Associate Professor — Ph.D., Politics, Princeton University; Ph.D., Philosophy, Free University of Berlin
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Phone: 512-232-7274
- Office: MEZ 3.138
- Office Hours: by appointment only
- Campus Mail Code: A1800
Social integration in complex modern societies; problems and prospects of contemporary forms of justice, including human rights; restorative justice; coping with value pluralism within democratic societies but also in non-liberal polities around the world; deploying contemporary sociological theory to solve problems in political philosophy; the social, legal, and political consequences of the human species taking control of its genome
“Teaching Human Rights in the College Classroom as a Cognitive Style,” in J. Shefner, H. Dahms, R. Jones, and A. Jalata, eds., Social Justice and the University, Palgrave, forthcoming 2013
“Might the Noble Savage have Joined the Earliest Cults of Rousseau?” in Jesko Reiling and Daniel Tröhler, eds., Entre hétérogénéité et imagination. Pratiques de la réception de Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Genève: Éditions Slatkine (in the series Travaux sur la Suisse des Lumières (2013): 345-364
“Genetic Enhancement: A New Dialectic of Enlightenment?” in Perspektiven der Aufklärung: Zwischen Mythos und Realität, ed. Dietmar Wetzel. Paderborn, Germany: Verlag Wilhelm Fink (2012): 133-146
“Comparative Perspectives on Social Integration in Pluralistic Societies: Thick Norms versus Thin,” Comparative Sociology 11 (2012):629-648
“Politics Disembodied and Deterritorialized: The Internet as Human Rights Resource” in H. Dahms and L. Hazelrigg, eds., Theorizing Modern Society as a Dynamic Process (in Current Perspectives in Social Theory, vol. 30). Bingley, UK: Emerald (2012): 209–233
Human-Rights as Social Construction. Cambridge University Press, 2012
(+) first printing sold out within seven months of publication; now in its second printing; ranks among CUP’s ten bestsellers in political theory (other authors on the list include Bernard Manin, Theda Skocpol, Jane Mansbridge, Mark Bevir, and Cass Sunstein): http://www.cambridge.org/us/knowledge/bestsellers/bysubject/item2267667/?site_locale=en_US
(+) interviewed on PBS station KLRU regarding this book, August 2012
(+) paperback edition, May 2013
Joint review of Human Rights and Memory by Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider (Penn State University Press, 2010) and of Humanitarianism and Modern Culture by Keith Tester (Penn State University Press, 2010): Perspectives on Politics 10 (2) (June 2012): 456-458
“Individuals as Authors of Human Rights: Not only Addressees,” Theory and Society 39 (2010) 631-661
“Deploying Cognitive Sociology to Advance Human Rights,” Comparative Sociology 9 (2010) 279-307
“Anti-Imperialism: Generating Universal Human Rights Out of Local Norms,” Ratio Juris 23 (2010) 289-310
“Enlightened Localism in Comparative Perspective,” Comparative Sociology 9(2010) 563-593
“Familiendämmerung in Amerika?” in S. Caspar und C. Gehrke, ed. Familien-Bande. Tübingen: Konkursbuch Verlag (2009) 321-329
“Translating Human Rights into Muslim Vernaculars,” Comparative Sociology 7 (2008): 415–433
Review: Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein (Yale University Press, 2008): Law and Politics Book Review 18 (2008) 452-455
Review: In Defense of Human Rights: A Non-Religious Grounding in a Pluralistic World, by Ari Kohen (Routledge, 2007): Perspectives on Politics 6 (2008) 373-374
“In Lieu of Writing a Life: Twenty-Six Views,” in R. Louis, ed., Orange Britannia. Austin: University of Texas Press (2006) 624-635
Review: Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire: by Wendy Brown (Princeton University Press, 2006): Law and Politics Book Review 17 (2007) 318-325
Review: Rousseau and Law by Thom Brooks, ed. Law and Politics Book Review 16 (2006) 372-383 (with David Williams)
Review: Legality and Legitimacy by Carl Schmitt (Duke University Press, 2005), Law and Politics Book Review 14 (2005) 619-623
Thick Moralities, Thin Politics: Social Integration across Communities of Belief (Duke University Press, 2003)
Coping In Politics with Indeterminate Norms: A Theory of Enlightened Localism (SUNY Press, simultaneously in two series: Political Theory: Contemporary Issues, edited by Philip Green, and Radical Social and Political Theory, edited by Roger Gottlieb, 2003)
