Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Arizona
J.D. Columbia University Law School
B.A. Philosophy, Pomona College
My current research focuses on democratic theory, especially on the moral demands of citizenship in large-scale democracies. I am working on projects examining the duty to participate in democratic politics, the justification of civil disobedience, the role of reciprocity in democratic politics, and the democraticization of global governance institutions. I also have research interests in ethics and the philosophy of law.
My academic website can be found here: https://sameer-bajaj.weebly.com
"The Weight of Fairness," Politics, Philosophy & Economics (forthcoming)
"Self-Defeat and the Foundations of Public Reason," Philosophical Studies (2017)
"On Hillel Steiner's 'A Liberal Theory of Exploitation,'" Ethics (2015)
"Policiing the Fourth Amendment: The Constitutionality of Warrantless Investigatory Stops for Past Misdemeanors," Columbia Law Review (2009)
Phil 175: Democracy and Its Critics
There is a widespread assumption that democracy is the best form of government. In the first part of the course, we will put this assumption to the test by examining classical and contemporary arguments for and against democracy. In the second part of the course, we will turn our attention to the obligations of democratic citizenship by exploring such topics as the duty to vote, civil disobedience, compromise, and toleration.
Phil 271: The Social Contract
The idea that government can be justified in terms of a pact that all rational individuals would accept in a “state of nature” has had an enormous influence in modern political thought. People who try to justify government in this way are known as social contract theorists. In the first part of this course, we will read classical as well as contemporary social contract theorists including Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Rawls, and Habermas. We will then ask: does the social contract function as a tool for social exclusion? We will examine answers offered by contemporary feminist philosophers and philosophers of race.