Jeffrey Green

Jeffrey Green

Professor and Director of Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy


Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, Room 338

Jeffrey Green is a political theorist with broad interests in democracy, ancient and modern political philosophy, and contemporary social theory. He is the author of three books: the forthcoming Bob Dylan: Prophet Without God (Oxford, July 2024); The Shadow of Unfairness: A Plebeian Theory of Liberal Democracy (Oxford, 2016), which was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title; and The Eyes of the People: Democracy in an Age of Spectatorship (Oxford, 2010), which was awarded the First Book Prize in political theory from the American Political Science Association and is the topic of the German-language edited volume, Okulare Demokratie (Transcript, 2017). He is also the co-editor of the recently published volume, The Changing Terrain of Religious Freedom (Penn, 2021). In 2013, he received Penn’s Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by an Assistant Professor and, in 2023, he received the Henry Teune Award for Excellence in Teaching from Penn’s Pi Sigma Alpha Society. Green holds a BA, summa cum laude, from Yale University, a JD from Yale Law School, and a PhD from Harvard. Since 2017, he is director of the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy.


Courses Taught
  • Key Questions in Political Theory
  • Ancient Political Thought
  • Contemporary Political Theory
  • Shakespeare and Political Theory
  • The Meaning of Democracy
  • Political Theory: Problems and Concepts
  • Thinking and Politics
  • Politics and Theatricality
Selected Publications


Bob Dylan: Prophet Without God, Oxford University Press, July 2024 (Buy this book from the publisher or from Amazon.) 

The Shadow of Unfairness: A Plebeian Theory of Liberal Democracy, Oxford University Press, 2016 (Buy this book from Amazon or the publisher.)

The Eyes of the People: Democracy in an Age of Spectatorship, Oxford University Press, 2010 (Buy this book from Amazon or the publisher.)

The Eyes of the People is also the topic of a German edited volume by Dominik Hammer and Marie-Christine Kajewski, Okulare Demokratie: Der Bürger als Zuschauer, Transcript Verlag, 2017 (Buy this book from Amazon or the publisher.)


Edited Volumes:

The Changing Terrain of Religious Freedom, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021 (with Heather Sharkey) (Buy this book from Amazon or the publisher)


Articles and Chapters:

“Ten Theses on Machiavelli,” Theoria, 70.174 (2023): 8-32.

“Self-Reliance Without Self-Satisfaction: Emerson, Thoreau, Dylan and the Problem of Inaction” Philosophy & Social Criticism 47.2 (2021): 196-224 [.pdf]

“The Landscape of Religious Freedom,” in The Changing Terrain of Religious Freedom, eds. Sharkey and Green  (2021) (with Heather Sharkey)

“Bob Dylan at the March on Washington: Prophet of the Bourgeoisie,” Rock Music Studies 6.2 (2019): 116-137 [.pdf]

Has Inequality Led to a Crisis for Liberalism?” Current History (November, 2017): 320-23 [.pdf]

Ocular Democracy Revisited,” Okulare Demokratie (Transcript Verlag, 2017)

Solace for the Frustrations of Silent Citizenship: The Case of Epicureanism, Citizenship Studies 19.5 (2015): 492-506 [.pdf]

Liberalism and the Problem of Plutocracy,” Constellations (2015) [.pdf]

Political Theory as Both Philosophy and History: A Defense Against Methodological Militancy,” Annual Review of Political Science 18 (2015): 425-441 [.pdf]

Reply to Critics, Democratic Theory 2.1 (2015): 85-99 [part of a symposium on my book (.pdf), The Eyes of the People, with contributions from two other authors]

Reply to Critics, Political Theory, 42.2 (2014): 188-217 [Part of a symposium on my book (.pdf), The Eyes of the People, with contributions from four other authors]

Rawls and the Forgotten Figure of the Most Advantaged: In Defense of Reasonable Envy Toward the Superrich, American Political Science Review 107.1 (2013): 123-138 [.pdf]

On the Co-Originality of Liberalism and Democracy: Rationalist vs. Paradoxicalist Perspectives, Law, Culture and the Humanities (2013) [.pdf]

Analyzing Legislative Performance: A Plebeian Perspective Democratization 20.3 (2013): 417-37 [.pdf]

On the Difference Between a Pupil and a Historian of Ideas, Journal of the Philosophy of History 6.1 (2012): 86-112 [.pdf]

Learning How Not To Be Good: A Plebeian Perspective, The Good Society 20.2 (2011): 184-202 [.pdf]

Three Theses on Schumpeter, Political Theory 38.2 (2010) [.pdf]

Max Weber and the Reinvention of Popular Power, Max Weber Studies, 8.2 (2008) [.pdf]
Two Meanings of Disenchantment: Sociological Condition vs. Philosophical Act—Reassessing Max Weber’s Thesis of the Disenchantment of the World, Philosophy & Theology 17.1-2 (2007) [.pdf]

The Shame of Being a Philosopher, Political Theory 33.2 (2005) [.pdf]

The Morality of Wonder: A Positive Interpretation of Socratic Ignorance, Polis: The Journal of  the Society for Greek Political Thought 21.1-2 (2004) [.pdf]

Apathy: The Democratic Disease, Philosophy & Social Criticism 30.5 (2004) [.pdf]


Other Publications:

On Plebeian Democracy,” The Philosophical Journal, 69.4 (2021), 831-838 (interview with Jan Biba in Czech journal) [read here]

Review of John Dunn, Breaking Democracy’s Spell (Yale University Press, 2014), Political Theory 46.1 (2018): 155-160 [.pdf]

Review of Martin Breaugh, The Plebeian Experience: A Discontinuous History of Political Freedom (Columbia University Press, 2013), Constellations 23.1 (2016): 138-140

“Trump for Tyrant: A Platonic Analysis of the Presidential Candidate,” Lapham’s Quarterly (November 16, 2015) (with Eric W. Orts and Peter T. Struck) [read here]

Two Ideas for a Skeptical Pedagogy,” University of Pennsylvania Almanac 61.24 (2015)

Figuring Out Democracy: A Reply to Urbinati,” European Political Science 14.2 (2015): 165-169

How My Visit to Fudan Helped Me Evolve My Idea of Candor,” Annual Report of Humanities and Social Sciences Research in Shanghai (2014)

Democratic Elitism, Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought, ed. Michael Gibbons (Blackwell, 2014)

The Plebeian Character, The Great Indian Dream, May 2012: 12-15.

Review of Julia Reinhard Lupton, Thinking With Shakespeare: Essays on Politics and Life (University of Chicago Press, 2011), Political Theory 40.2 (2012): 253-256. [.pdf]

The Ultimate in Reality TV: Flaws and All, Presidential Debates are a Healthy Part of the Job Interview, Zócalo Public Square (November, 2011):  [link]  (1500 words) 

Review of John Medearis, Joseph A. Schumpeter (Continuum, 2009), Perspectives on Politics 9.1 (2011): 167-168 [.pdf]

You’re Only A Voter on Election Day: Democracy Beyond the Vote, Penn Arts & Sciences Magazine (Fall/Winter 2010): 10-11

Political Participation, in Encyclopedia of Political Theory, ed. Mark Bevir (Sage, 2010), 1068-1073

Review of Peter Linebaugh, The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All (University of California Press, 2008), Insight Turkey 12.2 (2010): 274-276 [link]