MacArthur Fellows Program

Judith N. Shklar

Political Philosophy | Class of March 1984

Political Philosophy
Cambridge, Massachusetts
56 at time of award
September 16, 1992
Area of Focus
Philosophy, Political Science
Published March 1, 1984

Judith Shklar was a critic and historian of social and political theory.

Her work examined the ways people have thought about their political experiences and how they have perceived the political changes that have occurred during their lives.  To understand the explanations and judgments that European and American political figures and philosophers have offered in the past, Shklar placed them in their intellectual milieu.  Her books include After Utopia (1957), Legalism (1964), Men and Citizens (1969), Freedom and Independence (1976), Ordinary Vices (1984), The Faces of Injustice (1989), and American Citizenship: The Quest for Inclusion (1991).  Two additional collections of her essays, Redeeming American Political Thought (1998) and Political Thought and Political Thinkers (1998), were published posthumously.

Shklar was the John Cowles Professor of Government at Harvard University and served 35 years.  She was the Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at the University of Cambridge (1983), a fellow of King’s College, the University of Cambridge (1983), and a Carlyle Lecturer and visiting fellow at All Souls College, the University of Oxford (1983, 1986).  She was the first female to be elected president of the American Political Science Association (1990).

Shklar received a B.A. (1949) and an M.A. (1950) from McGill University, and a Ph.D. (1955) from Harvard University.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Select News Coverage of Judith N. Shklar
June 23, 2019
“How Great a Scholar Was Judith Shklar?”
The National Interest
Judith N. Shklar , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
September 19, 1992
"Obituary: Judith N. Shklar, 63, Professor at Harvard"
The New York Times
Judith N. Shklar , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
September 18, 1992
"Judith Shklar, Professor And Noted Theorist, Dies"
The Harvard Crimson
Judith N. Shklar , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
November 18, 1984
“The Cardinal Sins of Everyday Life”
Washington Post
Judith N. Shklar , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
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