“Proceduralism Reconceived: Political Conflict Resolution under Conditions of Moral Pluralism,” Theory and Society 31 (2002) 741-776
“The Law and Courts of Enlightened Localism,” Polity 35 (2002) 283-309
“Using Legal Rules in an Indeterminate World: Overcoming the Limitations of Jurisprudence,” Political Theory 27 (1999) 389-410
“Adjudicating Among Competing Systems of Belief,” International Review of Sociology 9 (1999) 7-17
“Jurisprudence in an Indeterminate World: Pragmatist not Postmodern,” Ratio Juris 11 (1998) 382-398
Review: “The Normative Poverty of Legal Formalism,” review essay on Between the Norm and the Exception. The Frankfurt School and the Rule of Law by William Scheuerman, Political Theory 26 (1998) 237-244
Translation: Portions of Herbert Marcuse, Technology, War and Fascism (Vol. 1 of the Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse), edited by Douglas Kellner (Routledge, 1998)
Review: “Democracy in Normatively Fragmented Societies,” review essay on Jürgen Habermas, Between Facts and Norms. Review of Politics 59 (1997) 927-930
Review: “How to Look for Autonomous Law, in China or Elsewhere,” review essay on China's Legal Awakening. Legal Theory and Criminal Justice in Deng's Era by Carlos Wing-hung Lo, in Review of Central and East European Law 23 (1997) 165-172
“Law in China: The Tug of Tradition, the Push of Capitalism,” Review of Central and East European Law 21 (1995) 65-86
“Possibility of Social Critique in an Indeterminate World,” in Theory and Society 23 (1994) 327-366; Japanese translation in Hokkudai Hogaku Ronshu 50 (1999), no. 3:235-256 and no. 4:335-365
“Regulating Commercial Speech: A Question Political Not Legal,” State Constitutional Commentaries and Notes 5 (1994) 18-29
“Puragumattiku na hogaku no kanosei” [Possibility of a Pragmatic Jurisprudence], Chiba Journal of Law and Politics 8 (3) (Jan. 1994) 97-119 and 8 (4) (Mar. 1994) 59-109
Review: “The Failed Quest for a Principled Jurisprudence,” review essay on Common Law and Liberal Theory by James Stoner, Legal Studies Forum 18 (1994) 113-123
“The Modernization of Contemporary Chinese Law,” The Review of Politics 55 (1993) 443-470
Translation: Karl-Otto Apel, "Can an Ultimate Foundation of Knowledge Be Non-Metaphysical?" (Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 1993)
“The Parameters of Possible Constitutional Interpretation” in Robert Wuthnow, ed., Vocabularies of Public Life: Empirical Essays in Symbolic Structure (London: Routledge, 1992) 207-233; Japanese translation in Kokugakuin Hogaku 32 (1995), no. 2 and no. 3
“The Fate of Liberalism in the New, Tripolar World-Order” in Yoshiyuki Ogasawara (ed.), Chiiki-Funso to Sogoizon. Tokyo: University of Foreign Studies Press (1993) 1-27
Review: From Marx to Kant by Dick Howard (SUNY Press, 1988), Theory and Society (1989) 417-423
Review: Kritik der Macht. Reflexionsstufen einer kritischen Gesellschaftstheorie by Axel Honneth (Suhrkamp Verlag, 1988), New German Critique 47 (1989) 183-188
“Falankefu xuepai dui lixin tongzhi de pipan” [The Frankfurt School’s Critique of Rational Authority] in Guowai Shehui Xue 4 (1988) 3-9
Translation: Jürgen Habermas, "Felicitation" (in An Unmastered Past, University of California Press, 1988)
Translation: Leo Lowenthal, "The Left in Germany Has Failed" (in An Unmastered Past, University of California Press, 1988)
Review: “Modernity in Frankfurt: Must a History of Philosophy be a Philosophy of History?”, review essay on Norm, Critique, and Utopia by Seyla Benhabib, Theory and Society 16 (1987) 139-151
Review: “In Defense of a Skeptical Rationalism” in Theory and Society 16 (1987) 159-163
Translation: Samuel Weber, "The Parable" (in Daniel Paul Schreber, Memories of My Nervous Illness, Harvard University Press, 1987)
Translation: Herbert Schnädelbach, "What is Neo-Aristotelianism?" (Praxis International, 1987)
Translation: Sigrid Meuschel, "The Search for Normality in the Relationship Between Jews and Germans" (New German Critique, 1986)
Translation: Helmut Dubiel, Theory and Politics (MIT Press, 1985)
Review: Theory and Politics by Helmut Dubiel (MIT Press, 1984), Telos (1985) 207-214
Under Peer Review: Three Articles
“Human Rights in a Backpack: Rights-Bearing Personhood Decoupled from National Territories”
“Pre-Personal Life: A Human Right Not to be Geneticallly Manipulated?”
