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Dr. Avigail Eisenberg

Professor, University of Victoria

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Avigail Eisenberg is Professor of Political Science at the University of Victoria. She received her PhD from Queen’s University and taught Political Science at University of British Columbia before moving to Victoria in 2000.  She has held research fellowships at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, the University of Edinburgh, the Université de Montréal, and the University of Pompeu Fabre. She has been Visiting Professor at Hebrew University and at the University of Cagliari.

Eisenberg’s research focuses on groups and democracy. She also studies and teaches in the area of constitutionalism with a focus on ethnic minorities, Indigenous peoples and national minorities in Canada. Her PhD traced the development of 20th-Century theories of political pluralism and their relevance to contemporary debates about diversity. It was published as Reconstructing Political Pluralism. In the last 5 years, she has examined some of the broader theoretical challenges to the status of minorities in legal and political decision-making, especially in conflicts between minorities and majorities. She has published Reasons of Identity and put together numerous conferences and workshops about minority politics which have resulted in several collections of research papers: Minorities within Minorities (with Jeff Spinner-Halev), Diversity and Equality, and Sexual Justice/Cultural Justice (Barbara Arneil, Monique Deveaux and Rita Dhamoon), Identity Politics in the Public Realm, (with Will Kymlicka), and Recognition and Self-determination (with Jeremy Webber, Glen Coulthard and Andree Boiselle).

Eisenberg co-founded the Victoria Colloquium on Legal and Political Thought, and the Consortium on Democratic Constitutionalism based in the University of Victoria. She has worked with the Canadian Policy and Research Network, and provided advice to the BC Premier’s Office, the BC Citizens Assembly on Democratic Reform, and the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.


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