Research

 

My primary research and teaching interests lie in the republican tradition, its critics, and its potential contribution to modern democratic theory; in conceptions of liberty, citizenship, community, and government; and in the history of political thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Much of my work has been about neoclassical conceptions of liberty and their critics. Published or forthcoming articles on this topic address Jeremy Bentham's and Adam Ferguson's conceptions of liberty, and the history of the negative idea of liberty (with Efraim Podoksik). My book manuscript, The Revolution of Liberty: Richard Price and the Idea of Freedom as Self-government, is a study of the popular republican account of liberty developed by the philosopher Richard Price and its significance in the Age of Revolutions and in our own time. I have an article in progress that draws on Price's work in order to offer a new framework for thinking of the relationship between the neoclassical ideals of self-government and non-domination. Another article in progress related to Price addresses his doctrine of improvement and its possible implications for our understanding of the idea of enlightenment.

I have also been working on neoclassical ideals of citizenship. A forthcoming article (with Natan Milikowsky) reconstructs and criticizes the development of a concept of "ethnorepublicanism" in academic studies of citizenship in Israel and in the 2016 edition of the high school civics textbook published by the Israeli Ministry of Education. 

My interest in neoclassical ideas of liberty and citizenship has led me to examine relevant aspects of Adam Smith's moral and political philosophy of Adam Smith. I have several articles on Smith under review or in progress, and I plan to develop them into a book on Smith as a political thinker.  

Together with Geneviève Rousselière (Duke University), I have edited a volume entitled Republicanism and the Future of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2019), which offers new perspectives from leading scholars on how republicanism can help transform democratic theory and respond to some of its most pressing challenges.