I use ideas from social and political theory to try to illuminate concrete problems of structural injustice, like poverty and exploitation. I have also written about the justice claims of cultural and religious groups within the context of constitutional democratic states. My new book, Poverty, Solidarity, and Poor-Led Social Movements (Oxford University Press, 2021), argues that progressive and just poverty eradication needs to be centered on the analyses and aims of poor-led social movements and their organizations.
In 2022, I co-founded the Engaged Theory Community, a global network that connects political philosophers and theorists who do grounded and engaged normative political theory.
Note to prospective graduate students: I supervise M.A. and Ph.D students in social and political philosophy, normative and applied ethics (including development ethics), and feminist philosophy. If you are a prospective M.A. or Ph.D. student and your research relates to issues of global or social justice, you will automatically be considered for additional support under the auspices of the Canada Research Chair in ethics & global social change. If you are interested in doing socially-engaged philosophy or political theory with an empirical research component, consider applying to join our Grounded & Engaged Theory Lab.
Post-doctoral scholars working on topics related to global justice can also be hosted under the auspices of the Canada Research Chair that I hold. Recent post-doctoral fellows: Dr. Jennifer Szende (PhD, Queen's) and Dr. Cristian Dimitriu (PhD, U Toronto).
Current/recent Ph.D. students: Christi Storfa: "Global Justice Unbounded: Social Connection Through Mutual Flourishing" (defended Septemer 2021); Marie-Pier Lemay, "Grounding Transnational Feminist Solidarity"; Cameron Fioret, "The Ethics of Water: From Commodification to Common Ownership" (defended August 2021); Shannon Boss, "Making America Healthy Again: Purity, Fear, and the Construction of Heathy Subjectivities in the U.S."; Gordon Trenbeth, "Solidarity with Non-Human Others: Theorizing and (Re)Presenting Interspecies Solidarity"; and Joshua Mousie: "Nonhuman Publics and Human Politics: Reimagining the Political Sphere" (defended Dec. 2015).
In 2012, I started up Initiatives in Global Justice (IGJ), a research consortium of U of Guelph researchers which featured talks and other programming on ethical and political issues related to globalization; IGJ was phased out in 2021. In 2022, Dr. Candace Johnson (Political Science) and I started up the Grounded & Engaged Theory Lab.at the University of Guelph.
I have co-organized and hosted the following international workshops:
"Personal Autonomy and Cultural Tradition," in Sexual Justice/Cultural Justice: Critical Perspectives in Political Theory and Practice, ed. B. Arneil, M. Deveaux, R. Dhamoon, A. Eisenberg (Routledge, 2007).
"A Deliberative Approach to Conflicts of Culture,"Political Theory, vol. 31, no. 6 (2003): 780-807. Republished in Minorities Within Minorities: Equality, Rights and Diversity, Eds. A. Eisenberg and J. Spinner-Halev (Cambridge University Press, 2005)
December 2020 "Grounding Normative Theorizing in Concrete, Justice-Seeking Struggles." Carleton University Philosophy Colloquium (zoom talk).
March 2020 "The Capability Approach and Transformative Poverty Reduction." Western University Philosophy Colloquium.
June 2017 "Movements versus Markets: What, If Anything, is Special About the Organizations and Social Movements of the Poor?" University of British Columbia workshop: New Directions in Ethics and Poverty.
March 2017 "Why Global Inequality - and Not Just Poverty - Matters." Ohio State University COMPAS (Conversations on Morality, Politics & Society) conference: On Global Inequality.
February 2017 "Reframing Chronic Poverty and its Alleviation through the Insights and Strategies of Poor-led Movements." Talk, Dept. of Ethics, Social & Political Philosophy, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
October 2016 "Reframing Chronic Poverty and its Alleviation through the Insights and Strategies of Poor-led Movements." Ethics & Public Affairs Program, and Dept. of Philosophy, Carleton Unviersity
May 2016 "Global Justice From Below? The Value of Poor-led Social Movements to Poverty Alleviation." Keynote talk, University of Salzburg Workshop on Philosophy and Poverty
May 2016 "Global Justice From Below? The Value of Poor-led Social Movements to Poverty Alleviation." Free University, Berlin (Kolloquium Zur Praktischen Philosophie)
April 2016 "Global Justice From Below? The Value of Poor-led Social Movements to Poverty Alleviation." Society for Women in Philosophy workshop (SWIP-SHOP), CUNY Graduate Center
Sept. 2015 "How Should the Political Movements of the Poor Figure in Theorizing About Global Justice?" Symposium on 'Global Justice: New Directions in Research and Advocacy,' Ghent, Belgium
May 2015 "Is the Cross-Border Trade in Human Eggs Wrongfully Exploitative?" Gender and Global Justice Conference, Centre for Global Ethics, University of Birmingham (UK)
July 2014 "Egg Donation: An Assessment of Key Feminist Ethical Objections." British Society for Applied Philosophy, Oxford, UK
July 2014 "Global Injustice and the Market in Human Eggs." 15th International Association of Women Philosophers Symposium, Alcalá de Henares, Spain
June 2014 "Sexual Equality and Personal Autonomy: Possibilities of Pluralistic Interpretations." Conference on '(Not) Outside My Culture: Paradoxes of Personal Autonomy in a Plural Society,' Max Plank Institute, Halle, Germany
Feb. 2014 "The Cross-Border Trade in Human Eggs: an Ethical Conundrum from the Perspective of Global Justice." Workshop on Global Surrogacy and Reproductive Markets, University of Ottawa
Jan. 2014 "Sufficiency, Priority, and the Harms of Inequality." Invited talk, Philosophy Department colloquium series, McMaster University
March 2013 "The Global Poor as Agents of Justice." Invited talk, Laurentian University (Seminar on Thought and Culture)
Nov. 2012 "Agents or Subjects of Global Justice?". Invited talk, McMaster University (Society for Philosophy and Culture & the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition)
March and April 2011 "When is Sufficiency Not Enough? Revisiting Sufficiency and Priority Views in Light of Inequality's Harms." Talk presented at the University of Toronto (Centre for Ethics); University of Waterloo (Philosophy Department), and the University of Ottawa (Graduate School of Public and International Affairs)
April 2010 "The Subjects of Global Justice." Philosophy Department Colloquium, Dalhousie University