Skip to main content
School of Politics and International Relations

Professor Lasse Thomassen, BA (Copenhagen), MA, PhD (Essex)


Professor of Politics

Telephone: 02078823935
Room Number: ArtsOne, 2.20A
Twitter: @LAT153B
Office Hours: Thursday 10:00-11:00 (in person).


After completing his PhD in Ideology and Discourse Analysis at the University of Essex, Lasse taught there for two years and then moved to the University of Limerick. He joined Queen Mary in 2007, and from 2008 to 2011 he was a García Pelayo Fellow at the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales in Madrid. From 2019 to 2021, he was a Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Fellow at the University of Copenhagen.

Deputy Director (Training and Cohort Development), London Interdisciplinary Social Science ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership

Find Dr Lasse Thomassen on


Research Interests:

My research focuses on three areas: debates within radical democratic theory and radical politics (autonomy vs hegemony, movement parties, etc.); identity politics and the politics of inclusion, particularly in the context of the UK and Europe; and new approaches to the concept of representation. In addition, I have a long-standing interest in the work of Jürgen Habermas. Cutting across these research foci is my interest in developing deconstruction and discourse theory as methods for political analysis. I am currently working on a book project developing deconstruction as a critical method for political theory.



British Multiculturalism and the Politics of Representation (Edinburgh University Press, 2017).

Habermas: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: Continuum, 2010).

Deconstructing Habermas (London: Routledge, 2007).

Edited Books

The Derrida-Habermas Reader (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, and Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006).

(with Lars Tønder) Radical democracy: Politics between abundance and lack (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005).

Special Issues

New Reflections on Ernesto Laclau’s Theory of Populism, Symposium, Theory & Event 23:3 (2020), 734-833. 

The Analytic-Continental Divide (with Clayton Chin), Special Issue, European Journal of Political Theory 15:2 (2016).

Post-Secularism: Between Public Reason and Political Theology (with Camil Ungureanu), Special Issue, The European Legacy 20:2 (2015).

Journal Articles

‘The “populist” foundation of liberal democracy: Jan-Werner Müller, Chantal Mouffe, and post-foundationalism’, Philosophy & Social Criticism 48:7 (2022), 992-1013.

‘Representing the People: Laclau as a Theorist of Representation’, New Political Science, 41:2 (2019), 329-44.

‘Poststructuralism and representation’, Political Studies Review 15:4 (2017), 539-50.

‘From Protest to Party: Horizontality and Verticality on the Slovenian Left’ (with Alen Toplišek), Europe-Asia Studies 69:9 (2017), 1383-1400.

Mind the gap: Lawrence Hamilton and aesthetic representation’, Representation 53:1 (2017), 41-53.

‘Políticas de identidad y ciudadanía: el discurso de Gordon Brown sobre britanidad’, REDUR 15 (2017), 85-109.

‘Multiculturalismo y representación: lecciones desde el Reino Unido’, Cuadernos Manuel Giménez Abad M6 (April 2017), 33-41.

‘Hegemony, Populism and Democracy: Laclau and Mouffe Today (review article)’, Revista Española de Ciencia Política, no. 40 (2016), 161-76.

‘Political Theory in the Square: Protest, Representation and Subjectification’ (with Marina Prentoulis), Contemporary Political Theory 12:3 (2013), 166-84. Winner of the 2013 Contemporary Political Theory Annual Prize

‘Deliberative Democracy and Provisionality.’ Contemporary Political Theory 10:4 (2011), 423-43.

‘(Not) Just a Piece of Cloth: Begum, Recognition and the Politics of Representation.’ Political Theory 39:3 (2011). 325-51.

‘The Politics of Iterability: Benhabib, the Hijab, and Democratic Iterations’, Polity 43:1 (2011), 128-49.

‘Political Theory in a Provisional Mode’, Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy 13:4 (2010), 453-73.

‘Deconstruction as method in political theory’, Austrian Journal of Political Science 39, no. 1 ( 2010), 41-53.

