Liberal democracy, Pluralism, Trust, Political Friendship, Patriotism, Nationalism, Realism, Enmity, Populism, Aristotle
- PhD, Duke University, 2019
- MA, University College London, 2014
- BA, Georgetown University, 2013
Eric is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Political Science and Economics at Waseda University. A problem-oriented political theorist particularly interested in the possibilities and problems of pluralistic liberal democracy, Eric was most recently a University of Toronto Faculty of Arts & Science and Max Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow. Eric completed his PhD at Duke University, where he was a Kenan Institute for Ethics Graduate Fellow, in 2019.
His book manuscript, “Hanging Together: Role-based Constitutional Fellowship and the Challenge of Difference and Disagreement,” is under contract with the Cambridge University Press and will likely be available for purchase in 2022. Hanging Together examines the challenge of political disagreement and social difference in liberal democracy. Advancing a metaphor of citizenship that Eric terms ‘role-based constitutional fellowship,’ the book argues that a series of ‘divisions of labour’ among citizens, differently situated, can help cultivate the foundational trust required to harness the benefits of disagreement and difference all the while preventing disagreement and difference from ‘overheating’ and leaving liberal democracy vulnerable to the growing influence of autocratic political forces. Hanging Together, however, recognizes that it is not always appropriate to attempt to cultivate trust, and acknowledges the important role that some forms of confrontation might play in identifying and rectifying undue social hierarchies (e.g., racial-ethnic hierarchies). Hanging Together thereby paves a middle way between deliberative and realist/agonist conceptions of democracy. Hanging Together engages with a variety of perspectives, including Aristotelian understandings of political friendship, constitutional patriotism, liberal nationalism, democratic realism, and political hypocrisy.
Eric is exploring his second book-length project, which will consider the problem of enemies for liberal democracy. As part of this second project, Eric is currently investigating how liberal democrats might go about responding to the opponents of liberal democracy all the while remaining sensitive to the demands of (and need for) trust-building. Eric is particularly interested in the ambiguous status of and unique challenges posed by populism. Eric is also interested in the surprising tension which exists between the promotion of diversity in the domestic sphere and the fulfillment of global obligations.
This academic year, Eric is teaching the following courses:
– Political Ideologies: Left, Right, and Centre (Undergraduate)
– Contemporary Political Theory I: Pluralism and Community (Undergraduate)
– History of Political Thought: Conceptual Foundations of Political Order (Graduate)
– Contemporary Political Theory II: Distributive Justice (Undergraduate)
– Populism: Causes, Problems, and Opportunities (Undergraduate)
– Modern Political Theory (Graduate)