For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.

Dr. J.C.A. (Johan) Olsthoorn

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Challenges to Democratic Representation

  • About

    I'm a tenured assistant professor in political theory (UD1) at the University of Amsterdam, Dept. of Political Science, and an affiliated researcher in the Justice and Migration project at RIPPLE. Between 2009 and 2021, I worked at KU Leuven, Institute of Philosophy, funded by PhD and postdoctoral fellowships of the Research Foundation (FWO)-Flanders. In 2014, KU Leuven awarded me a PhD in philosophy (summa cum laude); I also hold degrees in philosophy (BA, MA), history (BA, MA), and political science (BA) from Leiden University.

    My research specialisms are in seventeenth-century moral, legal, and political philosophy; contemporary theories of rights and property; and international legal and political philosophy (incl. the ethics of war and philosophy of human rights). Much of my work focuses on changing conceptualizations of notions such as  ‘justice’, ‘rights’, ‘obligations’, ‘property’, and ‘sovereignty’. I am particularly interested in uncovering the conceptual and theoretical constraints past and present philosophers face when attempting to reinterpret received notions.

    I have spent some time scrutinizing the works of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) – someone ‘very dexterous in Confuting others by putting a new Sense upon their words, rehearsed by himself, different from what the same Words signifie with other men’ (Wallace 1662: 154). A monograph entitled Hobbes on Justice is under contract with OUP. Together with Robin Douglass (KCL), I have edited the Cambridge Critical Guide to Hobbes’s On the Citizen. A founding member of the European Hobbes Society, I have convened the society’s first two biennial conferences (in 2016 and 2018).

    I enjoy travelling and spending short spells abroad. Over the years, I have been a visiting student/researcher at the Universities of Yale, Oxford, Boston, Berkeley, Paris-1-Sorbonne/Panthéon, British Columbia, Pompeu Fabra, and London (Queen Mary and KCL).

  • Publications

    2022

    • Olsthoorn, J. C. A. (Accepted/In press). Between Starvation and Spoilage: Conceptual Foundations of Locke's Theory of Original Appropriation. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.

    2021

    • Olsthoorn, J. C. A. (2021). Hobbes on international ethics. In M. P. Adams (Ed.), A Companion to Hobbes (pp. 252-267). (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy). Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Olsthoorn, J. C. A. (2021). Leviathan Inc.: Hobbes on the nature and person of the state. History of European Ideas, 47(1), 17-32. https://doi.org/10.1080/01916599.2020.1779466
    • Olsthoorn, J. C. A. (2021). The right to wage private wars of subsistence: its nature, grounds, and place in revisionist just war theories. In E. Herlin-Karnell , & E. Rossi (Eds.), The Public Uses of Coercion and Force: From Constitutionalism to War (pp. 133-150). Oxford University Press.

    2020

    2019

    2018

    • Olsthoorn, J. (2018). Grotius and the Early Modern Tradition. In L. May (Ed.), Cambridge Handbook of the Just War (pp. 33-56). (Cambridge Handbooks in Philosophy). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316591307.004 [details]
    • Olsthoorn, J. (2018). The Theocratic Leviathan: Hobbes’s Arguments for the Identity of Church and State. In L. van Apeldoorn, & R. Douglass (Eds.), Hobbes on Politics and Religion (pp. 10-28). Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198803409.003.0002 [details]
    • Olsthoorn, J. (2018). Two Ways of Theorizing ‘Collective Ownership of the Earth’. In J. Penner, & M. Otsuka (Eds.), Property Theory: Legal and Political Perspectives (pp. 187-214). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108500043.010 [details]

    2017

    2016

    2015

    • Olsthoorn, J. (2015). Hobbes on Justice, Property Rights and Self-Ownership. History of Political Thought, 36(3), 471-498.
    • Olsthoorn, J. C. A. (2015). Why justice and injustice have no place outside the Hobbesian state. European Journal of Political Theory, 14(1), 19-36. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474885113514709

    2014

    2013

    2019

    2018

    • Olsthoorn, J. C. A. (2018). Jeremy Seth Geddert: Hugo Grotius and the Modern Theology of Freedom: Transcending Natural Rights. (New York: Routledge, 2017). The Review of Politics, 80(2), 372-375. https://doi.org/10.1017/S003467051700122X

    2016

    • van Apeldoorn, L., Maas, H., & Olsthoorn, J. (2016). Science, politics, and the economy: The unintended consequences of a diabolic paradox (editorial). Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 9(1), iii-viii. https://doi.org/10.23941/ejpe.v9i1.208

    2014

    • Olsthoorn, J. C. A. (2014). Forfeiting citizenship: Hobbes on traitors, rebels, and enemies. In P. M. Kitromilides (Ed.), Athenian Legacies: European Debates on Citizenship (pp. 237-252). Firenze: Leo S. Olschki.

    2013

    • Olsthoorn, J. C. A. (2013). David Dyzenhaus and Thomas Poole (eds.), Hobbes and the Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Hobbes Studies, 26(2), 204-209. https://doi.org/10.1163/18750257-02602005
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities