Dr. Karim Barakat

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School of Arts & Sciences – Social Sciences

I received my PhD in Philosophy from Duquesne University in May 2018. I specialize in political philosophy, especially the work of Hobbes and Foucault. I have already published on several topics in political philosophy including the extent to which Rawlsian liberalism is able to account for its normative basis and on the role governmentality plays in Foucault’s work.

My research develops a political account which begins with actual practices as opposed to an ideal conception of justice. I focus on the question of how we can justify and practically motivate democratic procedures, while exploring the interdisciplinary links between philosophy, politics, and history.

My current book project, On Hypothetical Contracts, introduces a critique of Rawlsian liberalism through emphasizing the need to rely on history to derive evaluative commitments. I also argue for a form of political skepticism that reduces antagonism in political disagreement, while not collapsing into conservatism. Moreover, my research interests also include contemporary Arab political thought, especially authors who have made use of history to offer contemporary critiques.


  1. Grounding Reasonableness in Rawls” forthcoming in Philosophy Today – September 2020
  2. Understanding Power Through Governmentality” forthcoming in The Late Foucault: Ethical and Political Questions edited by Marta Faustino and Gianfranco Ferraro - to be published by Bloomsbury press - December 2020