Roxanne L. Euben is an associate professor of political science at Wellesley College. Her teaching and research focus on the intersection of Western and non-Western political theory—a newly emerging field called comparative political theory—with a specific focus on Islamic and EuroAmerican political thought. She has lectured extensively on Islamic fundamentalism and Muslim political thought since September 11, 2001. Euben is the author of Enemy in the Mirror: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Limits of Modern Rationalism (Princeton University Press, 1999) and several publications on comparative political theory, including “Jihad and Political Violence” (Current History, November 2002) and “A Counternarrative of Shared Ambivalence: Some Muslim and Western Perspectives on Science and Reason” (Common Knowledge, 2003).
At the Radcliffe Institute, Euben will work on a book that analyzes how Muslim and Western political thinkers and travelers past and present have used comparisons with a panoply of peoples, practices, and cultures to reflect upon and reach conclusions about human nature, gender, citizenship, and the wisdom required to rule justly. In contrast to recent arguments about the fundamental antagonism between Islam and the West, such journeys demonstrate that both “West” and “East” are characterized by curiosity about what is strange, the capacity for critical distance, and the practice of philosophical reflection central to political theory.
Euben received her BA from Wesleyan University in 1988 and her doctorate in politics and Near Eastern studies from Princeton University in 1995. She has previously been awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, as well as prizes for excellence in teaching.