Judith Vega

Lecturer in Social and Political Philosophy 

Groningen (the Netherlands)

From March 25 to April 5, 2019 

Biography —


Judith Vega works as Lecturer in Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Her research generally addresses the intermingling of politics and culture throughout the history of modernity. She published, a.o., on the history of political ideas, the nature of republican philosophy, recognitional justice, and cultural citizenship. She recently studied democratic meanings of spectatorship, in particular from a critical-theoretical perspective. Feminist philosophy has been a prominent angle in her research. In her free time she is involved in a citizens’ initiative for refugee support.

Project —

Sovereign states versus sovereign lives

I aim to rethink the relation between sovereignty and democracy. Claiming sovereignty, whether by the state or independence movements, often consists in the drawing or redrawing of borders, in enforcing law or struggling for new law. This legalistic approach tends to forget an important feature of the struggle for sovereignty: the ways it connects with democratic ideals. Historically, the demand for democratic sovereignty entailed the wish for a public presence of all, for being able to voice one’s existence. Which connections are, or should be, forged between external sovereignty and democratic sovereignty, i.e. social action, pluralism and emancipation?

I look forward to explore these issues with the Faber residents and Catalan citizens. During my stay in Olot, I hope to further my own and others’ insights into the issue of national sovereignty and self-determination and its relation to civic democracy, identity and emancipation.