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Sankar Muthu is Associate Professor of Political Science. His research and teaching interests include Enlightenment political, social, and moral theories (including French, German, Scottish, and English writings of the 18th century) and their diverse historical and contemporary legacies; modern theories of international justice, political economy, commerce, sociability, communication, cultural pluralism, and cosmopolitanism; the modern intellectual history of conceptualizing and analyzing inhumanity and degradation; and historic debates about conquest, slavery, and just war. He has written about thinkers such as Rousseau, Diderot, Raynal, Adam Smith, Kant, and Herder. He has held fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The author of Enlightenment Against Empire (Princeton University Press), he is also the editor of (and contributor to) Empire and Modern Political Thought (Cambridge University Press). He is currently writing a book (Global Connections in Enlightenment Thought, under contract to Princeton University Press) about Enlightenment-era philosophical analyses of emerging global connections (such as travel, trade, and exchange) and transcontinental institutions (including joint stock trading companies and networks of slavery and slave-produced goods).
- Enlightenment Against Empire (Princeton University Press, 2003).
- "On the General Will of Humanity: Global Connections in Rousseau's Political Thought" in The General Will: The Evolution of a Concept, eds. James Farr and David Lay Williams (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
- "Productive Resistance in Kant's Political Thought: Domination, Counter-Domination, and Global Unsocial Sociability" in Kant and Colonialism, eds. Katrin Flikschuh and Lea Ypi (Oxford University Press, 2014).
- "Conquest, Commerce, and Cosmopolitanism in Enlightenment Political Thought" in Empire and Modern Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
- "Diderot's Theory of Global (and Imperial) Commerce: An Enlightenment Account of 'Globalization'" in Colonialism and Its Legacies, ed. Jacob T. Levy with Iris Marion Young, (Lexington Books, 2011).
- "Adam Smith's Critique of International Trading Companies: Theorizing 'Globalization' in the Age of Enlightenment," Political Theory 36 (2008).