Skip to main content


Photo of Dr Andrew Schaap

Dr Andrew Schaap

BA(Hons) Melbourne, MSc, PhD Edinburgh

Associate Professor

My main area of research is contemporary political theory, with specific interests in the work of Hannah Arendt, Jacques Rancière and theories of radical democracy. My research draws on debates in democratic theory about agonism to examine issues surrounding reconciliation, indigenous politics, immigration and civility.

Research interests

My broad area of research is contemporary political theory. My book, Political Reconciliation drew on the thought of Hannah Arendt to conceptualize reconciliation as a political undertaking in societies divided by a history of state violence. I am broadly interested in theories of radical democracy with particualr interests in the politics of migration, racism and anti-racist politics, political struggles of indigenous peoples, transitional justice, politics and literature and political thought of the twentieth century.

Research supervision

I am able to supervise research students in contemporary political theory and critical IR theory as well as projects that combine theoretical analysis with an empirical focus. Within political theory, I am particularly interested in supervising students who want to examine or draw on the political thought of Hannah Arendt, Jacques Rancière, Carl Schmitt, Claude Lefort, Antonio Negri, Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben and/or Etienne Balibar. More substantively, I am interested in supervising students working on radical politics, politics and literature, democratic theory, civility, indigenous rights and political reconciliation (including collective responsibility, forgiveness, transitional justice and commemorative practices).

Research students

Lewis Cooper, Democratic virtues of listening: fallibility and faith in deliberative practices (supervised with Bice Maiguashca and Lise Herman)

Dougie Booth, Transitional Inertia: A Comparative Analysis of the Governance of the Energy Transition in China and the USA from 2008-2020 (lead supervisor: James Muldoon)


Andreas Karoutas (2022) Overturning the Majority? Insurgent Minorities and the Self-Questioning of Society (co-supervised with Alex Prichard)

Zhangmei Tang (2021) The Capacity to World: The Transcendental Ground of Hannah Arendt’s Conception of the Human (co-supervised with Robin Durie)

Kate Berrisford (2021) The Child's Right to Genital Integrity: Protecting the Liberal Child, Resisting Harmful Norms, and Enabling Sexual Autonomy (lead supervisor: Robert Lamb)

Rebecca Mavin (2019) Producing and Contesting Precarity: The Politics of the Body in the British Asylum System (co-supervised with Katharine Charlsey)

Farhad Kerimov (2016) Democratic Pluralism: Asymmetric Reciprocity, Reflexivity, and Agonism (second supervisor: Dario Castiglione)

Roberto Baldoli (2015)  Aldo Capitini and the Religious Liberation of Nonviolence (lead supervisor: Claudio Radaelli)

Owen Thomas (2014) The Iraq Inquiries: Publicity, Secrecy and Liberal Security (second supervisor: John Heathershaw)

Christiane Smith (2014) Articulating Ecological Injustices (co-supervised with Bice Maiguascha)

Robin Dunford (2012) Immanent Creativity and Constitutive Power (co-supervised with Robin Durie)

Claire Harrison (2010) Rethinking Anarchism: the Politics of the Act versus the Politics of Demand (co-supervised with Bice Maiguaschca)

External impact and engagement

In 2011, I helped to coordinate a symposium on the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in the lead up to its fortieth anniversary.

The symposium was hosted by the Australian Centre for Indigenous History in collaboration with National Film and Sound Archive and Musem of Australian Democracy in Old Parliament House.

Media coverage of the symposium included:

Fire in the Belly, Awaye! ABC Rational National

The Aboriginal Embassy Symposium, The Wire.

The main outcome of the event was the publication of a book, co-edtied with Gary Foley and Edwina Howell: The Aboriginal Tent Embassy: Sovereignty, Black Power, Land Rights and the State.


I completed a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours in Political Science) at the University of Melbourne in 1997, writing my dissertation under the supervision of Sheila Jeffreys. I completed a PhD in political theory at the University of Edinburgh in 2003, which was supervised by Kimberly Hutchings and Emilios Christodoulidis and examined by Chantal Mouffe and Russel Keat.

Prior to joining the University Exeter in 2007, I held research posts in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics and as an Australian Research Council (ARC) postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Melbourne. In 2011, I was a Visiting Fellow in the Australian Centre for Indigenous History at the Australian National University. I have been based at Exeter University's Penryn campus in Cornwall since January 2019. In 2023, I was  a visiting researcher in the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen.

 Edit profile