Announcing the 2018-19 Fellows-in-Residence

March 8, 2018

The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University is excited to announce our Fellows-in-Residence for the 2018-19 academic year.

In 2018-19, the Center continues its partnership with the Berggruen Institute's Philosophy and Culture Center, whose goal is "to develop fresh ideas through comparative and interdisciplinary work and to relate these insights to the pressing issues of our day." Berggruen Fellows engage in scholarship of broad social and political importance from cross-cultural perspectives, and demonstrate a commitment to the public dissemination of their ideas. In the third year, we will host three Berggruen Fellows: Brian Berkey, Sungho Kimlee, and Thierry Ngosso.

Please find the full list of 2018-19 Fellows below:

Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Fellows-in-Residence

Aaron Ancell
Aaron Ancell received his PhD in Philosophy from Duke University in 2017. Before joining the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto. Aaron’s research aims to bridge the gap between our democratic ideals and the actual state and practices of contemporary democratic societies. In his dissertation, Aaron argued that prominent theories of liberalism and democracy wrongly neglect the social and psychological mechanisms that explain some of the most troubling features of modern political life such as polarization and partisan animosity. During his fellowship at the Center, Aaron will work on developing a normative account of the place of technocratic regulatory agencies within democratic political systems.

Jeff Behrends
Jeff Behrends completed his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. He has since occupied positions in the departments of philosophy at Illinois State University and Harvard University. His published work includes papers in applied political philosophy, normative ethics, and metaethics. During his time at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Behrends hopes to advance work on two projects. The first continues a well-established line of research defending pluralism about the foundations of ethics, as opposed to views which attempt to derive all reasons for action from a single source. The second project, on the ethics of Artificial Intelligences, is inspired by Behrends’s recent pedagogical collaborations in Computer Science at Harvard University. He aims to continue or begin work that addresses issues related to programming autonomous vehicles, and deception in human/AI interactions. Behrends’s fellowship is supported in part by the Center for Research on Computation and Society, where he will have his office space.

Brian Berkey
Brian Berkey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and an associated faculty member in the Department of Philosophy at Penn. He earned his PhD in philosophy at UC-Berkeley in 2012, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Ethics in Society at Stanford before moving to Penn. He works in moral and political philosophy, including environmental and business ethics. He has published articles on moral demandingness, obligations of justice, climate ethics, and effective altruism. His work has appeared in journals such as Mind, Philosophical Studies, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Utilitas, Journal of Applied Philosophy, and Social Theory and Practice. Much of his current work focuses on obligations of justice in the economic domain, including the obligations of corporations. Brian Berkey is a Berggruen Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

Mark Budolfson
Mark Budolfson received his PhD in Philosophy from Princeton in 2012. He works on interdisciplinary issues in public policy and ethics, especially in connection with sustainable development goals, and collective action problems such as climate change and other dilemmas that arise in connection with common resources and public goods. While at the center Mark will work on projects on sustainable development and climate change economics, global ethics and international institutions, and individual reasons for action in collective action situations.

Deborah Chasman
Deborah Chasman is an editor with decades of experience in book and magazine publishing. A graduate of Harvard University, she is currently editor-in-chief at Boston Review. Throughout her career she has focused on bringing the work of academics to the public sphere—experimenting with both old and new media, and working with both emerging and celebrated writers. Most recently she oversaw the transformation of Boston Review’s publishing model from a subscription-based magazine to a web-focused, membership-driven platform for ideas. She has also served as a judge for the National Magazine Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. During her fellowship year she will explore the ethics of public communication, scrutinizing the way the ecology of modern media constrains our best efforts to communicate across lines of disagreement, and asking what kind of reading and publishing democratic citizenship requires.

