Dr Tim Christiaens

Dr Tim Christiaens

Assistant Professor

TSHD: Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences
TSHD: Department of Philosophy


I am assistant professor at the Department of Philosophy at Tilburg University. I completed a PhD in Philosophy at KU Leuven in Belgium on the theory of neoliberal governmentality in Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben. Before that, I had obtained an MPhil in Philosophy and an MA in Comparative and International Politics, both from KU Leuven as well. 

My research concerns primarily economic topics like socio-economic exclusion, financialization, and the digitalization of work viewed from the lens of continental critical thought (especially Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Antonio Negri, Gilles Deleuze, etc.). I am a founding member of the Low Countries chapter of the Italian Thought Network (http://italianthoughtnetwork.com/), which promotes the study and dissemination of Italian philosophy beyond the Italian peninsula.


My research focus lies on the intersection between political philosophy, economic ethics, and philosophy of technology. During my PhD I primarily built on Giorgio Agamben's genealogy of 'oikonomia' from early Christianity to Adam Smith's liberalism to study how modern, neoliberal economic concepts and intuitions historically derive from theological sources. The main finding was that neoliberal economists tend to justify exclusion and deprivation by unknowingly repurposing refrains from Christian theodicies.

After my PhD, I have turned to studying the impact of digital technology on work. I am currently preparing a book for Rowman & Littlefield on the meaning of workers' autonomy in the digital gig economy. More and more people are working as independent contractors for digital platform companies and the main question is how this work can be organized in more wholesome and less exploitative ways.


I teach courses on economic ethics and philosophy of culture to Bachelor and Master students in philosophy, and political philosophy and economic ethics to Bachelor students outside philosophy. 


Recent publications

  1. Cornelius Castoriadis’ agonistic theory of the future of work at Amaz…

    Christiaens, T. (2024). Cornelius Castoriadis’ agonistic theory of the future of work at Amazon Mechanical Turk. Distinktion: A Journal of Social Theory.
  2. “La tradizione filosofica italiana: Quattro paradigmi interpretativi”…

    Christiaens, T. (2024). “La tradizione filosofica italiana: Quattro paradigmi interpretativi” (Corrado Claverini). Journal of Italian Philosophy, 7, 261-268. https://research.ncl.ac.uk/italianphilosophy/currentissue/13.%20REVIEW_Claverini_La%20tradizione%20filosofica%20italiana.pdf
  3. Nationalize AI!

    Christiaens, T. (2024). Nationalize AI! AI & Society : the Journal of Human-Centred Systems and Machine Intelligence.
  4. Platform cooperativism and freedom as non-domination in the gig econo…

    Christiaens, T. (2024). Platform cooperativism and freedom as non-domination in the gig economy. European Journal of Political Theory.
  5. Platform cooperativism for the Uberworked - Review of "Own this! How …

    Christiaens, T. (2024). Platform cooperativism for the Uberworked: Review of "Own this! How Platform Cooperatives Help Workers Democratize the Internet" (Trebor Scholz). Organization.

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