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Sarah Song

Professor of Law, Political Science, and Philosophy
510 643-5637
Berkeley Law School
Upcoming/Future Courses
Fall 2021
Personal Statement

Sarah Song is a political theorist with a special interest in issues of democracy, citizenship, migration, multiculturalism, and inequality. She teaches courses in political and legal philosophy, citizenship and immigration law and policy, feminist theory and jurisprudence, and First Amendment law. Her full-time appointment is at Berkeley Law School where she teaches in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP) PhD Program and the undergraduate Legal Studies Program. She welcomes Political Science graduate students to cross-register for her courses at the law school and Political Science undergraduates to take her Theories of Justice course offered through the Legal Studies Program.

Her first book, Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism (Cambridge University Press, 2007), explores the challenges of religious and cultural diversity, focusing on tensions between multiculturalism and women's rights. The book was awarded the 2008 Ralph Bunche Award by the American Political Science Association. 

Her second book, Immigration and Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2018), examines the values and principles that shape and ought to shape public debate about immigration. 

Born in South Korea, Song immigrated to the US at the age of six and attended K-12 public schools in Missouri, Illinois, and New Hampshire. She received a BA from Harvard College, MPhil from Oxford, and PhD 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 MIT. She has been awarded fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

From 2015 to 2020, Song served as director of Berkeley Law's Kadish Center for Morality, Law, and Public Affairs, which together with the Political Science and Philosophy Departments sponsors a weekly Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory.

Personal Statement


Research Interests
Political Philosophy
Democratic Theory
Citizenship, Migration, and Multiculturalism
Feminist Theory and Jurisprudence
First Amendment Law
B.A., Harvard University
M.Phil., Oxford University
Ph.D., Yale University

Immigration and Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism (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")


  • "Justice, Collective Self-Determination, and the Ethics of Immigration Control," Journal of Applied Philosophy (symposium with Gillian Brock and Alex Sager) (forthcoming)
  • "Political Theories of Migration," Annual Review of Political Science 21 (2018)
  • "Immigration and National Identity," Symposium on David Miller's Strangers in Our Midst, European Political Science (2017)
  • "Why Does the State Have the Right to Control Immigration?" in 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 33, no. 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 79, no. 3 (2014)
  • "Feminists Rethink Multiculturalism," in The 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 4, no. 1 (2012)
  • "Rethinking Citizenship through Alienage and Birthright Privilege," Issues in Legal Scholarship 9, issue 1 (2011)
  • "Three Models of Civic Solidarity," in Citizenship, Borders, and Human Needs, ed. Rogers M. Smith (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), 192-207
  • "Multiculturalism," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2010, substantive revision 2016)
  • "Democracy and Noncitizen Voting Rights," Citizenship Studies 13, no. 6 (2009): 607-20
  • "What Does It Mean To Be an American?" Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 138, no. 2 (2009): 31-40
  • "The Subject of Multiculturalism: Culture, Religion, Ethnicity, Nationality, and Race?" in New Waves in Political Philosophy, eds. 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 4, no. 1 (2006): 23-40
  • "Majority Norms, Multiculturalism, and Gender Equality," American Political Science Review 99, no. 4 (2005): 473-89
  • "La defense par la culture en droit americain (The cultural defense in american law)," Critique internationale 28 (2005): 63-85

PS 211/Law 211.6 - Citizenship and Immigration (fall 2021)

Law 210.2/PS 211/Philosophy 290 -  Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory (fall 2019)

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: