Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America, Allen is the author of The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (2000), Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown vs. the Board of Education (2004), Why Plato Wrote (2010), Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (2014), Education and Equality (2016), and Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. (2017). She is the co-editor of the award-winning Education, Justice, and Democracy (2013, with Rob Reich) and From Voice to Influence: Understanding Citizenship in the Digital Age (2015, with Jennifer Light). She is a Chair of the Mellon Foundation Board, past Chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.


Allen is also the principal investigator for the Democratic Knowledge Project, a distributed research and action lab at Harvard University. The Democratic Knowledge Project seeks to identify, strengthen, and disseminate the bodies of knowledge, skills, and capacities that democratic citizens need in order to succeed at operating their democracy. The lab currently has three projects underway: the Declaration Resources Project, the Humanities and Liberal Arts Assessment Project (HULA), and the Youth and Participatory Politics Action and Reflection Frame.


For speaking engagements, contact:

Kathleen Nishimoto
WME IMG Speakers
+1 (212) 903-1376

Final Clubs

For the Harvard community:

From my statement on my withdrawal of my motion:

“The final clubs issue has raised questions of principle, of process, and of policy. For the Oct. 3 faculty meeting, I put a motion on the table that (1) affirmed the University’s authority over student behavior in student organizations; (2) borrowed a concept from the Massachusetts anti-hazing statute to affirm that the scope of that authority extends to student behavior in the student organizations known as final clubs; (3) borrowed that same concept also to articulate a limit to the University’s authority; and (4) reminded us that in deploying its authority the University balances competing rights and freedoms so as to fulfill its educational mission.


During the course of Faculty Council deliberations on Oct 25, I concluded that the view of process that I was trying to lay out was too technical and its interaction with the paradigm change I describe here too subtle to serve well as the basis for debate in our faculty meeting on Nov. 7th. Consequently, I have withdrawn my motion, and will instead simply support David Howell’s motion affirming, as a matter of principle, that the Faculty and the University have the responsibility of balancing competing rights and freedoms in such ways as best fulfill our educational mission.”


Full statement available here: http://tinyurl.com/statementonmotionwithdrawal.