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Andrei Bespalov

I am a WIRL COFUND Fellow in the Institute of Advanced Study and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Warwick.

I hold a PhD in political science from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, 2019). In my dissertation I have offered three principled reasons why religious exemptions from generally applicable laws are not publicly justifiable in a liberal democratic society. I also hold a Candidate of Philosophical Sciences degree in social philosophy from Lomonosov Moscow State University (2004), where I taught from 2004 till 2015.


My current research in political philosophy focuses on theories of public reason. The project that I am working on at Warwick is titled Sceptical Liberalism: Maintaining Public Reason in the Age of Disagreement. My aim is to find the least morally and metaphysically demanding answer to the basic question of political liberalism: How is it possible for free and equal individuals to form a stable political society under the conditions of deep disagreement between them? To this end, I suggest a number of sceptical amendments to John Rawls’s conception of political liberalism. In particular, I redefine public reason in fallibilistic terms, which leads me to a liberal conception of political society that is more agonistic and yet more accommodating to pluralism about justice than the standard Rawlsian view.

 Recent publications

Religious Exemptions, Claims of Conscience, and Idola Fori. Jurisprudence 11 (2): 225-42, 2020.

Religious Faith and the Fallibility of Public Reasons. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 8 (2): 223–46, 2019.

Should Abraham Get a Religious Exemption? Res Publica 25 (2): 235–59, 2019.

 My webpages