Teaching and advising



Guidelines for writing papers


Undergraduate advising

I’m happy to advise honours theses in Political Science and Philosophy, though usually I only do so with students who have taken at least a 300-level course with me or who have been members of the Research Group on Constitutional Studies student fellowship.

I have become very skeptical over the years about independent reading courses as a use of everybody’s time, and I won’t agree to supervise them except in exceptional circumstances. I recommend taking regular coursework.


Graduate advising

I advise graduate research in broad areas of political theory and philosophy, public law, and constitutional studies, and provide supplementary (though not main) advising in some areas of comparative politics, chiefly ethnic conflict, nationalism, and federalism.  Within political theory I can’t serve as a main advisor for students working on Greek political thought or in some areas of critical theory. I’m willing and able to advise work in most areas in contemporary liberal, democratic, and normative theory; in medieval-or-later history of political thought; and in jurisprudential or legal theory. Students need not be working in my own areas of specialization for me to work with them, and I’m happy to learn as I go in order to be helpful. Of course, work within my areas of specialization is also welcome.

For reasons of procedural fairness, I don’t comment on prospective Ph.D. or M.A. applicants’ proposals, projects, chances of admission, etc., prior to the normal application process running its course. Please just apply, and I’ll be in touch after admission.



Letters of recommendation: For anything other than McGill’s undergraduate internal study abroad competitions, a single 200-level course is not sufficient for a letter of recommendation, no matter how well you did in it. For law school or graduate school recommendations, an A-minus or better grade in a 300-level course or above with me (or else time in the Research Group on Constitutional Studies student fellowship) is the minimum. I prefer initial conversations about letters of recommendation by e-mail.