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Elizabeth F. Cohen

Elizabeth F. Cohen

Contact Information:


310 Eggers Hall

Elizabeth F. Cohen

Professor, Political Science Department

Senior Research Associate, Campbell Public Affairs Institute

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., Yale University, 2003


Contemporary and modern political theory, history of political thought, immigration and citizenship

Research Grant Awards and Projects

    During AY 2020-21 Professor Cohen will be on leave at Princeton University working on a book about the metaphor of the “line-cutter” in policy arenas such as immigration and racial and gender equity policy. 

    Immigration in Our Time (for review by the Russell Sage Foundation Press): This is a book-length project on immigration reform, assessing the ways in which the U.S. might enfranchise the large number of undocumented immigrants despite deep political disagreements over their presence. It will focus on how policymakers have crafted bipartisan compromises on immigration in the past using a set of political principles based on the immigration probationary period.



    Illegal: How America’s Lawless Immigration Regime Threatens Us All (Basic Books, 2020)

    Citizenship with Cyril Ghosh (Polity, 2019)

    The Political Value of Time  (Cambridge University Press, 2018)

    Semi-Citizenship in Democratic Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

    Recent op-ed writing

     "Why Trump's immigration policies will increase undocumented immigration." Politico, March 1st, 2017

    Our Immigration Policy.” Sunday Dialogue in The Opinion PagesNew York Times, Sunday, March 22, 2015. 

    "Should Illegal Immigrants Become Citizens? Let's Ask the Founding Fathers." Op-ed in The Washington Post, Sunday, February 2, 2013.

    Excerpted and referenced in, Charles Blow, "Border Surge Meets Bluster Surge."  New York Times, June 21, 2013.


    "The Political Economy of Immigrant Time: Rights, Citizenship and Temporariness in the post-1965 Era." Polity, July 2015.

    "Dilemmas of Representation, Citizenship, and Semi-citizenship" St. Louis University Law Journal, Volume 58, Summer 2014

    "Citizenship, Immigration, and the Law of Time in the United States." Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy . Spring 2013.

    "Effects of Immigration Federalism on the Rights of Non-Citizens in the United States." With Jennifer Kinney. Multilevel Citizenship. Ed. Willem Maas. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA, 2013.

    "Rethinking Immigration Reform: The Political Currency of Time in Immigration.Perspectives on Politics: September 2011

    "Jus Temporis in Magna Carta: the Sovereignty of Time in Modern Citizenship and Politics." PS: Political Science and Politics, July 2010.

    "Limitations on Universality: The Right to Health, Statelessness, and Legal Nationality" with Lindsey Kingston and Christopher Morley.  International Health and Human Rights 10:11 2010. 

    "Children, ADHD, and Citizenship" with Christopher Morley. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 34(2) 2009, 155-180.

    "Carved from the Inside Out: Public Philosophies of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States" in Debating Immigration. Carol Swain, Ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

    "Social Philosophy of the Family" in Debates in Social Philosophy. Laurence Thomas, Ed. (Oxford: Blackwell Press, 2007).

    "Neither Seen Nor Heard: Children's Citizenship in Democratic Polities." Citizenship Studies, May 2005.

    "Immigrant Incorporation and Intermediary Institutions" with Kristi Andersen in The Politics of Democratic Inclusion, Eds. Christina Wolbrecht and Rodney E. Hero, with Peri E. Arnold and Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005)