Research

Future Research

My project is an attempt to reconcile two seemingly disparate trends in political philosophy. On the one hand, philosophers increasingly reject theories of justice that excessively focus on the distribution of material goods because these theories lack an appropriate regard for the ways in which political, social, and economic relationships can undermine a person's status as free and equal even under conditions of material prosperity. I am especially interested in those views that concentrate on the way in which relations of superior power represent a substantial threat to political freedom, which I call domination oriented relational egalitarianism (DORE). On the other hand, political philosophers have recognized a need to grapple with issues that move beyond the paradigmatic case of citizens in a common order. As a consequence, there is a growing interest in global governance institutions, immigration policy, and our relationship with future generations. Yet, there are at least two reasons why it is difficult to determine how agents can be appropriately responsive to the values described by DORE in these non-paradigmatic cases. First, the underlying social, economic, and political relationships are nonexistent, inchoate, or imperfectly coordinated with each other. Second, the standard solutions to the problem of domination normally make reference to a shared constitutional order that allows for the non-arbitrary exercise of power. Yet, this shared order appears to be lacking in these global and intergenerational contexts. My research project describes how to meaningfully apply DORE to these boundary cases.

For more detail on how this analysis can be applied to issues in social and political philosophy, see my full research statement.

Dissertation

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Committee

Publications

Works in Progress