“Human Rights Patriotism”
Under Review: Two Chapters in an Edited Volume
“Gegen politische Alltagesentfremdung und –asymmetrie: Zur Bildung einer kritischen Internet-Öffentlichkeit” [Problems and Prospects for a Critical Public Sphere On-Line], in Kurt Imhof, Frank Welz, Christian Fleck and Georg Vobruba, eds. Neuer Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit. Wiesbaden, Germany: Springer VS Verlag
“Menschenrechtsnormen als Subjekte des Strukturwandels der Weltöffentlichkeit: Auf dem Wege zu einem Pluralismus” [A Pluralistic Conception of Human Rights for a Global Public Sphere], in Kurt Imhof, Frank Welz, Christian Fleck and Georg Vobruba, eds. Neuer Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit. Wiesbaden, Germany: Springer VS Verlag
Current Book-Length Projects
Title: The Human-Rights State: The global institution of nation state sovereignty impedes the advance of human rights. By reconfiguring the politics of national boundaries into a politics of boundaries metaphorically “embedded” within the individual, I propose an alternative: the “human rights state,” which is guided by an inclusionary logic in distinction to the exclusionary logic of the sovereignty-fixated nation state. In this way the individual would endogenize some of the critical features of political and legal “bordering.” He or she would “carry” this border around with him- or herself as a status function assigned by the human rights state. Citizenship would then refer to the moral and juridical incorporation of the individual within a nongeographic sphere of human rights. Nongeographic borders embedded in the citizen would operate inside the contemporary nation state and directly challenge it. The human rights state, by displacing the legitimacy of human rights from the geographic state, moves legitimacy to a cross-national or transnational level. A central feature of this approach: cross-national or transnational legitimacy refers not to some sort of organization but rather to the human body as such. Political legitimacy —— in the sense of human rights whose legitimacy would no longer be tied to whatever nation state might embrace them —— needs to be both local and universal. It needs to be local because even with the advent of the human rights state, the practice and protection of human rights will be the more effective to the extent that it can be a primarily local matter. At the same time, moral and legal legitimacy might be grounded on the identity of all humans in terms of the body, with the same frailties and needs and vulnerabilities, equally in need of protection. The human rights state offers a means for legal rights and legal justice to attain global status – rights and not only, as now, market economics.
Title: Second Nature: The Genetic Self-Transformation of the Human Species: For the first time since evolving 200,000 years ago, Homo sapiens sapiens may soon transform itself biologically, a development as significant as Copernicus’ transformation of the geocentric world view or Darwin’s of the anthropocentric understanding of animal life. One aspect of transformation is irresistibly hopeful: making predictive genetics available to all persons so that all might avoid or minimize genetic risks; providing prenatal genetic modification to decrease disease-susceptibility, eradicate congenital disabilities and extend life-span. But a different aspect of transformation unnerves: like the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions, it forces us to re-evaluate human nature. Is genetic chance, as distinguished from genetic choice in the sense of enhancement, a psychologically, culturally or legally necessary precondition for contemporary liberal conceptions of individual freedom? This question distinguishes between culture (the science and technology of manipulation) and biology (the genes targeted). Yet genetic transformation is no less a cultural phenomenon than a biological one. It should therefore incorporate agonistic politics. The book argues that human nature and human culture lie on a continuum; at points, each intersects with the other as culture designs nature, leading to nature as culture, where genetic chance (in natural reproduction) is displaced by genetic choice (through technology). And it answers the question: where, in the stages of natural development, lies the threshold at which political community might recognize life as bearing rights that might protect it from manipulation?
