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Dr Clare Chambers

Reader in Political Philosophy

Clare Chambers is Reader in Political Philosophy. 

Academic interests

Contemporary political philosophy, mainly (but not exclusively) Anglo American analytical theory. There are three main strands to Dr Chambers' work: feminism, liberalism, and social construction.

Within feminism she is particularly interested in:

  • The body and beauty norms 
  • Marriage and personal relationships
  • The family and the gendered division of labour
  • The intersection of gender and culture
  • Concepts of femininity and masculinity.

Within liberalism she is particularly interested in:

  • Liberal theories of autonomy and equality
  • Multiculturalism
  • Global justice
  • The debate between political liberalism and comprehensive liberalism.

Within the topic of social construction her interests include radical theories from feminism and continental theory as well as analytical accounts.

Degrees obtained

  • DPhil in Political Theory, University of Oxford, Nuffield College.
  • MSc in Political Theory, London School of Economics and Political Science.
  • BA Hons in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, University of Oxford (St. Anne’s College).


Clare Chambers is Reader in Political Philosophy and a Fellow of Jesus College. She came to Jesus College and to Cambridge in 2006.

Dr Chambers is on leave from College duties from October 2018 until October 2021. During that time she has a Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust to work on a project titled Intact: The Political Philosophy of the Unmodified Body.

Previous academic positions include a Junior Research Fellowship at Somerville College, Oxford, and a Lectureship in Political Theory in the Government Department at the London School of Economics.  

Dr Chambers has twice been a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for the Study of Law and Society in the Boalt School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Between her BA and her MSc she was a fast stream civil servant in the Cabinet Office.

Publications, links and resources

Clare Chambers has published three books and numerous articles on political and legal philosophy.

The books are Sex, Culture, and Justice: The Limits of Choice (Penn State Press, 2008) and, with Phil Parvin, Teach Yourself Political Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (Hodder, 2013). Her third book Against Marriage: An Egalitarian Defence of the Marriage-Free State was published by Oxford University Press in 2017 and won the 2018 David Easton Award from the American Political Science Association.

Dr Chambers and her work regularly feature in non-academic settings, including radio, TV, and other journalism. Links to media appearances, and a complete list of publications, are available on her personal website at

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