Daniel Philpott

Daniel Philpott


Fields of Study: Political Theory, International Relations

Research and Teaching Interests: Religion and global politics; transitional justice; reconciliation; ethics and international relations

Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

2034 Jenkins Nanovic Halls




Daniel Philpott, Ph.D. Harvard, 1996, pursues scholarship in religion and global politics. His first book, Revolutions in Sovereignty: How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations (Princeton 2001) featured the role of religion in fashioning the modern system of sovereign states. He has written several other pieces on sovereignty and the justice of self-determination.

He published “Explaining the Political Ambivalence of Religion,” in the American Political Science Review in 2007, an argument that he then expanded in collaboration with Monica Duffy Toft and Timothy Samuel Shah in God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (Norton 2011), which documents a resurgence of religion in global politics over the past generation and seeks to explain why religious actors take on diverse political pursuits including democratization, peace, reconciliation, civil war, and terrorism. 

A major theme in Philpott’s work is reconciliation in global politics, which grew out of his activist work in faith-based reconciliation around the globe. Between 2000 and 2006, he traveled regularly to Kashmir as a senior associate of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy. He then helped leaders in the Catholic Church develop a vision of reconciliation in the Great Lakes region of Africa under the auspices of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network from 2009 to 2013. His book, Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation (Oxford 2012), derives from theological and philosophical roots an ethic of reconciliation that offers concrete guidelines to political orders facing pasts of authoritarianism, civil war, and genocide. He followed up this work with research in Uganda on the role of forgiveness in peacebuilding under the auspices of the Fetzer Institute. On reconciliation, he has also edited The Politics of Past Evil: Religion, Reconciliation, and Transitional Justice (Notre Dame 2006) and has co-edited with Jennifer Llewellyn Restorative Justice, Reconciliation and Peacebuilding (Oxford 2014). With Gerard F. Powers, he edited Strategies of Peace: Transforming Conflict in a Violent World (Oxford 2010). 

Religious freedom is also a major theme in Philpott’s work. He has completed a book manuscript, Religious Freedom in Islam? Intervening in a Culture War, which is now under review. He is co-director of the Under Caesar’s Sword project, which researches Christian responses to persecution around the globe and is funded by the Templeton Religion Trust. Since 2011, he has been an Associate Scholar of what is now the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington, D.C.

Philpott has also published several pieces on the role of the Catholic Church in global politics. With Ryan T. Anderson, he has edited A Liberalism Safe for Catholicism? Perspectives from the Review of Politics (Notre Dame, 2017).

Philpott has published articles in The American Political Science ReviewWorld PoliticsEthicsThe Journal of Religious Ethics, The Journal of Democracy, the National InterestAmericaFirst ThingsPolitical StudiesThe Journal of International AffairsThe Review of Faith and International AffairsSecurity Studies, and the Annual Review of Political Science. He has held fellowships at Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Virginia, the Erasmus Institute at Notre Dame, the Hertie School of Governance, and the Wissenschaftzentrum Berlin, with the latter two on a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.