Anna Stilz is Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and the University Center for Human Values.  Her research focuses on questions of political membership, authority and political obligation, nationalism and self-determination, rights to land and territory, and collective agency.  She also has a strong interest in modern political thought (especially natural law theory, Rousseau, and Kant).  Her first book, Liberal Loyalty: Freedom, Obligation, and the State (PUP 2009), dealt with questions about the moral importance of political citizenship and state authority. Her second book, Territorial Sovereignty: A Philosophical Exploration was published by Oxford University Press in 2019. This book asks whether there is any compelling moral justification for organizing our world as a territorial states-system.  It argues that three core values—occupancy, basic justice, and collective self-determination—justify such a system.  It also proposes important changes to states’ sovereign prerogatives, particularly with respect to internal autonomy for political minorities, immigration, and natural resources. 

Stilz is Editor-in-Chief of Philosophy and Public Affairs and a co-editor for Social and Political Philosophy at the Stanford Encyclopedia for Philosophy.  She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2005, and a B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1999.

Selected Publications

Territorial Sovereignty: A Philosophical Exploration (Oxford University Press, 2019).

“Settlement, Expulsion, and Return,” Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, vol. 16, no. 4, (2017).

“On the Value of Self-Determination,” Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, vol. 2 (2016).

“Decolonization and Self-Determination,” Social Philosophy and Policy, vol. 32, no. 1, (2015).


“Occupancy Rights and the Wrong of Removal,” Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 41, no. 4, (2013).