Lois McNay

Shirley Williams Fellow & Tutor in Politics; Professor of Theory of Politics; Vice-Principal

Professor McNay’s interests are in continental social and political thought and feminist theory.

She has a particular interest in the work of Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu and the Frankfurt School Critical Theorists.

Professor McNay is currently Vice-Principal of Somerville College. 


‘Whose Idea of Socialism: Conflicting Conceptions of the Family and Women’s Subordination’. Philosophy and Social Criticism, June 2023.
The Gender of Critical Theory: On the Experiential Grounds of Critique. Oxford University Press: 2022.
‘The “Merely” Experienced and its role in Knowledge Production’ in P. Giladi and N.McMillan (eds) Epistemic Injustice and the Philosophy of Recognition. Routledge, 2022.
‘The Politics of Welfare’ (Review Article), European Journal of Political Theory, April 2021.
‘Historicising Recognition’ in eds Titus Stahl et al The Ambivalences of Recognition. Columbia University Press, 2021.
‘Who is the Communis in Sensus Communis?A Response to Ferrara’. Philosophy and Social Criticism, 45, 2 (2019): 159-67
‘The Politics of Exemplarity: Ferrara on the Disclosure of New Political Worlds’ Philosophy and Social Criticism, 45, 2 (2019) 127-45.
‘Ontology and Critique’ Contemporary Political Theory, 16 (4) 2017, 524-31.  
‘The Limits of Justification: Critique, Disclosure and Reflexivity’, European Journal of Political Theory, (published online October 2016) Reproduced in Constitutionalism Justified: Rainer Forst in Discourse. Eds. E. Herlin-Karnell and M. Klatt (Oxford University Press, 2020)
‘Agency’ In Lisa Disch and Mary Hawkesworth (eds) Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory. Oxford University Press: 2016.
‘Social Freedom in the Family: Reflections on Care, Gender and Inequality’ Critical Horizons. 16 (2), 2015: 170-86
‘Suffering, Silence and Social Weightlessness: Honneth and Bourdieu on Embodiment and Power’ in G. Jagger, K.Lennon and S. Gonzalez-Amal (eds) Embodied Selves. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

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