Seyla Benhabib

Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy
Yale University

Lecture One: Reclaiming Universalism: Negotiating Republican Self-Determination and Cosmopolitan Norms
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
4:10 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Toll Room, Alumni House
With commentary by Jeremy Waldron

Lecture Two: Democratic Iterations: The Local, the National, and the Global
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
4:10 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Toll Room, Alumni House
With commentary by Bonnie Honig and Will Kymlicka

Seminar and Discussion
Thursday, March 18, 2004
4:10 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Toll Room, Alumni House
With commentary by Bonnie Honig, Will Kymlicka, and Jeremy Waldron

The lectures and the seminar are free and open to the public.

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MP3 Format: Lecture One, Lecture Two, Seminar & Discussion

About Seyla Benhabib

Seyla Benhabib is internationally regarded for her research and teaching on 19th and 20th century European social and political thought, particularly German idealism, Max Weber, The Frankfurt School, and Hannah Arendt. She is renowned for her contributions to the history of modern political theory and the foundations of ethics, and is also recognized as a notable feminist theorist.

A prolific writer, Benhabib has published numerous articles and books including: “The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in the Global Era” (2002) “Transformations of Citizenship: Dilemmas of the Nation-State in the Era of Globalization” (2000) and “Situating the Self: Gender, Community, and Post-Modernism in Contemporary Ethics” (1992), which was the winner of the American Educational Studies Association’s Critics’ Choice Award in 1993. Benhabib’s more recent publications include: “The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt” (1996; new edition 2003), and “The Rights of Others: Aliens, Citizens and Residents” (The Seeley Lectures, 2004). Benhabib has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1995 and, in January 2004, she received an honorary degree from the Humanistic University of Utrecht. She has previously held the Gauss Lectures at Princeton University (1999), the Spinoza Lectures at the University of Amsterdam (2000), and the Seeley Lectures at the University of Cambridge (2002).

Born in 1950 in Istanbul, Turkey, Benhabib received her B.A. in philosophy from Brandeis University in 1972 and her Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University in 1977. Past academic and honorary positions include chairing the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies at Harvard University from 1997 to 2001, where she served as Professor of Government from 1993 to 2000 and was senior research fellow at the Center for European Studies. Since 2001, she has been the Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University and Director of its program in Ethics, Politics and Economics.

Conversation with History Interview

About the Commentators

Bonnie Honig

Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University
Senior Research Fellow, American Bar Foundation, Chicago

Bonnie Honig is a notable scholar in the areas of contemporary political theory, democratic theory and feminist theory. Her research focuses specifically on questions of legitimation, identity, constitutionalism, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and the politics of immigration.

Honig is the author of “Democracy and the Foreigner” (2001). Her first book, “Political Theory and the Displacement of Politics” (1993), was awarded the 1994 “Best First Book in Political Theory” prize from the Foundations of Political Thought branch of the American Political Science Association. She is also editor of “Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt” (1995) and co-editor of “Skepticism, Individuality and Freedom: The Reluctant Liberalism of Richard Flathman” (2002). Honig is currently writing a book tentatively titled “Has the King Become a Tyrant? Paradoxes of Law and Democracy.”

Bonnie Honig received her BA in political science from Concordia University, Quebec, in 1980. She received her M.S.C. from the London School of Economics in 1981, and her M.A. in political theory in 1986 and Ph.D. in 1989, from The Johns Hopkins University. Honig is Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and a senior research fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Will Kymlicka 

Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy, Department of Philosophy
Queen’s University, Ontario

Will Kymlicka is a leading thinker regarding issues of nationalism, multiculturalism and citizenship. His work has helped to shape the debate on the rights and status of ethnocultural groups in liberal democracies.

Kymlicka is the author of many books and articles, and has edited numerous publications. His work has been translated into over 25 languages. His best known books include “Contemporary Political Philosophy” (1990), “Finding Our Way: Rethinking Ethnocultural Relations in Canada” (1998), “Politics in the Vernacular: Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Citizenship” (2001), and “Multicultural Citizenship” (1995) which was awarded the C.B. Macpherson prize by the Canadian Political Science Association, and the Ralph J. Bunche award by the American Political Science Association, both in 1996.

Will Kymlicka received his BA in philosophy and politics in 1984 from Queen’s University. He earned his B. Phil. in 1986 and Ph.D. in 1987, both from Oxford University. Since 1998 he has taught in the Department of Philosophy at Queen’s University, and in the Nationalism Studies program at the Central European University in Budapest. Kymlicka has been a visiting scholar throughout Europe, Canada, and the U.S. since 1986. In 2003 he was named as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Jeremy Waldron

Maurice & Hilda Friedman Professor of Law, Director, Center for Law and Philosophy
Columbia University Law School

Jeremy Waldron is best known for his works in the area of overlap between jurisprudence, the theory of politics, and moral and political philosophy. He is most interested in liberal theories of rights, issues of economic and social justice, the political significance of moral disagreement, and the basis of our political ideals in a multicultural society.

Waldron’s most recent books include “The Dignity of Legislation” (1999), “Law and Disagreement” (1999), and “God, Locke and Equality” (2002). He also is widely published in many law reviews and journals.

A native of New Zealand, Jeremy Waldron earned his BA in Otago, New Zealand in 1974 and his LL.B in 1978. He received D.Phil. in 1986 from Oxford University, and an honorary Doctorate in Laws from the Catholic University of Brussels in 2003. He held lectureships in New Zealand, Oxford, and Scotland from 1975-1987 and was a professor at the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley from 1986-1996. He also held the position of associate dean and chair of the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at Berkeley from 1993-1994. Waldron has served as the Maurice & Hilda Friedman Professor of Law and as the director of the Center for Law and Philosophy at Columbia Law School since 1997. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.