I’m currently a Lecturer in Political Theory at the University of Reading, and an Associate Member of Nuffield College (University of Oxford).

My work explores the norms that should govern political discourse in deeply divided settings. How, for example, should we verbally respond to disinformation and hate speech? What role should anger play in democratic speech? Is fruitful political debate possible when people are polarised? Can falsehoods or fictions play a legitimate part in public discourse? I recently completed a book on this topic, Democratic Speech in DividedĀ Times (Oxford University Press). In 2022-2023, I’ll be on leave for a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (“Felicitous Falsehoods”) devoted to examining the legitimate role of falsehoods in democratic public speech.

I’m also a co-investigator (with Nat Hansen and Emma Borg) on a two-year project that explores how and when we can use corpus linguistics to interpret legal terms (‘hate speech’; ‘incitement’). The project is funded by the University of Reading’s Interdisciplinary Research Fund.

Before taking up my current position, I completed a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, a BPhil in Philosophy at the University of Oxford, and a BSc in Politics and Philosophy at the LSE.

You can email me at maxime [dot] lep [at] gmail [dot] com. You can also find me on Academia.edu.