Yiftah Elazar

Yiftah new 2019
Doctor, Department of Political Science
Room 4316, Social Science


I am a lecturer (assistant professor) in the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I studied for a BA in philosophy and in the Amirim Honors Program in the Humanities and for an MA in political science, both at the Hebrew University, before completing a PhD in politics at Princeton University, with Philip Pettit as my primary advisor. I was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University.

My research is in political theory and the history of political thought. Most of my work thus far has been about political ideas in the Enlightenment period and how they might enrich contemporary conversations about politics. I have a particular interest in republicanism, broadly understood as the tradition of thinking about the norms and institutions of the political community that belongs to its citizens. I have worked and am working on topics such as republican ideals of freedom and the critical response to them; the appropriation and distortion of republican ideas by nationalists; the challenge posed to republicanism by the Scottish Enlightenment; and the way in which feminism has developed and enriched the radical strand of the republican tradition.

My research has appeared or is forthcoming in Citizenship Studies, History of Political Thought, Intellectual History Review, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Journal of the History of Ideas, Journal of Political Ideologies, Modern Intellectual History, and The Review of Politics (see my personal site for a full list). I co-edited (with Geneviève Rousselière) a volume entitled Republicanism and the Future of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2019), which offers new perspectives from leading scholars on how republicanism can help transform democratic theory and respond to some of its most pressing challenges. My book manuscript, The Revolution of Liberty: Richard Price and the Idea of Freedom as Self-government, is a study of the popular republican account of liberty developed by the philosopher Richard Price and its significance in the Age of Revolutions and in our own time. 

I teach classes on topics such as the democratic idea, the birth of feminism, the concept of freedom, and capitalism and morality. I supervise MA and PhD dissertations on a variety of topics in the history of political thought and in contemporary political theory. I am also the director of our MA program in political theory. If you have in interest in studying or researching these topics, please feel free to consult