Emma Saunders-Hastings

Emma Saunders-Hastings

Emma Saunders-Hastings

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science


2139 Derby Hall

Areas of Expertise

  • Political Theory


  • PhD, Department of Government, Harvard University
  • MPhil, International Relations, University of Cambridge

Emma Saunders-Hastings is a political theorist whose research focuses on political, economic, and social inequality, with particular attention to the role of private power. Her book manuscript (“Private Virtues, Public Vices: Governing Philanthropy”) develops a normative political theory of philanthropy. The manuscript links philanthropy to longstanding moral and political concerns about paternalism and unequal political influence. It also asks what kinds of public regulation of and responses to philanthropy are appropriate. An article based on this work (“Plutocratic Philanthropy,” 2018) was recently published in the Journal of Politics. She has also written about philanthropy for a general audience in the Boston Review and at histphil.org. Her broader research and teaching interests include normative political theory, democratic theory, modern and contemporary political thought, non-ideal and institutional theory, and feminist theories. Before coming to Ohio State, she was a Harper Fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Chicago and a postdoctoral scholar at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS). She holds a PhD from the Department of Government at Harvard University and an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.