Compares and evaluates alternative ideas of justice, legitimacy, and the common good as they apply to the institutions and conduct of domestic and global life.

Political theory involves the study of the history of political thought as well as problems in contemporary political life that have a philosophical dimension. 

The Princeton political theory faculty, one of the largest in the U.S., has depth in both aspects of the subject. Areas of particular interest among our political theorists are democratic theory, global political theory, ethics in public policy, ancient political thought, and 19th- and 20-century American, British and continental political thought.

Political theory at Princeton is interdisciplinary, with many faculty and student theorists also involved in philosophy, classics, religion, history, the Program in Political Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values. Several politics faculty members enjoy affiliate status in these units. Many faculty from other academic units with strong profiles in political theory enjoy the same status in politics. Our theorists also work closely with colleagues in the empirical subfields of the politics department.