Sophie is a PhD candidate at the POLITICO programme on political concepts in the world, funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie scholarship.

She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science from Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands), where she wrote her thesis on conceptions of political community in Hannah Arendt and Charles Taylor. She then completed the Research Master Political Philosophy at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), where she wrote a thesis on Islamophobia and racism.

Sophie was an intern at the Dutch Green Foundation, assisting a European project on Religion and Green Values, and a research intern at the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy, where she worked on migration diversity. She also edited and translated columns on racism and social exclusion.

Her PhD project investigates to which extent political secularism in Europe is still influenced by its Christian past, and whether a potential Christian bias has (problematic) consequences for religious and racial minorities in European society. She focuses primarily on the work of Gil Anidjar and Charles Taylor, bridging debates in critical secularism studies and normative political philosophy.

Sophie is co-organiser of the conference and summer school “Conceptualizing Difference”.

Supervisors: Dr. Brian BrockDr. Nadia Kiwan ,and Dr. Tamas Gyorfi.


Lauwers, A. S. (2019) “Is Islamophobia (Always) Racism” in Critical Philosophy of Race, volume 7, Issue 2, pp. 306-322.


  • Social and political exclusion
  • Racism
  • Secularism
  • Religious diversity
  • Political community


How Should One Live?
Life, Death and Meaning


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 754326.