Mary A. Shiraef

Political Theory

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Mary A. Shiraef is a Ph.D. student in political theory and comparative politics. Her current ​work focuses on the ​intersections among hermeneutic philosophy, educational theory and contemporary political conflicts. She aims to address how dialogue and education around political conflicts can be structured in search of violence-free solutions and pursuit of a common good.​ She is completing ongoing field research in Greece, exploring both its internal and external crises. 

​Mary has a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of St Andrews where she wrote on the German philosopher ​Hans-Georg Gadamer and the potential use of Platonic dialogue and Aristotle’s concept of phronesis for thinking about modern democracy and cross-cultural politics. Following the completion of her B.A. in Political Science from Emory University, she taught History, Politics and Literature to Indian high school students at a boarding school near Bangalore called the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project which is designed to lift children born into the Dalits caste out of poverty. The school was recently featured in the Netflix docuseries called Daughters of Destiny.

Mary has studied Ancient Greek, and she can converse in Modern Greek as well as communicate in Thai. She has published two pieces on the French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville and another on the rise of the neo-fascist political party in Greece called Golden Dawn.

She is currently designing a comparative political theory project under the supervision of Fred Dallmayr and Catherine Zuckert on the concepts of “continuity” and “discontinuity” within political conflicts, with modern Greece as a philosophical case study.

When she is not reading about politics and philosophy, she is playing rec volleyball at Notre Dame, raising money for She’s the First, or thinking about updating one of her travel-study blogs (here’s one on Europeone on India and one on studying dangerous ideas).

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