Théophile Deslauriers is a fourth-year graduate student in the Politics department. His dissertation examines the use of the concept of civilization in 19th century Britain to elaborate theories of autonomy, equality, representation and free speech. The British Empire raised questions about the nature and value of these concepts that had a profound impact on political debates among Victorians. Because of this, some of the most important issues in Victorian political theory are best understood as the working out of ideas that the Victorians thought were relevant both domestically and in the empire. In some cases, grappling with these concepts across the different political contexts of imperial and metropolitan Britain corroded liberal commitments to them; in other cases, it reinforced such commitments. The same was true for more conservative and radical thinkers.
Other research interests include debates about freedom of commerce in Early Modern Europe and contemporary issues regarding the status of children in politics, including a project on the case for enfranchising children and a project on the relationship between political equality and social equality in the case of children. Before coming to Princeton, Deslauriers received a B.A. in Political Science from McGill University.