Lowell Lecture

Seyla Benhabib: The Seductions of Sovereignty: A Democratic and Cosmopolitan Critique

Date & Time

Jan. 25, 2023 at 7 p.m.


Boston College - Gasson 100
140 Commonwealth Avenue Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Driving Directions


Seyla Benhabib

Presenting Organization

Boston College




Chandler Shaw (shawcp@bc.edu, )

Seyla Benhabib is the Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy Emerita at Yale University where she taught from 2001 to 2020. She is currently Senior Research Fellow and Professor Adjunct of Law at Columbia University, and Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Philosophy. She is also a Senior Fellow at Columbia University’s Center for Contemporary Critical Thought.

She was the President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in 2006-07 and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1995. She has previously taught at the New School for Social Research and Harvard Universities, where she was Professor of Government from 1993-2000 and Chair of Harvard’s Program on Social Studies from 1996-2000.

Professor Benhabib is the recipient of the Ernst Bloch prize for 2009, the Leopold Lucas Prize from the Theological Faculty of the University of Tubingen (2012), and the Meister Eckhart Prize (2014; one of Germany’s most prestigious philosophical prizes). A Guggenheim Fellowship recipient (2011-12), she has been research affiliate and senior scholar in many institutions in the US and in Europe including Berlin’s Wissenschaftskolleg (2009), NYU Strauss Center for the Study of Law and Justice (2012), the European University Institute in Florence (Summer 2015), Center for Gender Studies at Cambridge University ( Spring 2017), Columbia University Law School (Spring 2016; Spring 2018) and Center for Humanities and Critical Theory, Humboldt University Berlin (Summer 2018).

Her work has been translated into German, Spanish, French, Italian, Turkish, Swedish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Hebrew, Polish, Japanese and Chinese and she has also edited and coedited 10 volumes on topics ranging from democracy and difference to the rights of migrant women and children; the communicative ethics controversy and Hannah Arendt. The volume, Migrations and Mobilities: Gender, Borders and Citizenship (NYU Press, 2009), co-edited with Judith Resnik from the Yale Law School has been named by Choice one of the outstanding academic books of the year.

Her books include: The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in the Global Era, (2002); The Rights of Others: Aliens, Citizens and Residents (2004), winner of the Ralph Bunche award of the American Political Science Association (2005) and the North American Society for Social Philosophy award (2004); Another Cosmopolitanism: Hospitality, Sovereignty and Democratic Iterations, with responses by Jeremy Waldron, Bonnie Honig and Will Kymlicka (Oxford University Press, 2006); Dignity in Adversity: Human Rights in Troubled Times (UK and USA: Polity Press, 2011); Equality and Difference: Human Dignity and Popular Sovereignty. Bilingual edition in English and German: (Mohr Siebeck, 2013—edited together with Volker Kaul); and Toward New Democratic Imaginaries: Istanbul Seminars on Islam, Culture, and Politics (Springer 2016). Her most recent book is, Exile, Statelessness and Migration: Playing Chess with History from Hannah Arendt to Isaiah Berlin (Princeton University Press, 2018).

Cosponsored by the Boston College International Studies Program and the Global Citizenships Project.