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Maxwell School

Elizabeth F. Cohen

Associate Professor, Political Science


Contact Information

310 Eggers Hall
(315) 443-5870
Curriculum Vitae
Elizabeth Cohen CV

Senior Research Associate, Campbell Public Affairs Institute


Ph.D., Yale University, 2003


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


The Political Construction of Identity
Contemporary Normative Political Philosophy
The Politics of Citizenship
Civil Society and Democracy



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

Recent op-ed writing:

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)


Research Interests

Contemporary and Modern Political Theory
History of Political Thought

Research Projects

Jus Temporis and the Sovereignty of Time in Citizenship

This project develops and illustrates the theory that the variables of date and time – what I call jus temporis – serve a role equal to that of place and lineage in the assignment of citizenship. Much like sovereign physical boundaries, boundaries in time clearly delineate the people for whom a polity is responsible and in exactly what capacity. The establishment of pivotal dates and durations of time reflects a set of beliefs and commitments about what time represents for political life and for the normative underpinnings of a political community. I make a three-pronged argument:

1. Specific dates carve out sovereign boundaries between members and non-members.
2. Measured durations of time are an important means with which polities can represent intangible qualities or relationships such as allegiance.
3. Once the qualitative traits of a citizen have been expressed in the tangible quantitative terms of measured time, these durations of time can be exchanged for rights and recognized political status. This can occur wholesale, in the grant of full citizenship, or partially, through the progressive granting of rights to people over specific periods of time.

SU Affiliations

State University of New York Upstate Medical University Department of Family Medicine

Campbell Public Affairs Institute

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