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Jackie Basu

Jackie Basu

Ph.D. Candidate


Jacqueline Basu is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Stanford University, specializing in political theory. She has additional training in computational social science methods and American politics. Her research centers on concepts of democratic stability and legitimacy, which she studies by synthesizing normative political philosophy with intellectual history and computational methods of text analysis. Jacqueline is currently a Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow; prior to this, she was a Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow.

Jacqueline’s dissertation is titled “The Social Basis of Political Legitimacy: A Conceptual and Computational Account of Norms and Political Language.” Broadly, the project aims to advance a vocabulary and method by which to study political legitimacy as a subjective process of civic legitimation. The ‘conceptual’ aspect of the project engages with Rawls’ moralized concepts of democratic stability and legitimacy, offering internal critiques of both concepts. Given these critiques, Jacqueline develops a normative justification for developing an account of the democratic modus vivendi, as well as the sociological concepts of stability and legitimacy it entails. The ‘computational’ component of the project uses empirical methods to analyze civic discourse about spiritual, political, and popular authority during the legitimacy crisis of the British Civil War and Interregnum period.