Ian R MacMullen
Associate Professor of the Practice in Political Science

Ian MacMullen is a political theorist whose primary research and teaching interests lie in the politics of education and of religious and cultural pluralism.  He is the author of two books.  Civics Beyond Critics: Character Education in a Liberal Democracy (Oxford Political Theory series, Oxford University Press, 2015) explores the ways in which civic education in a liberal democracy could and should shape children’s values, beliefs, preferences, habits, identities, and sentiments.  Faith in Schools? Autonomy, Citizenship, and Religious Education in the Liberal State (Princeton University Press, 2007) articulates a vision of liberal government in a multireligious society through a consideration of the fundamental principles of public education policy.

MacMullen's current research includes two main projects.  One is an analysis of the concept of "post-truth" or "post-factual" politics (of the type that is often said to exist in the contemporary United States and United Kingdom): "What Is 'Post-factual' Politics?" is forthcoming in the Journal of Political Philosophy.  The other project explores the relational costs that are incurred when a law is enforced against people who do not, given their particular beliefs and values, have reason to endorse that law.

MacMullen currently serves as assistant vice provost for undergraduate education at Duke.  He is also a senior fellow of the Kenan Institute for Ethics, where he teaches the course "Citizenship, Patriotism, & Identity" in the first-year Focus program. 

MacMullen received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. He joined the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis in 2007, received tenure in 2015, accepted a visiting position at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy in 2016, and joined the Department of Political Science in 2019.

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