I am an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department of Stanford University.
My research is in Political Philosophy. I am developing a theory of justice between co-existing generations, working on the value of relational equality, and exploring the intersection between normative theory and policy recommendations.
- Justice Between Young and Old
I am finalizing my book manuscript Justice Across Ages: Treating Young and Old as Equals for Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2020). Justice Across Ages is a book about how we should respond to inequalities between people at different stages of their lives. Age structures our social institutions, relationships, obligations, and entitlements. There is an age for voting, an age for working, and an age when one is expected (and sometimes required) to retire. Each stage of life also corresponds to specific forms of social risks and vulnerabilities. As a result, inequalities between young and old are numerous and multidimensional. And yet, political theorists have spared little time thinking about how we should respond to these disparities. Are they akin to those patterned on gender or race? Or is there something relevantly distinctive about them that mitigates the need for concern? My book answers these questions and presents a theory of justice between co-existing generations —or, for short— a theory of justice between young and old. In doing so, I also make the case that a close look at issues of age group justice and equality through time helps us shed new lights onto our broader value commitments.
- Asserting Equality as a Relational Value
The past three decades have witnessed a relational turn for egalitarianism. Prominent political philosophers have made the case that we need to displace the distributive paradigm and focus instead on the real point of equality: establishing communities whose members are able to relate and stand as equals. My work on inequalities between age groups has led me to welcome this relational turn. But much more work needs to be done to pinpoint what grounds the value of this conception, how it differs from other conceptions, and precisely what it entails. My next project thus seeks to advance the research agenda of relational egalitarianism. What kinds of equal relationships do we have reason to value? One strategy for answering this question is to argue from the negative: to examine closely a number of inegalitarian modes of relating, discover what makes them wrong, and derive from this a better sense of what it means to relate as equals. I am planning to write two connected papers following this strategy – one on infantilization and one on demonization.
3. Normative Theory and Policy Recommendations
Normative political philosophy is often criticized for being disconnected from practice, sometimes even for being incapable of guiding us in the real world. To avoid this, my work starts from real issues and engages frontally with policy proposals. In the context of my work on age group justice, I have written on youth policies, youth quotas in parliaments and income security for the young. I am also the Founder and Faculty Director of the Stanford Basic Income Lab – a research initiative of the Center for Ethics in Society that promotes research on the philosophy, economics and politics of Universal Basic Income. Through a variety of projects involving graduate students and a postdoctoral fellow, we bring together the normative literature on what a just society should look like with empirical facts coming out of pilot projects throughout the world.