‘Gladiator, violence and the founding of a republic’, PS: Political Science & Politics 42, no. 1 (2009), 145-8.

‘Within the Limits of Deliberative Reason Alone: Habermas, Civil Disobedience and Constitutional Democracy', European Journal of Political Theory 6:2 (2007), 201-19.

‘Beyond representation?', Parliamentary Affairs 60, no. 1 (2007): 111-26.

‘The Inclusion of the Other? Habermas and the Paradox of Tolerance', Political Theory 34, no. 4 (2006): 439-62.

‘Discourse analytical strategies: antagonism, hegemony and ideology after heterogeneity', Journal of Political Ideologies 10, no. 3 (2005): 289-309.

‘Habermas og Derrida: filosofien i ei kritisk tid', trans. Åsmund Forfang, Syn & Segn 4 (2005): 22-34.

‘Heterogeneity, Inclusion and Exclusion: Displacements of Life, Liberty, and Refugees in Angelopoulos' Eternity and a Day', Contemporary Justice Review 8, no. 4 (2005): 381-95 .

‘Democracy, Citizenship and Exclusion', Bordes 8 (2001): 9-20.

Book Chapters

‘Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe and the Discourse Theoretical Approach’, in Y. Stavrakakis and G. Katsambekis (eds), Elgar Research Handbook on Populism (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2023), Chapter 12.

’Podemos mellem populisme of institutionalism’, in C. Jensen (ed.), Populisme fra venstre: Erfaringer fra Europa og Latinamerika (Copenhagen: Gramsci Selskabet, 2022).

‘Democracy in a Provisional Key’, in J. Tully et al. (eds), Democratic Multiplicity: Perceiving, Enacting and Integrating Democratic Diversity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), Chapter 3.

‘Movement Parties: A New Hybrid Form of Politics?’, with M. Prentoulis, in C. Flesher Fominaya and R. Feenstra (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary European Social Movements (London: Routledge, 2020), chapter 24, pp. 343-56.

‘Prólogo’, in F. Xavier Ruiz Collantes, La Construcción del Relato Político: Crear Historias para Ganar Votos (Barcelona: Servei de Publicacions de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2019), pp. 13-20.

‘Pinning down representation: Michael Saward’s constructivist turn’, in Lisa Disch, Mathijs van de Sande and Nadia Urbinati (eds), The Constructivist Turn in Political Representation (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019), pp. 163-81.

‘Performative Self-Contradiction’, in A. Allen and E. Mendieta (eds), The Cambridge Habermas Lexicon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 291-3.

‘J. L. Austin’, in A. Allen and E. Mendieta (eds), The Cambridge Habermas Lexicon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 488-90.

‘Discourse and heterogeneity’, in Tomas Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization: Inquiries into Relational Structures of Power (London: Palgrave, 2018), pp. 43-61.

‘El problema de fundar una república: Violencia y Derecho’, in Sergio Pérez Gonzáles and Raúl Susín Betrán (eds), Violencia y Derecho a Través del Cine (Valencia: Tirant lo Blanch, 2015), pp. 259-78.

‘Foreword’, in MariaCaterina La Barbera (ed.), Identity and Migration in Europe: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (Heidelberg: Springer, 2015), pp. v-vii.

‘Multiculturalism’, in Michael T. Gibbons (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Political Thought (New York: Blackwell, 2014), DOI: 10.1002/9781118474396.wbept0693.

‘Autonomy and  Hegemony in the Squares: The 2011 Protests in Greece and Spain’ (with Marina Prentoulis), in Alexandros Kioupkiolis and Giorgos Katsambekis (eds), Radical Democracy and Collective Movements Today: The Biopolitics of the Multitude versus the Hegemony of the People (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014), pp. 213-34. Excerpted in Avgi, 9 February 2014, p. 48; and on The Euro Crisis in the Press LSE blog, 13 March 2014.

‘Radical Democracy’, in Rosi Braidotti (ed.), The History of Continental Philosophy. Vol. 7: After Poststructuralism: Transitions and Transformations (London: Acumen, 2010), pp. 169-86.

