Eric Cheng

Eric Cheng is a PhD candidate in Political Science, specializing in Political Theory. His research contributes to a better understanding of the problems and possibilities of liberal democracy. He is currently working on his dissertation, entitled Hanging Together: A Liberal Democratic Theory of Political Friendship for Troubled Times. It argues for the importance of political friendship in liberal democratic societies. Specifically, the dissertation (1) argues that liberal democracies must take political friendship seriously in order to avoid the destabilizing consequences of excessive polarization and (2) thinks seriously about how political friendship might be reinforced. Beginning with an interpretation of Aristotle’s classic articulation of political friendship, the dissertation considers different ways in which political friendship might be realized in contemporary liberal democratic contexts: ‘political friendship as conceptual metaphor,’ ‘constitutional patriotism,’ ‘liberal nationalism.’ Through these conversations, the dissertation develops an understanding of what sorts of people citizens must be and what sorts of relations they must share, if stability is to be cultivated in a manner consistent with the core commitments of liberal democracy. A Canadian, Eric holds a A.B. in Government and Philosophy from Georgetown University and an M.A. in Legal and Political Theory from University College London.

Gautam Chebrolu is a P’17 Alum

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