Ashwini Vasanthakumar is Queen’s National Scholar in Legal and Political Philosophy at Queen’s Law School and a researcher at the Institute for Futures Studies in Stockholm. She holds an A.B from Harvard; an M.A from the University of Toronto; a J.D from Yale Law School; and a DPhil from Oxford, where she studied as a Canadian Rhodes Scholar. She comes to Queen’s from the School of Law, King’s College London.

Her current research examines political authority and membership in the context of migration, focusing in particular on the relationship between migrants and the political communities they have left. Her monograph, The Ethics of Exile: a political theory of diaspora, is under contract with Oxford University Press. Related research explores the boundary problem in democratic theory, privatisation, and victims’ and bystanders’ duties in the context of oppression. She also has research interests in comparative constitutionalism, especially in the ‘global South,’ and in global governance and non-state actors.

Research foci

Analytic political and legal theory, especially:

  • Political obligation and authority
  • Migration and transnationalism
  • The boundary problem in democratic theory
  • Ethics of resistance

Representative publications

For a full list of publications, please see Professor Vasanthakumar's CV.

  • ‘Privatising border control,’ Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (2018) [Oxford Academic]
  • ‘Epistemic Privilege and Victims’ Duties to Resist their Oppression,’ Journal of Applied Philosophy (2016) [JAPP]
    • reviewed in Eric Miller, It gets worse before it gets better: victims’ duties to resist injustice, Jotwell [Jotwell]
    • interview with David Edmonds, ‘Do victims have obligations too?’ Philosophy247 podcast [Philosophy247]
  • ‘Exile Political Representation,’ Journal of Political Philosophy (2016) [JOPP]