George Klosko headshot

George Klosko’s research interests include contemporary political theory, especially issues in analytical and normative theory, and the history of political thought. He teaches 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. His books include: The Development of Plato’s Political Theory (Methuen, 1986; Second Edition, Oxford, 2006); The Principle of Fairness and Political Obligation (Rowman and Littlefield, 1992); Political Obligations (Oxford University Press, 2005), and The Oxford Handbook of the History of Political Philosophy (Oxford, 2011), which he edited. 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.” He has published more than fifty articles in Political Science, Philosophy, and Classics journals, including the American Political Science Review, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Ethics, Political Theory, and Classical Quarterly.  He recently published a critical history of the normative foundations of the American welfare state, The Transformation of American Liberalism (Oxford University Press, 2017), while his most recent book, Why we should obey the law? was published in 2019 by Polity Press.  Recent articles include  "What Socrates Says, and Does not Say," Classical Quarterly, 70 (2020), 577-91; "Content-Independence and Political Obligation: Scope-Limitations of Content-Independent Moral Reasons," Political Studies (forthcoming);  and "Political Obligations of Refugees," with Andrew Gates, International Studies Quarterly (forthcoming). He is currently editing The Oxford Handbook of Political Obligation.

Henry L. and Grace Doherty Professor

Ph.D. Columbia University, Department of Political Science

Office Hours: 
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