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William Chan

Profile

I’m a PhD Candidate, supervised by Matthew Clayton and Mike Saward, in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. As an undergraduate, I studied Philosophy at Lingnan University in Hong Kong from 2012-16. I then undertook an MA in Political and Legal Theory (2016-17) and PhD at Warwick. Between April and June 2019, I visited the Department of Law at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, under the supervision of Andrew Williams.

I'm now teaching part-time at both the University of Warwick and University of London.

My doctoral thesis aims to explain why political power should be distributed meritocratically. I’m currently developing the arguments for combining democratic elections with meritocratic sortition (i.e. random selection among a group of qualified candidates, by virtue of their socio-economic circumstances, expertise, experience and so on) in selecting the members of the core legislature. I’m broadly interested in theories of democracy, meritocracy and political justification.

 

Education

  • PhD in Politics and International Studies (2017-present).
  • MA in Political and Legal Theory (2016-17), with Distinction & Highest Overall Average Mark of the Class.
  • BA (Hons) Philosophy, Lingnan University (2012-16), with First Class Honours.

 

Peer-reviewed Conference Presentations

‘Varieties of epistocracy and the egalitarian objection', at

  • Graduate Student Philosophy Conference at Binghamton University, Nov 2020. [Forthcoming, Online]

‘Meritocratic sortition as an engine for intergenerational justice’, at

  • Panel Session ‘Democracy and intergenerational justice’, MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory, organised by University of Manchester, Sep 2020. [Online]

‘Meriting political power’, at

  • Oxford Graduate Conference in Political Theory, organised by Nuffield College and the Department of Politics and International Relations at University of Oxford, Oct 2020. [Forthcoming, Online]
  • Australasian Postgraduate Philosophy Conference 2020, organised by the Australasian Association for Philosophy, Sep 2020. [Online]
  • Amsterdam Graduate Conference in Political Theory, organised by John Stuart Mill College University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Centre for Political Thought, May 2020. [Online]

‘What role can cultural values plausibly play in justifying political institutions?’ at

  • The Eighth Annual Understanding Value Conference, organised by the Department of Philosophy at University of Sheffield, Jul 2019.

‘Legitimacy and the problem of threshold thinking’, at

  • The 1st Bucharest Conference in Analytical Political Theory, organised by Bucharest Centre for Political Theory (BCEPT) and the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest (ICUB), Jun 2019.

‘Why political decision-making or representative-choosing power should not be distributed equally: an argument from Rawls’s original position’, at

  • More Representation=Democracy? International Political Studies Colloquium, organised by Nucleus for Political Studies of the University of Lisbon (nepUL) and the Centre of Philosophy of the University of Lisbon, May 2018.

‘On David Estlund’s account of qualified acceptability’, at

  • The 2nd CEPPA Graduate Conference in Moral and Political Philosophy, organised by the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs (CEPPA) at University of St Andrews, Feb 2019.

‘Two grounds for meritocracy in the political sphere’, at

  • Warwick Graduate Conference in Political and Legal Theory 2018, organised by the Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) and the Centre for Ethics, Law and Public Affairs (CELPA) at University of Warwick, Feb 2018.

 

Conference Organisation

  • Co-organiser (with Clementina Gentile Fusillo and Kai-li Cheng), Warwick Graduate Conference in Political and Legal Theory 2019, organized by PAIS and CELPA at University of Warwick, Feb 2019.

  • Panel sessions chair, Warwick Graduate Conference in Political and Legal Theory 2018, organized by PAIS and CELPA at University of Warwick, Feb 2018.

 

Teaching

2020-21, Autumn & Spring Terms, Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS University of London.

  • Teaching Fellow, Introduction to Political Theory: an introductory course of some prominent political thinkers, such as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Machiavelli, Pateman, Marx, Gandhi, Fanon and so on.

2020-21, Autumn Term, Department of Philosophy, University of Warwick.

  • Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant, Democracy and Authority: a higher-level course that introduces students to fundamental questions and theories concerning the general nature of political authority and the authority of democratic institutions.

2019-20, Autumn & Spring Terms, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick.

  • Associate Tutor, Political Theory from Hobbes: an introductory course of some prominent political thinkers of the West, such as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Wollstonecraft and Marx.

2018-19, Autumn Term, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick.

  • Associate Tutor, Justice, Democracy and Citizenship: an introductory course of the key normative issues in distributive justice, democracy and citizenship for year-one students.

       

Awards and Scholarships

  • MA in Political and Legal Theory Highest Overall Average Mark Prize, PAIS, University of Warwick, Received Jan 2018.
  • PAIS PhD Studentship (2017-21), 3.5 years of full funding covering tuition fees & stipends, Received April 2017.
  • President’s List, Lingnan University, Awarded to students with exceptional academic performance of the year, Received Sep 2016.
  • PAIS MA Scholarship (2016-17), PAIS, University of Warwick, £8870, Received Jun 2016.
  • 1947 Class (65th Anniversary) Scholarship, Lingnan University, Awarded to students with outstanding academic records, Received March 2016.
  • Wu Chiang Wai Fong Scholarship, Lingnan University, Awarded to students with outstanding academic records, Received March 2016.
  • Dean’s List, Lingnan University, Awarded to students with outstanding academic records of the year, Received Jan 2016 & Mar 2014.

 

Non-academic Awards

  • Talent Development Scholarship, Lingnan University, Awarded to students with active participation in extra-curricular activities, Received May 2016.
  • 1st Runner-up, Inter-Universities Cantonese Debate Competition of Hong Kong, Awarded May 2015.
  • 1st Runner-up, Basic Law Cantonese Debate Competition of Hong Kong, Awarded Aug 2014.
  • 2nd Runner-up, Inter-Universities Cantonese Debate Competition of Hong Kong, Awarded March 2013.

 

Referees

I have benefited a lot from the teaching or supervision of these people, who are well-placed for commenting on my character and academic performance:

 

Stay Connected

photo

William Chan

W dot Chan dot 2 at warwick dot ac dot uk

Department of Politics and International Relations, Social Sciences Building, The University of Warwick, CV4 7AL.

Advice and Feedback Hours:

Thursday 16:00-18:00, MS Teams