‘Radical Democracy’, in Mark Bevir (ed.), The Sage Encyclopedia of Political Theory (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage,  2010). pp.1141-5

‘Jürgen Habermas’, in M. Bevir (ed.), The Sage Encyclopedia of Political Theory (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage,  2010).pp. 587-94

‘Radical democracy', in R. Braidotti (ed.), History of Continental Philosophy. Vol. 7: Post-Poststructuralism (London: Acumen, forthcoming 2010).

‘Towards a Cosmopolitics of Heterogeneity: Borders, Communities and Refugees in Angelopoulos's Balkan Trilogy', in D. Morgan and G. Banham (eds), Cosmopolitics and the Emergence of a Future (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007), 191-210

‘Derrida vs. Habermas revisited', in Derrida: Negotiating the Legacy, ed. Madeleine Fagan et al. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007), 210-24.

‘“A Bizarre, Even Opaque Practice”: Habermas on Constitutionalism and Democracy', in The Derrida-Habermas Reader, ed. Lasse Thomassen (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, and Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2006), 176-94.

‘Introduction', in The Derrida-Habermas Reader, ed. Lasse Thomassen (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, and Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2006), 1-7.

‘In/exclusions: towards a radical democratic approach to exclusion', in Radical democracy: Politics between abundance and lack, eds. Lars Tønder and Lasse Thomassen (Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2005), 103-19.

(with Lars T ønder) ‘Introduction: rethinking radical democracy between abundance and lack', in Radical democracy: Politics between abundance and lack, eds. Lars Tønder and Lasse Thomassen (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005), 1-13

‘Habermas', in The Palgrave Guide to Continental Political Thought, eds. Terrell Carver and James Martin (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2005), 196-210.

‘From the Modern to the Post-Modern: Deconstructing Habermas', in Hybrid Spaces: Theory, Culture, Economy, eds. Johannes Angermüller, Kathrin Bunzmann and Christina Rauch (Münster: Lit Verlag, 2000), 73-83.

Review Essays

‘Between deconstruction and rational reconstruction'. European Journal of Political Theory 7, no. 3 (2008), 382-90.

‘Habermas and His Others', Polity 37, no. 4 ( 2005 ): 548-60.

‘Bound by Identity', Political Theory 33, no. 3 (2005): 320-5.


‘The indignados, populism and emotions in political theory: a response to Paolo Cossarini’, Global Discourse, 4:2-3 (2014), 305-7.

‘Communicative Reason, Deconstruction, and Foundationalism: Reply to White and Farr’, Political Theory 41:3 (2013), 483-9.

‘“A basic closure of perspective?” Reply to Robinson and Tormey', Parliamentary Affairs 60, no. 1 (2007) 138-42.

‘Reading radical democracy: a commentary on Clive Barnett', Political Geography 24, no. 5 (2005): 631-9.

‘Lacanian Political Theory: A Reply to Robinson', British Journal of Politics and International Relations 6, no. 4 (2004): 558-61.


(with Rasmus Kleis Nielsen) ‘Chantal Mouffe' and ‘Introducing Chantal Mouffe', Politik 7, no. 4 (2004): 22-34. Reprinted in R. K. Nielsen, O. Dahl Rasmussen and O. Wæver (eds), 10 x 10 (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007).

(with Marta Hernandez, Seoungwon Lee and Carlos Pessoa) ‘Theory, Democracy and the Left: An Interview with Ernesto Laclau', Umbra 6 (2001): 7-27. Translation as ‘Hegemoni, demokrati og politik: Interview med Ernesto Laclau', (Roskilde, Denmark: Roskilde University Press, 2001).

Occasional pieces

‘What now for the Spanish left’, LSE EUROPP blog, 12 June 2023.

‘Después de Podemos: el postpopulismo de Yolanda’, Diario La Rioja, 20 September 2022, p. 29.

‘After Podemos: Yolanda Díaz’s Post-Populist Project for Spain’, PSA Blog, 18 August 2022.

‘The people goes to the Capitol’, The Loop, ECPR, 23 June 2022.

‘Nu starter Støjberg-showet’, Altinget 2 September 2021.

‘Hvem er egentlig det støjbergske folk?’, Altinget 7 July 2021.

’Repræsentation, populisme, demokrati’ (interview), Turbulens 8 June 2021.

‘Podemos mellem populisme og institutionalisme,’ Kritisk Debat 1 March 2021, pp. 42-51.

‘O caráter indecidível do populismo: relendo o populismo a partir de Jacques Derrida’, trans. Matheus Lock Santos, Dystopia 5 (2020).

‘Podemos og venstrepopulismen i dag. Interview med Lasse Thomassen’, Kritisk Debat 23 April 2019.

‘Representing Muslim women and Islamophobia’, in Isobel Ingham-Barrow (ed.), More Than Words: Approaching a Definition of Islamophobia, MEND, 26 June 2018.

What Bruce Springsteen can teach us about identity politics’, openDemocracy, 3 August 2017.

‘Left populism: the challenges from grassroots to electoral politics’, (with Marina Prentoulis), Transform 1 (2017), 109-28.

‘La política entre “agonismo” y antagonismo’, trans. Nuria Sangüesa Ruiz, Diario La Rioja, p. 26, 26 April 2017.

The woman on Westminster Bridge’, Edinburgh University Press Blog, 5 April 2017.

Identity politics: everybody does it (and it’s ok too)’, openDemocracy, 1 April 2017.

Giving Voice to the Invisibles’ (with Sergio Pérez González and Nuria Sangüesa Ruiz), PSA Blog, 10 March 2017.

‘El parlamento de los invisibles’ (with Nuria Sangüesa Ruiz), Diario La Rioja, p. 22, 9 March 2017.

Battling for the Soul of Podemos’, PSA Blog, 3 February 2017.

Podemos find itself caught between the battle lines of Spanish politics’, The Conversation, 15 December 2016.

‘Is there an Alternative for Denmark?’, openDemocracy, 5 June 2015.

‘Spanish Voters Wake Up to New Political Landscape’, openDemocracy, 25 May 2015.

‘The Andalusian Test’, openDemocracy, 1 April 2015.

‘After Syriza: What’s Next for Spain?’ (with Marina Prentoulis), openDemocracy, 29 March 2015. 

‘The Winds are Changing: A New Left Populism for Europe’ (with Marina Prentoulis), openDemocracy, 27 January 2015.

The end of tolerance and the new populism’ (with Marina Prentoulis), Red Pepper , June 2014.

‘The political legacy of the indignados’ (with Marina Prentoulis), Dromos, pp. 16-17, 1 June 2013 (in Greek).

‘Young and good looking: the saviours of Europe’s Left’ (with Marina Prentoulis), OpenDemocracy 2 April 2013.

‘The Indignados Today’, Dromos 5 June 2012 (in Greek).

(with Marina Prentoulis) ‘The death of the indignados movement’, openDemocracy 28 May 2012.

‘Lessons from the Spanish Occupy Movement’, openDemocracy 7 April 2012.


Co-Editor, Routledge Advances in Democratic Theory

Co-Editor, New Horizons: Political Thought beyond the Analytic-Continental Divide


I welcome PhD applications in the following areas:

  • Post-structuralist political theory
  • Radical democracy and politics
  • Discourse theory and deconstruction
  • Tolerance, recognition and multiculturalism
  • Representation

Current PhD Students:

Freddie Larden

Luke Lavender 

Salomé Ietter (second supervisor), The politics of anti-populism: ‘the people’ against ‘democracy’? 

Completed Students:

Matheus Lock Santos, The Becoming of Public Opinion: Discursive Resistances in the 2013 Brazilian Mass Protests  
Alen Toplišek, Liberal Democracy in Crisis: Redefining Politics and Resistance through Power



Back to top