I am Henry L. and Grace Doherty Professor, Department of Politics, University of Virginia (Ph.D., Columbia, 1977). The menu above contains links to my curriculum vitae, many of my syllabi, and to the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. I also include links to some of my publications: about fifty of my articles (in different formats), some fifteen book reviews, and reviews of five of my books in different journals.
My research interests include contemporary political theory, especially issues in analytical and normative theory, and the history of political thought. I teach courses in both areas: in the history of political thought focusing on the liberal tradition and Greek political theory, especially Plato; in contemporary, in specific aspects of liberal theory, including problems of political obligation and the theory of John Rawls and Rawls’s critics.
My books include: The Development of Plato’s Political Theory (Methuen, 1986; Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 2006); The Principle of Fairness and Political Obligation (Rowman and Littlefield, 1992); Democratic Procedures and Liberal Consensus (Oxford University Press, 2000; paperback edition, 2004); Jacobinism and Utopianism (Notre Dame University Press, 2003); Political Obligations (Oxford University Press, 2005); and The Oxford Handbook of the History of Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2011), which I edited. I have also written a two-volume introduction to the history of political theory: History of Political Theory: An Introduction, Volume I: Ancient and Medieval Political Theory; Volume II: Modern Political Theory (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993, 1995; Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 2012, 2013). Political Obligations was awarded the 2007 David and Elaine Spitz Prize by the International Conference for the Study of Political Thought, “for the best book in liberal and/or democratic theory published two years earlier.”
Oxford University Press has recently published The Transformation of American Liberalism (2017), which provides a critical history of the normative foundations of the American welfare state, as defended by various political actors, over the last 100 years.
I also edited Aristotle for the International Library of Essays in the History of Social and Political Thought (Ashgate, 2007), and co-edited The Struggle for Women’s Rights, with Margaret G. Klosko (Prentice Hall, 1999) and Perfectionism and Neutrality: Essays in Liberal Theory, with Steven Wall (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003).
A new edition of The Principle of Fairness and Political Obligations was recently published, with a new Introduction. A Chinese edition, translated by S. Mao, was published by Jiangsu People’s Publishing House in 2009. My articles, “The Principle of Fairness and Political Obligation,” “Presumptive Benefit, Fairness and Political Obligation,” and “Samaritanism and Political Obligation: A Response to Christopher Wellman’s ‘Liberal Theory of Political Obligation, have been reprinted in Chinese translation, in Political Obligations: Justifying and Rejecting, S. Mao, ed. and trans. (Jiangsu People’s Publishing House, 2007).
Recent articles include: “Democratic Authority and Respect for the Law,” with Harrison Frye,” Law and Philosophy, 36 (2017); “Rawls, Weithman, and the Stability of Liberal Democracy,” Res Publica, 21 (2015); “Fairness Obligations and Non-Acceptance of Benefits,” Political Studies, 62 (2014). “Are Political Obligations Content Independent?” Political Theory, 39 (2011); “Knowledge and Law in the Laws: A Response to Xavier Marquez,” Political Studies, 59 (2011); “Cosmopolitanism, Political Obligation, and the Welfare State,” Political Theory 37, (2009);” Knowledge and Law in Plato’s Laws,” Political Studies, 56 (2008).
I have a new book on political obligation, Why should we obey the law? which is forthcoming from Polity Press.
Recent professional activities include appointment to the editorial board of Polis and the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Encyclopedia of Political Science. During part of the fall semester of 2005, I was a visiting faculty member in the Department of Political Science, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, where I returned in the fall of 2008.