Ines Valdez

Valdez Headshot
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

I am a political theorist interested in the problem of racial, gender, and religious difference within political theory. Questions that animate my research include: How is difference constructed politically? What are its effects on subjects? How do subjects act politically in response to these constructions?
I address this core concern through three projects. The first project is a 2019 book (Transnational Cosmopolitanism: Kant, Du Bois, and Justice as a Political Craft) that proposes a transnational cosmopolitanism built upon the post-First World War writings and political practice of W. E. B. Du Bois and offers a critical reading of Kant's and neo-Kantian cosmopolitanism.
A second book manuscript in progress examines the imperial origins of popular sovereignty. Building upon a variety of 19th century and early 20th century intellectuals, I argue that the racial/imperial politics of labor and labor mobility centrally shaped the contemporary meaning of sovereignty and self-determination. Based on this historical genealogy, I engage critically with contemporary theorizations self-determination, global justice, and migration.
The third project consists of articles that theorize race in relation to secularism, migration and policing, in ways indebted to the anthropology of Islam, Latina/o Political Thought, and Black Studies, respectively. Conceptually, this work engages critically Philip Pettit’s freedom as non-domination, Michel Foucault’s discipline and biopolitics, Walter Benjamin’s violence and the general strike, and Giorgio Agamben’s state of exception.
My research has been or is currently supported by the Humboldt Stiftung, the Princeton University Center for Human Values, and the Max Weber Programme.
At Ohio State I hold courtesy appointments from Comparative Studies; Germanic Languages & Literature; History (Power and the State Constellation); Spanish and Portuguese; and Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I am affiliated with the programs on International Studies, Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and Latina/o Studies, which I direct.