Sarah Song

772 Barrows Hall
510 643-5637


Fall 2017
Fall 2015
Fall 2009
Sarah Song's picture


Research Interests: 
Political Philosophy
Legal Philosophy
American Political Thought
Feminist Theory
B.A., Harvard University
M.Phil., Oxford University
Ph.D., Yale University
Personal Statement: 

Sarah Song is a political theorist with a special interest in democratic theory and issues of citizenship, migration, culture, religion, gender, and race. She teaches courses in contemporary political philosophy, feminist theory, and the history of American political thought.

Her first book, Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism (Cambridge University Press, 2007), analyzes theories of group rights for religious and cultural minorities and their intersection with women's rights through a range of case studies in American law and politics. The book was awarded the 2008 Ralph Bunche Award by the American Political Science Association.

More recently she has written articles on the question of boundaries in democratic theory, the rights of noncitizens in liberal democratic societies, and the normative foundations of the modern state's right to control immigration. Her second book, Immigration and Democracy, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

Born in South Korea, Song immigrated to the U.S. when she was six and attended K-12 public schools in Missouri, Illinois, and New Hampshire. She received a B.A. from Harvard College, an M.Phil from Oxford, and a Ph.D. from Yale. Prior to coming to Berkeley, she was Assistant Professor of Political Science and Affiliated Faculty in Philosophy and Women's & Gender Studies at M.I.T. She has been awarded fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

She holds a joint appointment with the U.C. Berkeley School of Law and is currently serving as Director of the Kadish Center for Morality, Law, & Public Affairs, which together with the Political Science and Philosophy Departments sponsors a weekly workshop in moral, political, and legal theory.


Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Recipient of the 2008 Ralph Bunche Award, given by APSA for the "best scholarly work in political science which explores the phenomenon of ethnic and cultural pluralism"

  • "Political Theories of Migration," Annual Review of Political Science (forthcoming)
  • "After Obergefell: On Marriage and Belonging in Carson McCullers's Member of the Wedding," in Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places, eds. Marianne Constable, Leti Volpp, and Bryan Wagner (Fordham University Press, forthcoming)
  • "Immigration and National Identity," Review symposium on David Miller's Strangers in Our Midst, European Political Science (2017)
  • "Why Does the State Have the Right to Control Immigration?" NOMOS LVII: Migration, Emigration, and Immigration, ed. Jack Knight (NYU Press, 2017)
  • "Immigration and Democratic Principles: On Carens's Ethics of Immigration," Journal of Applied Philosophy, vol. 33/4 (2016)
  • "The Significance of Territorial Presence and the Rights of Immigrants," in Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership, eds. Sarah Fine and Lea Ypi (Oxford University Press, 2016)
  • "The Liberal Tightrope: Brettschneider on Free Speech," Brooklyn Law Review, vol. 79, no. 3 (2014)
  • "Feminists Rethink Multiculturalism," Ashgate Companion to Feminist Legal Theory, eds. Margaret Davies and Vanessa Munro (Ashgate, 2013), 139-55
  • "The Boundary Problem in Democratic Theory: Why the Demos Should Be Bounded by the State," International Theory, vol. 4, no. 1 (2012)
  • "Rethinking Citizenship through Alienage and Birthright Privilege," Issues in Legal Scholarship, vol. 9, issue 1 (2011)
  • "Three Models of Civic Solidarity," Citizenship, Borders, and Human Needs, ed. Rogers M. Smith (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), 192-207
  • "Multiculturalism," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2010, substantive rev. 2016)
  • "Democracy and Noncitizen Voting Rights," Citizenship Studies, vol. 13, no. 6 (2009), 607-20
  • "What Does It Mean To Be an American?" Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, vol. 138, no. 2 (2009), 31-40
  • "The Subject of Multiculturalism: Culture, Religion, Ethnicity, Nationality, and Race?" New Waves in Political Philosophy, ed. Boudewijn de Bruin and Christopher Zurn (Palgrave MacMillan, 2008), 177-97
  • "Religious Freedom v. Sex Equality" (symposium on the work of Susan Moller Okin), Theory and Research in Education, vol. 4, no. 1 (2006), 23-40
  • "Majority Norms, Multiculturalism, and Gender Equality," American Political Science Review, vol. 99, no. 4 (2005), 473-89
  • "La defense par la culture en droit americain (The cultural defense in american law)," Critique internationale, vol. 28 (2005), 63-85

Law 210.2/PS 211/Philosophy 290-7 -  Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory (fall 2015):

LS 39F - Civil Disobedience (fall 2014, freshman & sophomore seminar and part of the On the Same Page Program on the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement)

PS 4 - Introduction to Political Theory: What is Justice? (spring 2013)

PS 191.3 - American Political Thought (spring 2012)

PS 215B - Topics in Contemporary Political Theory (spring 2011)



Philosophy Talk radio show on "Nations and Borders":

"Refugees Welcome?" Harvard Law and Policy Review Blog post: