Seyla Benhabib

Harvard University

Research Initiative:

Seyla Benhabib, professor of government at Harvard University, will draw upon political philosophy, jurisprudence, and contemporary social theory to investigate how immigration, naturalization, and citizenship practices can be made compatible with the human rights commitments of liberal democracies. A nation's sovereignty is defined by its borders, but a commitment to human rights is, by definition, borderless. As globalization escalates, liberal democracies are policing their external borders more tightly, while affording greater recognition to internal boundaries between ethnic, cultural, and linguistic minorities within the nation-state. Benhabib will examine how the evolving policies of the European Union handle these tensions, using the constitutional norms of the United States as a counterpoint.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


The Russell Sage Foundation offers grants and positions in our Visiting Scholars program for research.


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