Political Theory

Students pursuing graduate study in political theory at UVA participate in a vibrant, diverse and well-regarded community of scholars dedicated to critical reflection on politics. We strive to preserve a pluralistic ethos; no one theoretical paradigm dominates the program, and students are exposed to a wide range of approaches to the subject. We encourage students to engage with other subfields of political science and cross disciplinary boundaries.

Heath Fogg Davis—visiting speaker to the Political Theory Colloquium on Sex-Classification Policies, Race-Sex Discrimination, and Sex-Identity Self-Authority
Heath Fogg Davis—visiting speaker to the Political Theory Colloquium on Sex-Classification Policies, Race-Sex Discrimination, and Sex-Identity Self-Authority

Our students have ample opportunities for intellectual development outside of their regular coursework, including independent study courses with faculty members, informal reading groups, a graduate development seminar in which students present their work and offer each other feedback, an annual graduate student conference, and regular “PT lunches” at which faculty and graduate students discuss students’ earlier-stage work in progress. Graduate students also attend our political theory colloquium, at which external speakers, faculty members and graduate students present their research. Other speaker series that PT students regularly attend include the PPL colloquium, the Egger lecture series, the legal theory workshop, and events at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies.

Professors specializing in Political Theory include:

Lawrie Balfour
Colin Bird
Kevin Duong
Murad Idris
George Klosko
Jennifer Rubenstein

Theoretically-oriented professors in other departments include:

Sahar Akhtar (Philosophy)
Elizabeth Barnes (Philosophy)
Tal Brewer (Philosophy)
Rita Felski (English)
Jennifer Geddes (Religious Studies)
Risa Goluboff (Law School)
Richard Handler (Anthropology)
Claudrena Harold (History)
Deborah Hellman (Law School)
Krishnan Kumar (Sociology)
Charles Mathewes (Religious Studies)
Alan Megill (History)
Jeff Olick (Sociology)
Marlon Ross (English)
Fred Schauer (Law School)

Micah Schwartzman (Law School)

John Simmons (Philosophy)

Chad Wellmon (German)