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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Gisli Vogler

Gisli Vogler
Gisli Vogler
Politics and International Relations School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Political theory, Social theory, Political memory and historical injustice, Theories of democracy, Power, the structure/agency problem, Critical Social and Political Theory

PhD Title

Towards an ethos of reality: Judging Responsibility-for-Complicity

Gisli is a PhD student in political theory, who completed an MA at Durham University. His research links social and political theory and considers the relationship between structure and agency, judgement and power, intentionality and responsibility.  By approaching these issues from the perspective of various forms of realism in the social sciences, this research seeks to explore the character of active political agency, without obscuring its messy political context. His recent work includes a critical realist contribution to the conceptualisation of power and the revalorisation of Arendt on judgement for political realism.

Gisli is part of the ERC Project Greyzone


Dr Mathias Thaler (Politics & IR)

Dr Mihaela Mihai (Politics & IR)


PhD Politics and International Relations, University of Edinburgh (-2019), University of Leeds (2014-2016)

MA Politics and International Relations (Political Theory), distinction, Durham University. Thesis: The Burdens of Judgement – Validity and the Role of the Statesperson in Hannah Arendt’s Theory of Political Judgement.

BA Politics (Business & Economics), LMU Munich, Thesis
ERASMUS University of Birmingham


Vogler, G./ Tillyris, D. (2019) Arendt and political realism: towards a realist account of political judgement. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, DOI: DOI: 10.1080/13698230.2019.1610843.

Vogler, G (2016) Power between habitus and reflexivity – Introducing Margaret Archer to the power debate. Journal of Political Power, 9(1), 65-82.

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Funding and Awards:

ERC GREYZONE PhD Scholarship

ECPR Early Career Grant, SSPS PhD Research Support Fund, IACR 2016 Early Career Academic Grant, Leeds for Life (Conference Bursaries)

Arendt's Thinking Without Bannisters: Global Justice Academy, SPSS (Conference Organisation)
CIAP2015,2016: White Rose Consortium, POLIS Leeds, PSA, BISA (Conference Organisation)


Judging the Greyzone of Complicity and Resistance through an Ethos of Reality, Dissecting Violence: Structures, Imaginaries, Resistance, Amsterdam/ Philosophy and Social Science, Prague, 2018

Hannah Arendt and Critical Realism on the Greyzone of Complicity, ECPR Conference Oslo, 2017

Hannah Arendt, Margaret Archer, on Judgement in Late Modernity, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Prague, 2017.

Hannah Arendt, Margaret Archer and the Humanising Project of Reflective Judgement in Late Modernity. Political Theory Research Group Seminar, University of Edinburgh/ Annual International Association for Critical realism Conference, Cardiff University, 2016.

The Hollow Heart of Political Realism: An Arendtian Critique of Realists’ Conception of Political Judgement. The Hannah Arendt Circle, West Chester University, 2016.


Political Theory Research Group, University of Edinburgh

British International Studies Association

Research Network for Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics

Critical Realism Forum Scotland

Teaching Experience:

PIED 1601 Freedom, Power, and Resistance

PLIT10021 War and Justice

PLIT108011 Political Thinkers


Presentation at the ERC Greyzone film series Complicity