Research

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

3. Rochelle DuFord, “Must a World Government Violate the Right to Exit?” Ethics & Global Politics (Forthcoming)

Abstract: This paper offers a response to the common claim that a world government is undesirable because one would not be able to leave its territory. This claim nearly always appears as an adjunct to the possibility that world government would be irredeemably bad. I separate out two implications of the impossibility of exit: first that world government is unable to respect human rights and second that regardless of its status as rights-respecting it is, all things considered, better to be able to leave a territory if one wishes to do so. As a response, I develop a concept of exit rights: showing that respect for exit rights is not necessarily undermined by the presence of a world government, and that a world government is able to provide for the substance of the right or the interests that it secures. After this, I argue that the normative force of the claim that one ought to be able to exit the territory of a bad government lies in a false asymmetry between territorial states in the states system and a world government. For individuals who live under an illegitimate government, it makes practically no difference whether there exists some other legitimate government if they are unable to move to or live in its territory—the situation of the vast majority of individuals already living under ‘very bad’ regimes. The conclusion being that an illegitimate world government is not worse than an illegitimate territorial state with regard to the ability to exit.

2. Rochelle DuFord, “Daughters of the Enlightenment: Reconstructing Adorno on Gender and Feminist Praxis” Hypatia (Forthcoming)

Abstract: This paper offers a reconstruction of Adorno’s work as it concerns sex/gender and feminist praxis. While the prevailing interpretation of Adorno’s work conceptualizes its relationship to women as one of either exclusion or essentialism, I argue that both Juliette from the Dialectic of Enlightenment, as well as a number of Adorno’s aphorisms in Minima Moralia, present complex feminist claims and commitments. Horkheimer and Adorno position Juliette as a subject of the Enlightenment, forestalling the possibility that women qua woman are potentially utopian figures. I utilize Adorno’s work in Minima Moralia to show that he—far from excluding or essentializing women—was interested in metaphorically capturing the subjective conditions developed by a system of binary sex/gender within a heteropatriarchal society. Indeed, one can find an iteration of queer theoretical commitments in Minima Moralia. Adorno presents a set of aphorisms which argue metaphorically that neither sex nor gender are natural. As a result, I argue that he displays a number of straightforwardly feminist commitments: that a liberated society requires the disambiguation of sex from gender,  affirming the non-naturalness of our social sex/gender regime, and claiming that all subjects as gendered subjects are damaged by living within a heteropatriarchal society. Lastly, I provide preliminary evidence of Adorno’s critique of (neo)liberal feminist praxis.

1. Rochelle DuFord, “An Expanded Conception of Sentimental Value,” The Journal of Value Inquiry, 2016 (Online First)<http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10790-016-9550-0>

Abstract:  Although most humans have experiences of sentimental value as part of their lives, value theoretic accounts of it are nearly absent from the literature. Only two such accounts can be found. While both accounts differ as to what the theoretical categorization of such value is, they agree that sentimentally valuable objects: 1) relate us to ourselves in the past through memory, 2) the attachment individuals have to these objects is of an emotional sort, 3) when we encounter these objects they are the proximate cause of emotions in the present based on their connection to a past event of importance to us. I dispute the claim that objects of sentimental value must be related to ourselves or to some important event in the past to which we have a personal connection. I argue that there is an impersonal sense in which objects can be sentimentally valuable. From this impersonal sense in which objects may be sentimentally valuable, I claim that the understandings of this sort of value as either solely instrumentally valuable or as conditionally valuable (conditional upon our choosing it) are not adequate to capture sentimental value. Impersonal sentimental value troubles both previous definitions of sentimental value as well as their value theoretic classification. Impersonal sentimental value also suggests that it is possible for objects to make moral claims on individuals apart from the object’s effects on any person’s wellbeing (i.e. that objects may be candidates for having moral standing).

Dissertation Research

My dissertation “Considering Global Government: Legitimacy, Human Rights, and Global Democracy” focuses on global government in the context of international political duties.

Dissertation Abstract:

Globalization has given rise to an interest in the development and normative assessment of international, or global, political institutions. Often, this literature focuses on three particular debates: 1) the site and scope of global justice as it relates to international institutional design, 2) whether and how we should democratize already existing global governance institutions, and 3) the confluence of criticism and support for the development of a global state. Discussions of the development of a global state are often situated in the first two kinds of debates, concerning either global justice or global democracy. However, the debate concerning a global state is situated firmly in the assumption that the world currently is, and perhaps always will be, organized by principles of Westphalian sovereignty. This project develops and defends a theory of global government that subverts the paradigm of preserving external sovereignty in order to focus on assessing and developing centralized global institutions liable to claims concerning legitimacy. In fact, showing that a global government is capable of protecting human rights, providing a source of legitimacy for international law, and facilitating popular sovereignty via global democratic mechanisms.

I first argue that government is an independent political entity from statehood—developing the possibility of a global government without a global state. Then I argue that a global government would be capable of respecting and promoting human rights. Further, I claim that with the development of a global constitution and centralized structures for building democratic solidarity, a global government can meet the challenges to global democracy posed by both capitalist economic power and distance. The overall argument of the dissertation defends the availability, and desirability, of global government as an option for the organization of global political institutions, the protection of human rights, the legitimacy of international law, and the implementation of global democracy. As such, it intervenes in a number of normative discourses concerning the structure and desirability of global political institutions.

Abstracts for Conference Presentations:

The Priority of the Political in the Global Order: Reconsidering Global Justice (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Society Meeting, March 2017)

What is Critical about Political Solidarity? (Critical Theory Round Table, 2016)

I’m With Her: Solidarity as the Basis of a Feminist Theory of Global Democracy (International Social Philosophy Conference, July 2016)

The Need for a Concept of Government (Philosopher’s Cocoon Philosophy Conference, 2015 and Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, Binghamton University, 2014)

Tyranny, Illegitimacy and Global Government (Critical Theory Round Table, 2014)

Loyal to Whom? A Critique of Liberal Statism and Liberal Cosmopolitanism (Midwest Political Science Association Conference, 2014)

The Amoral Status of Humane and Humanitarian Law (International Social Philosophy Conference, 2013) 

Talking about the Devil: Adorno, Women, and Feminist Practice (Society for Women in Philosophy Eastern Conference, 2013)

Saintly Supererogation and Structural Injustice (International Social Philosophy Conference, 2012)

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