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Political Theory

The subfield of Political Theory focuses on ideas in politics: their histories, their internal logic, and their connection to fields of power. Our three political theory faculty work in complementary areas and teach graduate and undergraduate courses on topics including classical, modern, and contemporary thought, theories of power, liberalism, Marxism, critical theory, just war theory, and comparative political theory.

  • Deborah Baumgold researches primarily early-modern European political theory.
  • Burke Hendrix works on contemporary social contract theory, global justice, and multiculturalism.
  • Anita Chari’s research focuses on critical theory, neoliberalism, and the relationship between somatics and politics.

All three have joint interests in historical and contemporary colonialism.

Recent or current PhDs from the department have focused on topics like liberalism, historical memory, environmental politics, anarchism, or Southern slavery and oligarchy.



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