Andreas Karoutas



College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Discipline: Politics
Department: Politics
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Political Thought


I graduated from Aberystwyth University in 2011 with a BScEcon (Hons) degree in International Politics and International History, where I was taught by Professor Ian Clark and Professor Jenny Edkins -- whose internationally recognized handbooks we read tutorial classes. I completed my UG dissertation in critical historiography under the supervision of Dr Patrick Finney on the subject of Nationalism in the Teaching of the Balkan 'Other' in Greek School Education 1830-1930. On the recommendation of, and with references from, Prof Edkins, I then studied towards an MA in Critical Global Politics at the University of Exeter, graduating in 2012. It was during my MA that Dr Andrew Schaap introduced me to the ideas of Jacques Rancière, whose (anti-)philosophy of 'politics' (politics as disagreement) I found fascinating. My MA dissertation on ethical consumerism explored consumption and peer-to-peer funding using the internet under a Baudrillardian post-modern prism. It was actually really terrible - so please never ask me about it! Nevertheless, this brief engagement with post-modern and post-structuralist literature spurred me to continue my exploration of 20th century French philosophy. On the recommendation of Dr Schaap, I decided to stay at the University of Exeter for a PhD -- despite initially planning my stay at Exeter to be a short one. My PhD was co-supervised by Dr Andrew Schaap and Dr Alex Prichard, and I couldn't have asked for better supervisors if I had searched the whole world. They shaped my passion for political theory, and helped me discover a range of alternate possibilities and prospects within (post-)anarchism and radical democratic politics.

My PhD was focused on radical democratic politics - specifically defending the possibility that the 'Overturning of the Majority' by insurgent minorities can be a democratic process. I assert that insurgent minorities can democratically overturn the majority if and insofar as they instigate societal self-questioning. I develop a framework for understanding 'democratic' actors and politics, focusing on the concepts of anti-hegemony, anti-fascism, and the presupposition of equality as criteria that define a democratic actor and a democratic overturning. My research explored the ideas of Gabriel Tarde, Cornelius Castoriadis, Ernesto Laclau, Gilles Deleuze, and Jacques Rancière.

Following my PhD, I have diversified my research interests. I am currently working on post-colonialist theory and decolonising the University Curriculum. I also work on sci-fi and the (politico-philosophical) uses of dystopia, including theorising the existence of politics in post-apocalyptic times.

Prior to my studies in Aberystwyth, I studied towards a BSc degree in Computer Games Development. It was not to be, but the experience helped me understand the place of technology and the importance of hard science in our contemporary world. Also, video games are really important as philosophical, educative and experiential devices! I am just as happy to discuss the philosophy of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, or the gameplay mechanics of Breath of the Wild and the level design of Mario 64, so if there are any gamers reading this: all your base are belong to us.