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Shmuel Nili

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

Ph.D. Yale University
Curriculum Vitae

Shmuel Nili is an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University. He received his PhD in political science from Yale University (2016).

Nili’s current work focuses on three related themes. First, he is interested in how we should think about the collective agency of “the sovereign people,” both as a matter of abstract philosophy and as a matter of concrete public policy (see The people’s duty, Cambridge University Press, July 2019). Second, he explores what political philosophy can contribute when facing obvious moral failures in public policy (the subject of an ongoing project). Finally, his current work also examines the moral value of integrity, whether applied to ordinary people, to authoritarian demagogues, or to collective institutions (see Integrity, personal and politicalforthcoming with Oxford University Press, 2020). The same themes inform most of his journal articles, including essays in the American Political Science Review (2016), the Journal of Politics (2015 and 2018), the American Journal of Political Science (2018), and Ethics (2019 and 2020).

Nili’s inquiries into these three themes started with a focus on corruption issues. In particular, he was interested in global corruption related to the “resource curse” and in philosophical questions that this “curse” raises about public property and democracy, as well as about the practical tasks of political philosophy. More recently, he has sought to connect his global theory arguments to domestic politics, paying special attention to morally fraught dynamics in various developing countries, in the United States, and in his native Israel.

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