Political Theory at Stanford approaches the study of justice, legitimacy, and power by conjoining normative theory (reflection on political values), positive theory (study of how values can be achieved by institutions), and the intellectual history of political thought (from Plato to Rawls). Among the topics with which our faculty and students are concered are democracy, equality, rule of law, global justice, international relations, realism and idealism, education, deliberation, institutional innovation, and the organization of knowledge.
Emilee is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stanford. Her current research project examines the distinctive value of voting in contemporary democratic practice, and its significance for electoral reform and the ethics of participation.
Michael McFaul is Professor of Political Science, Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995. He is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post. Dr. McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S.
Alison McQueen is an Assistant Professor of Political Science. Her research focuses on early modern political theory and the history of International Relations thought. Alison’s book manuscript, Political Realism in Apocalyptic Times (under contract), traces the responses of three canonical political realists—Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, and Hans Morgenthau—to hopes and fears about the end of the world. Her second book project, Absolving God: Hobbes’s Scriptural Politics, tracks and explains changes in Thomas Hobbes’s strategies of Scriptural argument over time.
Robert Packenham, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, taught in the Department from 1965 to 2006 in the fields of comparative and Latin American politics. He has also been a research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Hoover Institution and a visiting professor at universities in Latin America, the UK, and the US.
Rob Reich is professor of political science and, by courtesy, professor of philosophy and at the Graduate School of Education, at Stanford University. He is the director of the Center for Ethics in Society and co-director of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (publisher of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, both at Stanford University. His current research focuses on the relationship between philanthropy, democracy, and justice.