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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

College: Christ’s College


James Vitali is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University, and the holder of the JH Plumb Scholarship at Christ’s College. His research is into the political thought of Jeremy Bentham, specifically his theory of representative democracy and his political realism.

James completed his MPhil in Politics and International Relations at Cambridge University, and before that, he read for a BA in History at University College London (UCL), where he won the MA Thomson prize for the best undergraduate History dissertation and graduated as a Dean’s List scholar. 

Prior to arriving in Cambridge, James worked in the Parliamentary office of Rt Hon Mark Lancaster MP whilst he was Minister of State for Defence. James is also the President of the Cambridge Union for Lent term.


Key publications: 


James Vitali, 'Representative, deputy, or delegate? Jeremy Bentham’s theory of representative democracy’, History of European Ideas, forthcoming.

James Vitali, 'The political realism of Jeremy Bentham', European Journal of Political Theory, forthcoming.

“Learning the rights lessons about politics from the challenge of coronavirus.” Blog article, Bennett Institute for Public Policy (04/05/2020)


Thesis Title: Realistic Democracy: Jeremy Bentham’s Theory of Representative Government
Supervisor: Professor Mike Kenny

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