How to Build a Career as a Political Philosopher

How to Build a Career as a Political Philosopher

Are you passionate about political theory and philosophy? Do you have a deep interest in understanding and analyzing the complexities of government, power, and society? If so, building a career as a political philosopher might be the perfect path for you. In this article, we will explore the steps you can take to establish yourself in this field and achieve success as a political philosopher. From earning the right education and gaining experience to networking and finding job opportunities, we will provide you with valuable insights and tips to help you kickstart your career in political philosophy.

Education and Qualifications for Political Philosophy

When pursuing a career as a political philosopher, having the right education and qualifications is essential. Here are some key steps to consider:

Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy or Political Science

A solid foundation in either philosophy or political science is crucial for aspiring political philosophers. A bachelor’s degree in either of these fields will provide you with a deep understanding of political theory and ethics, which are essential components of political philosophy.

Master’s Degree in Political Theory or Ethics

After completing your bachelor’s degree, pursuing a master’s degree in political theory or ethics can further enhance your knowledge and expertise in the field of political philosophy. A master’s program will allow you to delve deeper into specific topics and develop critical thinking and analytical skills necessary for a successful career as a political philosopher.

PhD in Political Philosophy

For those looking to advance their career and make significant contributions to the field of political philosophy, obtaining a PhD in political philosophy is highly recommended. A doctoral program will provide you with the opportunity to conduct in-depth research, publish scholarly work, and engage with other experts in the field. Additionally, having a PhD can open up doors to academic positions and research opportunities in political philosophy.

Overall, pursuing a comprehensive education in philosophy, political science, and political philosophy through bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs is key to building a successful career as a political philosopher.

Skills and Traits Needed for Political Philosophy

Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills

Political philosophy requires the ability to think critically about complex issues and analyze various arguments and perspectives. Being able to evaluate evidence, consider different viewpoints, and make logical connections is essential in this field. Political philosophers must be able to dissect and analyze complex political theories and ideas to form well-reasoned arguments and contribute meaningfully to the discourse.

Strong Communication Skills

Effective communication is crucial for political philosophers to convey their ideas clearly and persuasively. This includes writing coherent and concise arguments, engaging in thoughtful debates, and presenting complex ideas in a way that is accessible to a wider audience. Political philosophers must be able to articulate their thoughts and viewpoints effectively in order to influence public opinion and contribute to the ongoing political dialogue.

Ethical and Moral Reasoning

Political philosophy often delves into ethical and moral dilemmas, requiring practitioners to have a strong foundation in ethical reasoning. This involves considering the ethical implications of political decisions, policies, and actions, as well as evaluating the moral implications of different political theories and ideologies. Political philosophers must be able to grapple with complex ethical questions and make principled arguments based on a strong ethical framework.

Networking and Building Connections in the Field

Building a successful career as a political philosopher requires more than just academic knowledge and research skills. Networking and building connections in the field are crucial steps to gaining recognition and opportunities within the academic community.

Attending Conferences and Seminars

One of the best ways to network with other political philosophers and scholars is by attending conferences and seminars. These events provide a platform to present your research, engage in discussions with like-minded individuals, and establish connections with prominent figures in the field. By actively participating in these events, you can expand your professional network and stay updated on the latest trends and developments in political philosophy.

Joining Political Philosophy Associations

Joining political philosophy associations, such as the American Political Science Association or the International Society for Political Psychology, can also help you build connections within the field. These associations often host networking events, workshops, and conferences that provide valuable opportunities to connect with other professionals and scholars in the political philosophy community. Additionally, becoming a member of these associations can enhance your credibility and visibility within the academic community.

Collaborating with Prominent Scholars

Collaborating with prominent scholars in the field of political philosophy can significantly boost your career. By working on research projects, co-authoring papers, or participating in joint initiatives with established scholars, you can gain valuable insights, mentorship, and exposure to new opportunities. Collaborating with respected figures in the field can also help you enhance your reputation and establish yourself as a reputable political philosopher in your own right.

In conclusion, networking and building connections in the field of political philosophy are essential steps to building a successful career as a political philosopher. By actively engaging in conferences, joining associations, and collaborating with prominent scholars, you can expand your professional network, gain recognition, and advance your career in the field of political philosophy.

Job Opportunities for Political Philosophers

Political philosophers have a range of job opportunities available to them, both in academia and outside of it. Here are some common career paths for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a political philosopher.

Academic Positions in Universities

One of the most common career paths for political philosophers is to work in academia. Many universities around the world have departments dedicated to political philosophy, where scholars can teach courses, conduct research, and publish their work. Academic positions in universities can range from adjunct professor roles to tenured faculty positions, offering a stable career path for those passionate about political philosophy.

Think Tanks and Research Institutes

Another option for political philosophers is to work in think tanks and research institutes. These organizations often focus on conducting research on public policy issues, and political philosophers can contribute their expertise to help shape policy recommendations. Working in a think tank or research institute can offer the opportunity to engage with real-world policy challenges and have a direct impact on public discourse.

Policy and Government Advisory Roles

Political philosophers can also pursue careers in policy and government advisory roles. These positions involve providing advice and guidance to policymakers on ethical and philosophical considerations related to public policy decisions. Political philosophers in these roles can help ensure that policy decisions are grounded in ethical principles and reflect a deep understanding of political philosophy.

Overall, there are diverse job opportunities available for individuals interested in building a career as a political philosopher, ranging from academic positions in universities to roles in think tanks, research institutes, and government advisory positions.


In conclusion, pursuing a career as a political philosopher requires dedication, critical thinking skills, and a passion for exploring complex societal issues. By obtaining a strong educational background in philosophy and political science, seeking out opportunities for research and publication, and engaging in meaningful dialogue with peers and mentors in the field, aspiring political philosophers can work towards building a successful and fulfilling career. While the path may be challenging, the rewards of contributing to important discussions surrounding ethics, justice, and governance make the journey well worth it. So, for those with a desire to delve deep into the realm of political theory and philosophy, the opportunities for growth and impact are endless.