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James Vitali

James Vitali

Thesis Title: Popular Sovereignty as Political Fiction

Supervisor: Professor Mike Kenny

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 “political fictions”, and the important role they play in sustaining government. In particular, he is interested in theorisations of popular sovereignty as a political fiction, and the political thought of Jeremy Bentham.

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 best undergraduate History dissertation and graduated as a Dean’s List scholar with First Class Honours. 

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 Executive Officer of the Cambridge Union, and an incoming Research Assistant at the Centre for Geopolitics.

Research Interests

Jeremy Bentham; History of Political Thought; Political Theory; Popular Sovereignty; Representative Democracy

Key Publications

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