Faculty research travel award from The Center for European Studies for archival research at the Federal Commission for Documents of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic (die Bundesbeauftragte für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen Republik), for a project on the distinctly, indeed vehemently petit-bourgeois quality of the normative presuppositions of post-fascist, ordinary totalitarian regime of the usual Soviet-bloc variety, as expressed by the self-understanding of East German spies (2010).
Research fellowship from the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung, Berlin-Babelsberg, Germany, undertaken at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (2008)
College of Liberal Arts 1999 Silver Spurs Fellowship for outstanding scholarship and teaching
Recent Guest Professorship
Europa Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany (2009, 2012, 2013)
Recent or Upcoming Conference Presentations
2014 American Sociological Association, Annual Meetings: “Author-Meets-Critics Roundtable on Gregg, Human Rights as Social Construction,” New York, August 10-13, panelists to be determined [accepted]
2013 American Political Science Association, Annual Meetings, “Author-Meets-Critics Roundtable on Gregg, Human Rights as Social Construction,” Chicago, 29 August – 1 September, with panelists Andrew Koppelman, Northwestern University; Alison Brysk, UCSB; Michael Goodhart, University of Pittsburgh; Micheline Ishay, University of Denver
2013American Political Science Association, Annual Meetings, “Human Rights Patriotism,” Chicago, 29 August – 1 September
2013 American Sociological Association, Conference on Re-Imagining Human Rights – The Challenge of Agency, Creativity, and Global Justice, “International Relations in a Community of Human Rights States,” August 13, The Westin New York at Times Square, New York City
2013 Russian Political Science Association and International Political Science Association Research Committee, “Developing Human Rights Commitment in Post Communist Societies through Education,” St. Petersburg, Russia, 13-14 June
2013 Midwest Political Science Association, Annual Meetings, “Author-Meets-Critics Roundtable on Gregg, Human Rights as Social Construction,” Chicago, April 11-14 with panelists Dana Villa, University of Notre Dame; Jonathan Allen, Northern Michigan University; Adam Seagrave, University of Notre Dame; and Kristen Johnson, Hope College
2013 Midwest Political Science Association, Annual Meetings, “The Human Rights State: Nongeographic ‘Borders’ Embedded in the Citizen,” April 11-14
2012 Europa-Universität Viadrina (Germany), “Unilateral Military Intervention to Stop Human Rights Violations: Defensible on What Human Rights Basis?” May 11
2012 Southern Sociological Society: “Genetic Manipulation and the Difference between Being a Body and Having a Body,” New Orleans, March 21-24
2011 Dritter gemeinsamer Kongress für Soziologie der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie, der Östereichischen Gesellschaft für Soziologie und der Sweizerischen Gesellschaft für Soziologie: "Gegen politische Alltagesentfremdung und –asymmetrie: Zur Bildung einer kritischen Internet-Öffentlichkeit,” Innsbruck, Austria, 29 September – 1 October
2011 Dritter gemeinsamer Kongress für Soziologie der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie, der Östereichischen Gesellschaft für Soziologie und der Sweizerischen Gesellschaft für Soziologie: “Menschenrechtsnormen als treibende Subjekte des Strukturwandels der Welt-Öffentlichkeit: Zum Pluralismus hin,” Innsbruck, Austria, 29 September – 1 October
2011 Political Studies Association (UK) Annual Conference: “The Genetic Self-Enhancement of the Human Species: Human Nature as Cultural Choice,” London, UK, 19-21 April
2011 Invited talk, University of Nebraska: “Self-Granted Human Rights,” 23 January
2010 Société suisse de Sociologie, international conference titled: “Perspektiven der Aufklärung − zwischen Mythos und Realität,” Bern, Switzerland, 16-17 September 2010: lecture titled “Aufgeklärte Eugenik oder Eugenik wider Gleichheit?"
