Department of Political Science

Michael J. Thompson

Office: Raubinger 437
Phone: 973-720-3874
Office Hours: Spring 2019: Monday 11-12; Tuesday 5-6

Department: Political Science
Position: Professor

Area Specialization
political philosophy, social theory, critical theory, Marxism, republican political theory, German Idealism, moral philosophy, ethics,

ThompsonMichael J. Thompson is Professor of Political Science at William Paterson University where he offers classes in political theory, political philosophy, political sociology, political psychology, and the history of political thought. He received his B.A. in Languages and Literature from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in Political Science at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His areas of research are in political and social theory, moral philosophy, political psychology, Critical Theory, German Idealism, Classical political thought, and Western Marxism.

His areas of focus are in theories of justice, critical theory, Marxism, German Idealism, moral philosophy and the history of political thought. He is also the Founder and Executive Editor of Logos: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture (

Spring 2019 Courses:

  • Modern Political Theory (undergraduate)
  • Politics of the Welfare State (Graduate) 

Recent Course Offerings:

  • Political Psychology
  • Theories of Justice
  • Critical Theory
  • Ancient and Medieval Political Philosophy
  • Modern Political Theory
  • Hegel
  • Power, Justice, and Freedom

Recent Media Appearances
Watch my recent appearance on Rising Up with Sonali discussing the relation between science and democracy: Click Here
I was recently interviewed on Pacifica Radio on the purposes of radical sociology. You can listen to the program here

Recent Publications (selected):


  • Constructing Post-Liberal Man: Republicanism and the Reinvention of Radicalism (in progress)
  • Twilight of the Self: The Eclipse of Autonomy in Modern Society (Stanford University Press, forthcoming)
  • The Specter of Babel: Political Judgment and the Crisis of Modernity (SUNY Press, forthcoming, 2019)
  • An Inheritance for Our Times: The Principles and Politics of Democratic Socialism co-edited with Greg Zucker (OR Books, forthcoming, 2019)
  • Georg Lukács and the Possibilities of Critical Social Ontology. (Brill, forthcoming, 2019)
  • Anti-Science and the Assault on Democracy: Defending Reason in a Free Society co-edited with Greg Zucker (Prometheus Books, 2018)
  • Hegel's Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Politics ed. (Routledge, 2018)
  • The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Theory ed. (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017)
  • The Domestication of Critical Theory (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016)
  • Radical Intellectuals and the Subversion of Progressive Politics: The Betrayal of Politics co-edited with Greg Zucker (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
  • Constructing Marxist Ethics: Critique, Normativity, Praxis ed. (Brill, 2015)
  • The Politics of Inequality: A Political History of the Idea of Economic Inequality in America (Columbia University Press, 2007)
  • Georg Lukács Reconsidered: Essays in Politics, Philosophy, and Aesthetics, ed. (Continuum, 2011)
  • Rational Radicalism and Political Theory: Essays in Honor of Stephen Eric Bronner, ed. (Lexington Books, 2010)
  • Fleeing the City: Studies in the Culture and Politics of Antiurbanism, ed. (Palgrave, 2009)
  • Confronting the New Conservatism: The Rise of the Right in America, ed. (NYU Press, 2007)
  • Islam and the West: Critical Perspectives on Modernity, ed. (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003)

Essays in Edited Volumes (selected):

Recent Peer-Reviewed Papers (selected)

Recent Reviews and Short Articles (selected):

  • Review: "Critical Theory in Critical Times, edited by Penelope Deutscher and Cristina Lafont," Contemporary Political Theory (2018)
  • Review: "Negativity and Democracy by Vasilis Grollios," Socialism and Democracy (2018)
  • Review: “The Trouble with Democracy: Political Modernity in the 21st Century by Gerard Rosich and Peter Wagner and The Rise of Democracy: Revolution, War and Transformations in International Politics since 1776 by Christopher Hobson.”Perspectives on Politics vol. 15, no. 4 (2017): 1132-1134.
  • Review: “The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics, by Sean Wilentz.” The Historian, vol. 79, no. 4 (2017): 875-877
  • Review: “America’s Founding and the Struggle over Economic Inequality, by Clement Fatovic.” Journal of American History vol. 103, no. 3 (2016): 748
  • Review: “The Robust Demands of the Good: Ethics with Attachment, Virtue, and Respect, by Philip Pettit.” The Philosophical Forum vol. 47, no. 1 (2016): 117-121
  • Review: "Liberty and Property, by Ellen Meiksins Wood," Perspectives on Politics (2015)
  • Review: “The Time of the City: Politics, Philosophy, and Genre by Michael J. Shapiro,” Perspectives on Politics, vol. 9, no. 2 (2011): 434-435
  • “Democracy, Public Reason, and Suburban Life,” Mudot: Magazine for Urban Documentation, Opinion, and Theory (summer 2009) 
  • Review: “The Theory of Social Democracy by Thomas Meyer” Democratiya (spring, 2009) 
  • Review: “Bonds of Affection: Civic Charity and the Making of America -- Winthrop, Jefferson,and Lincoln by Matthew S. Holland,” Perspectives on Politics, vol. 6, no. 3 (2008) 
  • “Islam and the Problem of Modernity,” in Islam: Portability and Exportability, Samy Swayd (ed.) UCLA Near Eastern Studies Paper Series (2007) 
  • “The Suburban Assault on Democratic Life,” The Urban Reinventors (fall, 2007) 
  • “What is Antiurbanism?” Monu: International Magazine on Urbanism (fall, 2007) 
  • Review: “Democracy and America’s War on Terror, by Richard Ivie and In the Name ofTerrorism: Presidents on Political Violence in the Post-World War II Era, by Carol Winker,” Perspectives on Politics. vol. 4, no. 3 (2006) “A Rejoinder to Alex Schafran” in Monu: International Magazine on Urbanism, (summer, 2006)
  • “What’s the Matter with Capitalism?” Logos: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture (winter 2006) 
  • Review: “A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey” Democratiya (winter, 2006)                    
  • “How Suburbs Destroy Democracy,” Monu: International Magazine on Urbanism (winter, 2006)
  • Review: “Foucault and the Iranian Revolution by Janet Afary and Kevin B. Anderson,” Democratiya (fall, 2005)