The political theory faculty are a diverse group who share an interest in the most fundamental questions of political thought. Strongly committed to intellectual and theoretical diversity, the program aims to bridge divisions between the various paradigms and traditions of political theory, between the history of political thought and contemporary political theory, and between theoretical and empirical forms of inquiry.
The program has particular strengths in contemporary European political theory, democratic theory, critical theory and poststructuralism, multiculturalism, diversity, and identity, colonialism and imperialism, and the philosophical and methodological foundations of political inquiry.
It maintains close connections with the internationally known Critical Theory Institute, its graduate curricular partner - the Critical Theory Emphasis, the system-wide UC Humanities Research Institute, Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality, and the Center in Law, Society, and Culture
Political Theory Faculty:
Daniel R. Brunstetter
Research interests: political theory with a focus on early modern thought, the just war, and French political thought in the Enlightenment
Claire Jean Kim
Research interests: politics of race, multiculturalism, social movements, environmental and animal ethics, and intersectionality
Research interests: democratic theory, ethics, secularism, rhetoric, civility and the public sphere
Research interests: international relations, engages problems of international ethics, religion and secularism, and interpretive methodologies, employing insights from political philosophy and social theory
Research interests: migration and citizenship, minority rights, privacy and identity formation, and feminist theory. Author of Performing Citizenship: Undocumented Migrants in the United States (Routledge, 2016) and The Dual System of Privacy Rights in the United States (Routledge, 2013)
Author of The Heart of Altruism, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, and Hand of Compassion: Portraits of Moral Choice during the Holocaust (Princeton, 2004), a book that expands on this work to explain what drives moral action
Research interests: insurgent and popular politics, postcolonialism, cultural politics, political epistemology, citizenship, social democracy, poststructuralism, critical theory. Author of Reflexive Democracy: Political Equality and the Welfare State (MIT) and Imagined Sovereignties: The Power of the People and Other Myths of the Modern Age (Cambridge).
Research interests: epistemology and contemporary social theory with a particular focus on democratic governance and social justice; teaches classes on deliberative democracy and contemporary social and political theory
Keith Topper: Field Coordinator
Research interests: modern and contemporary political theory, democratic theory, philosophy of the social sciences, history of political thought, and politics and language; author of The Disorder of Political Inquiry (Harvard, 2005)