Graduate and Undergraduate Courses Taught
Manipulation of the Human Genome: Legal and Moral Issues; Political Theory Field Core Seminar on Plato, Augustine, Spinoza; Empire and Early Modern Theory; Global Justice; Contemporary American Social Theory; Contemporary European Social Theory; Critical Social Theory; Political Community; Theories in Social Science; Social Theories of Law and Politics; Law and Morality in German Social Thought; Politics of Constitutional Meaning; Legal Modernization in China; State Sovereignty and Human Rights; Contemporary Political Theory; Kant and Hegel; Social Theory in Political Analysis; Early Cosmopolitan Political Thought: St. Paul, Badiou, Derrida
Collection of Essays, Comparative Sociology 9(5) (2010), titled “Enlightened Localism in Comparative Perspective” (applying various aspects of the theory I develop in Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms: A Theory of Enlightened Localism) with contributions from
▪ Benjamin Gregg. “Enlightened Localism in Comparative Perspective,” Comparative Sociology 9(5) (2010):594-610
▪ Lea Ypi (Oxford University, UK): “Basic Rights and Cosmopolitan Justice from an Enlightened Localist Perspective,” Comparative Sociology 9(5) (2010):594-610
▪ Jonathan White (London School of Economics, UK): “Responding to Norm Indeterminacy beyond the Nation-State Frame,” Comparative Sociology 9(5) (2010):611-630
▪ Junmin Wang (University of Memphis, USA): “Enlightened Localism in Contemporary China: Political Change in Property-Rights Institutions of Township and Village Enterprises,” Comparative Sociology 9(5) (2010):631-662
▪ Ko Hasegawa (Hokkaido University, Japan): “Integrating a Racial and Ethnic Minority into Dominant Society from the Perspective of Enlightened Localism: The Case of the Japanese Ainu,” Comparative Sociology 9(5) (2010):663-685
▪ Manu Ahedo Santisteban (University Rovira Virgili, Spain): “Enlightened Localism and Local Experimentalism in Public Policy: Schooling Policies of Children with Immigrant Backgrounds in Denmark and Spain,” Comparative Sociology 9(5) (2010):686-710
Collection of Essays, Comparative Sociology, forthcoming in issue 5 of 2012, titled “Comparative Perspectives on Social Integration in Pluralistic Societies: Thick Norms versus Thin” (applying various aspects of the theory I develop in Thick Moralities, Thin Politics: Social Integration across Communities of Belief (2003)), with contributions from
▪ Benjamin Gregg, “Comparative Perspectives on Social Integration in Pluralistic Societies: Thick Norms versus Thin”
▪ Kristen Johnson: “Towards a Vision of Thick Conversation: Explorations in Bioethics and Interfaith Deliberation”
▪ Patti Lenard: “Democratic Self-Determination and Non-Citizen Residents”
▪ Aaron Struvland: “Religion and the Prospects for Thin Politics”
▪ Peter Mohanty: “Thick and Thin Public Sentiments and the Politics of Immigration in Europe”
▪ William O’Neil: “Mediating Between Thick Invocations of the Common Good and Thin Appeals to Human Rights: The Case of South Africa”
▪ Harry Dahms: “Theorizing Europe as the Future of Modern Society: European Integration between Thick Norms and Thin Politics”
GOV 335M • Classics Socl Scientif Thought
TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 103
(also listed as
CTI 365 )
An introduction to the development of classical social scientific thought as an Enlightenment project. We begin with appropriate sections of Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie (1751-1772). Then we examine a key philosophical source of the preoccupation in classical social thought with the individual’s motivation in society, and conflicted motivation in particular: here we read Søren Kierkegaard (1844); then to one of first great social theorists whose project marries the ambitions of the Encyclopédie with the modernist anxieties of Kierkegaard: Karl Marx (1844). Next we study a different version of that project, born of the same marriage but with different presuppositions: the anxieties of modern rationality, as detailed by Max Weber (1904). We turn then to the abiding concern with the need for highly motivated social cooperation and solidarity, yet no longer possible in the various pre-modern forms: Émile Durkheim (1893). We return to our earlier exploration of individual motivation, first in W.E.B. Du Bois (1903) and then, differently, in Georg Simmel (1902-03). We conclude with an approach combining both the individual and collective planes of social theory, in Sigmund Freud (1930). Our course demonstrates the importance of its subject matter to understanding contemporary Western society and the distinct contribution each of the authors makes to its analysis.
The final grade will be the average of three 4-page essays, adjusted for quality of class participation.
