Seyla Benhabib

Scholar in Residence & Senior Fellow, Center for Contemporary Critical Thought (Fall 2018)

Seyla Benhabib

Scholar in Residence & Senior Fellow, Center for Contemporary Critical Thought (Fall 2018)

Seyla Benhabib, born in Istanbul, Turkey, is the Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University and was Director of its Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics from 2002 to 2008. She was the President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in 2006-07 and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1995.  She has previously taught at the New School for Social Research and Harvard Universities, where she was Professor of Government from 1993-2000 and Chair of Harvard’s Program on Social Studies from 1996-2000.

She has been Adjunct Faculty in Law at Yale Law School since 2007 for a total of six terms, co-teaching courses on human rights, sovereignty, cosmopolitanism and European legal debates on citizenship and migration with Professors Robert Post and Alec Stone Sweet.  She has also held a Visiting Professorship of Law at the University of Tel-Aviv’s Zvi Meitar Center for Advanced Studies Legal Studies (2010).

Benhabib is the recipient of the Ernst Bloch prize for 2009, the Leopold Lucas Prize from the Theological Faculty of the University of Tubingen (2012), and the Meister Eckhart Prize (2014; one of Germany’s most prestigious philosophical prizes). A Guggenheim Fellowship recipient (2011-12), she has been a research affiliate and senior scholar in many institutions in the US and in Europe such as Berlin’s Wissenschaftkolleg (2009), NYU’s Strauss Center for Advanced Studies in Law and Justice (2012) and the European University Institute in Florence (Summer 2015).

Her work has been translated into German, Spanish, French, Italian, Turkish, Swedish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Hebrew, Polish, Japanese and Chinese and she has also edited and coedited 10 volumes on topics ranging from democracy and difference to the rights of migrant women and children; the communicative ethics controversy and Hannah Arendt. Her volume, Migrations and Mobilities: Gender, Borders and Citizenship (NYU Press, 2009), edited with Judith Resnik from the Yale Law School, has been named by Choice one of the outstanding academic books of the year.

Benhabib holds Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Utrecht (2004), Valencia (2010) and Bogazici University in Istanbul (2012).



  • Gleichheit und Differenz. Die Würde des Menschen und die Souveränitätsansprüche der Vőlker [Equality and Difference. Human Dignity and Popular Sovereignty], Mohr Siebeck, 2013.
  • The Democratic Disconnect. Citizenship and Accountability in the Transatlantic Era, Transatlantic  Academy Report (with David Cameron), Washington, DC, 2013.
  • Dignity in Adversity. Human Rights in Troubled Times, Polity Press, 2011.
  • Another Cosmopolitanism: Hospitality, Sovereignty and Democratic Iterations, Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • The Rights of Others. Aliens, Citizens and Residents, 2004.
  • The Claims of Culture. Equality and Diversity in the Global Era, 2002.