille and Michel Foucault. I am also interested in contemporary agonistic democracy, both the Nietzschean and non-Nietzschean strands. 

I am currently convening a Masters level module on Nietzsche and Foucault, and a first-year module, Power and Democracy, which provides an overview of contemporary strands in democratic theory, including participatory democracy, deliberative democracy, and agonistic democracy. 

Office hours:

Wednesday 11-1 (open office hours) and 4-5 (appointment only). 

Research interests



Nietzsche on the Rise of Strong Political States and Their Cultivation of Higher Individuals (2020). Review of Politics 82 (1).

The Exploitation of Sacred Desire: Rethinking Georges Bataille's Political Theory.
Theory & Event 21 (4), 844-864.

Beyond the Myth of the Nietzschean Ideal-Type, European Journal of Philosophy 25 (3).


Nietzsche's Great Politics (2017) by Hugo Drochon, Contemporary Political Theory 16 (4). 


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