J. Lough, ed. The Encyclopédie of Diderot and D'Alembert: Selected Articles
Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or
Søren Kierkegaard, Philosophical Fragments
R. Tucker, ed. Marx-Engels Reader
Émile Durkheim, Division of Labor in Society
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
W.E.B. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk
Georg Simmel, Conflict and The Web of Group-Affiliations
Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
GOV S335M • Global Justice
MTWTHF 830am-1000am CLA 0.106
Upper division standing
Offers an overview of several of the most important contemporary theories on core issues of justice across national borders, including sovereignty, rights to self-determination, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, global poverty and international distributive justice, the social and legal status of women, terrorism, and human rights. Requires the close reading and careful analysis of assigned texts; active participation in student-centered classroom discussions of each issue; and the composition of critical, analytical, and thesis-driven essays.
Flags: Ethics & Leadership, Global Cultures, Writing.
Final grade: average of three essays, adjusted to reflect the quality of the student’s in-class participation as specified in the syllabus.
The Global Justice Reader, ed. T. Brooks
GOV 335M • Hegel: Formatn Of Mod Eur Iden
MW 400pm-530pm CLA 0.118
(also listed as
CTI 335, EUS 348 )
A core element of European identity is the notion of freedom in two forms that developed in the modern era: freedom as (a) the individual’s self-determination within his or her private sphere and personal life and (b) the community’s self-determination as a public achievement of private citizens come together to deliberate and decide matters of the res publica. In theory and history, the realization of such freedom has always been fraught with difficulty. Hegel’s Philosophy of Right offers one of the most compelling diagnoses of the ills of modern Western political community with respect to these two freedoms. It also develops some of the most influential standards by which to judge the civil society that undergirds modern European political community and its claims to provide these two freedoms.
The final grade will be the average of three essays, each five to six pages, adjusted for quality of class participation, as well as brief, twice-weekly threads to weekly fora on Blackboard.
G.W.F. Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right, trans. H.B. Nisbet (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991)
Axel Honneth, The Pathologies of Individual Freedom: Hegel’s Social Theory (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010)
GOV 382K • Studies In Polit Thry & Philos
TH 700pm-1000pm MEZ 1.104
This course provides a pointed introduction to the broad and heterogeneous field of Political Theory, focusing on three major periods of Western thought by focusing on one of the most important authors in each. The seminar is alive to differences among very distinct approaches to political theory and to strategies in writing philosophical texts. Our approach is not in terms of the history of philosophy (and we do not proceed chronologically); we seek to read our authors in conversation with each other. Plato, Augustine, and Spinoza each display a keen sense of the melancholy of this-worldly finitude, particularly with regard to the crookedness of human timber and the frailty of political community. For Plato, humankind is encumbered by the appetitive part of the soul; Augustine points to original sin and the earthly citizen within each of us; Spinoza speaks of our inescapable bondage to the passions. In contemplating the question, “What is the political?”, all three appeal to an otherworldly standard by which to identify and illuminate the crookedness and frailty of the finite world. That is, they brilliantly limn the profound limitations of what political community might be capable of — in the large sense that links politics with the whole of human experience — by invoking a sense of transcendence in the sense of orienting this-worldly political community on otherworldly perfections not given to man. They picture things wholly beyond, even foreign to humankind: the otherworldly as that which men imagine, as the divinely transcendental, ideal, and sublimely beautiful truth that transfigures the reader. We moderns tend to view matters differently, as in contemporary this-worldly approaches that see man in a thoroughly naturalistic way — and in its own way limns the melancholy of human and natural finitude and the limits of what is possible through design of political community. This seminar evaluates the respective efforts of Plato, Augustine, and Spinoza to guide political community by positing normative standards not limited in the ways that human understanding, behavior, and experience are so strikingly limited. It thematizes the presuppositions of our own time even as it explores politics as understood in classical Greek thought, in early Christianity, and in the early modern era.
Course grade based on regular attendance and well-prepared participation as well as one two-page paper written for each session. Each week these papers will generate points of departure for in-class analysis. Seriatim each student will be responsible for writing a short summary of a class discussion, to be presented at the beginning of the following session.
Augustine: The City of God against the Pagans
Spinoza: Theological-Political Treatise
GOV 314 • Human Rights: Theories/Pracs
TTH 930am-1100am PAR 301
This seminar provides a basic introduction to human rights by exploring competing answers to such questions as: What is the idea of human rights? Who are the “humans” of human rights? In a state-centric world, how do human rights relate to the nation-state and beyond any state? How are human rights related to the history of European empire and commerce? How are human rights related to the European Enlightenment? How are human rights related to global poverty, inequality, and underdevelopment? What roles do international instruments play -- or fail to play? How are human rights related to non-European cultures, such as various East Asian and African cultures? The seminar will also consider alternative approaches to understanding and advancing human rights, including human rights as political not theological; generating universal human rights out of local norms; individuals as authors of human rights; translating human rights into local cultural vernaculars; and advancing human rights through cognitive reframing.
