Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Alexander Gourevitch

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Biography

Prior to joining Brown University, Alex Gourevitch was a professor of political science at McMaster University, a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Brown’s Political Theory Project, and a Harvard College Fellow. He writes on a number of issues in the history of political thought and on normative political economy. His book, From Slavery to the Cooperative Commonwealth: Labor and Republican Liberty in the Nineteenth Century was recently published by Cambridge University Press, and he is currently working on a book on the political ethics of the strike. He regularly writes for magazines like Jacobin, Dissent, and Salon and is the co-editor of a contemporary politics blog The Current Moment (www.thecurrentmoment.wordpress.com).

Research

My research has an historical and a normative dimension. My normative work focuses on issues like the meaning of economic freedom, rights to resist injustice, and competing conceptions of liberty. Part of this work included a new book on the political ethics of the strike. I write about the history of political and economic thought, focusing on areas like the history of theories of freedom and slavery, the development of modern political economy, and the emergence of distinct political traditions like republicanism, liberalism and Marxism. My first book, From Slavery to the Cooperative Commonwealth: Labor and Republican Liberty in the Nineteenth Century (CUP, 2015), showed how the critique of slavery developed into a critique of wage-labor and an argument for a society based on producer cooperatives. I am also working on a book reinterpreting key thinkers in the history of political economy, like Smith, Paine, Mill, Marx, Weber and Hayek.  

Publications

“Quitting Work But Not The Job: Liberty and the Right to Strike” Perspectives on Politics (forthcoming)

“Police Work: The Centrality of Labor Repression in American Political History,” (Review Essay) Perspectives on Politics, September 2015, 13:3, 762-773

“Liberty and Its Economies,” Politics, Philosophy & Economics (forthcoming 2015, published online 2014).

“Welcome to the Dark Side: A Classical Liberal Argument for Economic Democracy,” Critical Review, 2014, 26:3-4, 1-16.

“Labor Republicanism and the Transformation of Work,” Political Theory, 2013, 41:4, 591-617. 

Teaching

Disobedience and Resistance (Graduate Seminar)

Theory and Methods of Political Theory (Graduate Seminar)

Classics of Political Economy (Undergraduate Lecture)