Nicholas Vrousalis

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2018/2019
discipline Political Philosophy
Assistant Professor in Political Philosophy Institute of Political Science, Leiden University

Research project

Exploitation as Domination: A Theory of Inequality and Power

 

Trafficking, prostitution, organ donation, commercial surrogacy, sweatshops, wage-labour, financialization, and imperialism are exploitative practices. They are therefore wrong. This book project develops and defends the view that there is one unifying feature that makes exploitative practices wrong, namely domination. Exploitation, in other words, is domination for self-enrichment. The book achieves this unifying goal by engaging with contemporary philosophical debates on vulnerability and power, and with the recent economics literature on exploitation. The result is a versatile new tool for understanding which features of our world constitute wrongful exploitation and why.

 

The originality of this project consists in its emphasis on economic inequality as unfreedom-inducing. More precisely, the project attempts to show how substantial economic inequality entails relations of dominion and power. If this is true, then it follows that the benefits the rich extract from such inequality are dividends of their dominion over others; exploitation is a dividend of servitude. In contrast with contemporary liberal accounts, that tend to subsume exploitation claims under unfairness or injustice, the project defends an account that confers on exploitation claims a distinctive position in the moral landscape. Such claims are fundamentally about domination. They therefore fall squarely within the purview of a theory of freedom. In developing this argument, the book engages with contemporary debates among feminists, republicans, and Marxists about the nature and place of power in the just society.

 

Biography

 

Nicholas Vrousalis is Assistant Professor in Political Philosophy at Leiden University and Visiting Associate Professor at Aarhus University. He read Economics at Cambridge and received his doctorate in Political Philosophy from Oxford. His main research areas are distributive ethics, Marxism, and democratic theory. Vrousalis’ work has appeared in Journal of Ethics, Politics Philosophy and Economics, Southern Journal of Philosophy, and Philosophy and Public Affairs.

 

Selected publications

 

‘Council Democracy and the Socialization Dilemma’, in J. Muldoon (ed.), Council Democracy: Theorising Boundaries Between the Political and Economic, Routledge, London, 2018, pp. 89-107.

 

‘Intergenerational Justice: A Primer’, in A. Gosseries & I. Gonzalez (eds), Institutions for Future Generations, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016, pp. 49-64.

 

‘Exploitation as Domination: A Response to Arneson’, Southern Journal of Philosophy, vol. 54, 2016, pp.  527-38.

 

The Political Philosophy of G.A. Cohen, Bloomsbury Academic, London, 2015.

 

‘Exploitation, Vulnerability, and Social Domination’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 41, 2013, pp. 131-157.

 

institut

junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS)
discipline Political Science
2018
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS)
discipline Communication
2017
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS)
discipline History
2017