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Faculty Fellow

Jennifer Pitts

Professor and Associate Chair, Political Science University of Chicago


Photo by Erielle Bakkum

Jennifer Pitts is the author of Boundaries of the International (Harvard 2018), which explores European debates over legal relations with extra-European societies during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the co-editor, with Adom Getachew, of W.E.B. Du Bois: International Thought, a collection of essays and speeches spanning the years 1900-1956 (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). She is also author of A Turn to Empire: The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France (Princeton 2005); co-editor of The Law of Nations in Global History (Oxford 2017); and editor and translator of Alexis de Tocqueville: Writings on Empire and Slavery (Johns Hopkins 2001). Her research interests lie in the fields of modern political and international thought, particularly British and French thought of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; empire; the history of international law; and global justice. She is a co-editor of the Cambridge University Press series Ideas in Context. At the University of Chicago, she is a member of the faculty boards for the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT), the Human Rights Program, and the France Chicago Center.

Featured Project


Project Topics:

2014 – 2015


The Infrastructures of American Hegemony

In an editorial cartoon published circa 1900, Uncle Sam steps over the Philippines to carry goods to China.

The Infrastructures of American Hegemony

This project aims to inspire new collaborations between scholars of international relations and American politics by examining the changes that enabled the United States to enter into global politics—first as an imperial force and later as a decisive player in global conflict.

This research project will explore the material, ideational, and domestic political changes that enabled the United States to enter into global politics — first as an imperial force, and later as an architect of a liberal international order. Ruth Bloch Rubin’s research will focus on the...

Theorizing Indian Democracy

Theorizing Indian Democracy

A close look at the meanings and practices of democracy in India deepened understanding of India’s politics and history and helped identify non-Western forms of democracy.

Indian politics have become an ever more important object of study for scholars in the humanities and social sciences. Indian democracy has long been considered an exceptional case—an unlikely political system for a society marked by high levels of inequality and remarkable fragmentation and...