Average of four essays (each 5 pages), adjusted for quality of in-class participation
Benjamin Gregg, Human Rights as Social Construction (Cambridge University Press, 2012), print
(ISBN-13: 9781107015937) or digital (ISBN-13: 9781139059626)
GOV S335M • Global Justice
MTWTHF 830am-1000am CMA A5.136
This seminar offers an overview of some of the most important contemporary theories on core issues of justice across national borders, including sovereignty, rights to self-determination, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, global poverty and international distributive justice, the social and legal status of women, terrorism, and human rights.
GOV 312P • Constitutnl Prins: Core Texts
MW 500pm-630pm PAR 1
Honors Section - Restricted to honor's students
GOV 335M • Empire And European Culture
MW 330pm-500pm WAG 308
(also listed as
CTI 335, EUS 348 )
Global Cultures Flag, Writing Flag
This seminar examines how major thinkers of the European Enlightenment, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, challenged by interaction with the non-Western world deeper and more complex than ever before, and concerned about the legitimacy of conquest and colonization, responded with core concepts of modern political theory: reason, progress, sovereignty, property, freedom, and rights. The seminar also examines how the political postulate of freedom (all humans as free and equal moral beings) is partially rescinded where Enlightenment thinkers categorize different human communities and place them in a normative hierarchy.
This year’s version of this seminar will focus on Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778), the great Romantic thinker whose political thought influenced the elites that guided the French and American Revolutions; who championed the deeply modernist forms of subjectivity and introspection; who advocated the education of the whole person for citizenship; and who contributed to the genre of the sentimental novel that encouraged the idea of human rights.
Future versions of this seminar may focus on Vitoria, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Voltaire, Diderot, or d’Alembert.
First and Second Discourses, On the Social Contrac, tEmile or On Education, The Reveries of the Solitary Walker
The final grade will be the average of three essays, adjusted for quality of class participation.
GOV 335M • Global Justice-W
MTWTHF 830am-1000am MEZ 2.124
Course Description: This seminar offers an overview of some of the most important writings on core issues of global justice, including sovereignty, rights to self-determination, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, global poverty and international distributive justice, the social and legal status of women, terrorism, and human rights.
Grading Policy: A student’s final grade will be the average of three essays, adjusted significantly for quality of in-class participation.
Textbooks:  The Global Justice Reader, ed. Thom Brooks (Blackwell Publishing, 2008).  B. Gregg, Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms (SUNY Press, 2003).
GOV 312L • Iss & Policies In Amer Gov-Hon
TTH 1230pm-200pm JES A218A
Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take. Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.
Most Recent Articles
“Might the Noble Savage have Joined the Earliest Cults of Rousseau?” in Jesko Reiling and Daniel Tröhler, eds., Entre hétérogénéité et imagination. Pratiques de la réception de Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Genève: Éditions Slatkine (in the series Travaux sur la Suisse des Lumières). 2013.
“Politics Disembodied and Deterritorialized: The Internet as Human Rights Resource” in H. Dahms and L. Hazelrigg, eds., Theorizing Modern Society as a Dynamic Process (in the series Current Perspectives in Social Theory, vol. 30. Bingley, UK: Emerald (2012)
“Genetic Enhancement: A New Dialectic of Enlightenment?” in Perspektiven der Aufklaerung, eds. Hartmut Rosa, Daniel Fulda and Olaf Breidbach. Paderborn, Germany: Fink Verlag (2011)
“Individuals as Authors of Human Rights: Not only Addressees,” Theory and Society 39 (2010) 631-661
“Anti-Imperialism: Generating Universal Human Rights Out of Local Norms,” Ratio Juris 23 (2010) 289-310
“Deploying Cognitive Sociology to Advance Human Rights” Comparative Sociology 9 (2010) 279-307
Guest Professorship 2012
- Files Attached
- Human Rights
Rorty and Habermas
- Files Attached
- Rorty and Habermas