Roni Hirsch
Roni Hirsch received her PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2017, with a concentration in political theory and the history and philosophy of science. Before coming to Harvard, she was a resident fellow at the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University. She currently holds a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Polonsky Academy at the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem. Roni's research takes a comparative look at the competing political-economic regimes of risk and property, and their implications for distributive justice. Her current manuscript, "The Price of Risk and Its Social Costs," examines the development of early financial theory alongside the regulation of American financial markets between 1920-1970, as the foundation for late twentieth century conceptions of justice and democratic citizenship. Roni is the Tel Aviv University Exchange Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

Turkuler Isiksel
Turkuler Isiksel is the James P. Shenton Assistant Professor of the Core Curriculum at Columbia University and teaches in the Department of Political Science. She earned her PhD in political science from Yale University and works primarily in contemporary political theory. She is the author of Europe’s Functional Constitution. A Theory of Constitutionalism beyond the State (Oxford University Press, May 2016), which argues that the economically driven process of European integration has produced a supranational constitutional system that differs markedly from traditional rights-based and democratic models of constitutionalism. As an Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics fellow, Isiksel will work on a book manuscript on the theory and practice of corporate personhood, specifically, on the kinds of claims are modern corporations entitled to make on democratic societies. Her other research interests include the law and politics of international economic institutions, eighteenth century political thought, sovereignty, citizenship, and cosmopolitanism. On occasion, she also writes on Turkish politics. Her research has appeared in Human Rights Quarterly, the European Journal of International Law, International Journal of Constitutional Law (I*CON), Global Constitutionalism, the European Law Journal, and Constellations. Isiksel has held a Jean Monnet postdoctoral fellowship at the European University Institute (2010-2011), a LAPA/Perkins Fellowship at Princeton University's Law and Public Affairs Program (2014-2015), an Emile Noël Fellowship at NYU Law School (Fall 2015), and a visiting research fellowship at the Justitia Amplificata Centre at Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt-am-Main (Summer 2015). 

Sungho Kimlee
Sungho Kimlee received his PhD in political science from Harvard University in 2017. He works on topics in ethics and political theory. He is particularly interested in Daoist philosophy, self-cultivation, and the history of democratic institutions. His dissertation, Factions and Orders: from Machiavelli to Madison, traced the evolution of political thought on factionalism and civic divides. During his fellowship year, he will study voting and conceptions of the self in the ancient world. Sungho Kimlee is a Berggruen Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

Thierry Ngosso
Thierry Ngosso is a political philosopher interested in global justice justice and more precisely in three important and interconnected contemporary issues in this field: climate change, human rights and migration. He addresses global justice from both the State/Firm division of labor and the Western/non-Western perspectives. His research has therefore a strong focus on business corporations and on comparative philosophy. Ngosso earned a PhD in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Louvain (2015) and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Business Ethics at the University of St.Gallen where he is writing a book on Climate Responsibility of Firms as Primary Agents of Justice. As a Berggruen Fellow at the Center for Ethics, his research will focus on global justice and health inequalities, especially on the critique of contemporary global justice theories from the underexamined perspective of what Sub-Saharan African burdened societies and their business corporations owe to their own citizens in terms of equal access to health(care). Thierry Ngosso is a Berggruen Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

Gina Schouten
Gina Schouten received her PhD in 2013 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and prior to joining Harvard as Assistant Professor of Philosophy in 2016, occupied the same position for three years at Illinois State University. Her research interests include gender justice, educational justice, and political legitimacy. She has recently been working on projects concerning the legitimacy of political interventions to alter the gendered division of labor, in which she argues that progressive gender egalitarian political interventions can constitute legitimate exercises of political power. That work is now being developed as a monograph, forthcoming with Oxford University Press, tentatively titled Liberalism, Neutrality, and the Gendered Division of Labor. Schouten has also written on the challenge of diversifying the discipline of philosophy, justice in higher education, and various topics in applied ethics. During her time at the Center for Ethics, Schouten intends to develop a series of papers that demonstrate how competing concepts of justice have figured in central debates within political philosophy, and that also articulate the substantive implications that follow once we identify the particular concepts that properly feature in those debates.