Prof. dr. Rutger Claassen

Ethiek Instituut
+31 30 253 4399

Rutger Claassen is Professor of Political Philosophy and Economic Ethics at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies of Utrecht University. His research is at the intersection of politics, economics and ethics, focusing on theoretical and normative questions about democracy, freedom, markets, and justice.

He currently is the principal investigator of a research project on  The Business Corporation as a Political Actor, funded by the European Research Council (ERC-Consolidator Grant), which investigates the societal role and legitimacy of business corporations (2020-2025). He was the principal investigator of a research project funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) on Private Property & Political Power in Liberal-Democratic Societies (2017-2022). This project focused on the social/political power coming with accumulated private property holdings, and how to render these consistent with ideals of democratic accountability.

In his monograph Capabilities in a Just Society. A Theory of Navigational Agency  (Cambridge University Press, 2018) he argues for a capability approach centered on a notion of autonomous agency. He has published in journals such as Economic & Philosophy, Inquiry, Law & Philosophy, Journal of Social Philosophy and Politics, Philosophy & Economics. 

Rutger Claassen obtained his PhD in 2008 from Utrecht University for a dissertation about the moral limits of markets. He was assistant professor at Leiden University and a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbour and Humboldt Universität in Berlin. At Utrecht University, Rutger Claassen was the first Program Director of the new BA-program in Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE), which started in September 2018. He also regularly publishes articles and books in Dutch, and gives lectures and interviews so as to bring philosophy to a broader audience. For years, he was the co-organizer of a monthly Philosophical Café in Utrecht.

For more information, a full CV and some downloads, please visit his personal webpage.

Political Philosophy and Economic Ethics
Inaugural lecture date