Dr. Avigail Eisenberg

Dr. Avigail  Eisenberg
Political Science
Office: DTB A354

PhD (1991) (Queen's)

Area of expertise

Democratic theory, normative political theory, history of ideas (19th-20thC), pluralism, identity politics

Spring term 2023 office hours Mondays 1:30-2:30 by Zoom or by appointment

Featured publications:

Diversity and Equality Identity Politics in the Public Realm Painting the Maple Reasons of Identity Recognition versus Self-Determination Sexual Justice/Cultural Justice Reconstructing Pluralism

Avigail Eisenberg is a Professor in the Department of Political Science. She was Chair of the Department from 2013-18.

Amongst her publications are two monographs, eight edited or co-edited books and numerous research papers published in refereed journals and books. Her publications have been translated into French, Polish, Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin.

She has convened several conferences and workshops in Victoria, Montreal and Barcelona and hosted numerous academic visitors at UVIC as co-founder of the Victoria Colloquium on Legal and Political Thought, and the Consortium on Democratic Constitutionalism.

Professor Eisenberg has held visiting research fellowships at Cornell University, Hebrew University, University of Cagliari, University of Montreal, and University of Edinburgh. She has taught masterclasses on diversity and pluralism at Concordia University, Hebrew University and UVIC. She was awarded a visiting fellowship by the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy in 2003. She has been a Faculty Fellow at UVIC’s Centre for the Study in Religion and Society. In 2010, she received UVIC’s Faculty of Social Sciences Research Award.

  • Democratic theory
  • Normative political theory
  • History of ideas (19th-20th C)
  • Pluralism
  • Multiculturalism/Identity politics
Teaching 2022-23

Fall 2022:

  • POLI 305: Democracy and Diversity

Spring 2023:

Books (monographs and edited)

Chapters and Journal Articles (selected)

  • Religion as Identity, Law and Ethics of Human Rights 10:2 (2016), 295-317.
  • Group Pluralism versus Group Accommodation: A commentary on Jean Cohen Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy 44(3) 211-220.
  • The Political Assessment of Religious Authenticity. In Authenticity, Autonomy and Multiculturalism Geoff Levey (ed.) London: Routlege, pp. 145-62.
  • "Voting rights for non-citizens: Treasure or Fool’s Gold?," Journal of International Migration and Integration, 2014.
  • "How should public institutions assess religious identity?: The case of polygamy," Polygamy’s Rights and Wrongs, Gillian Calder and Lori Beaman (eds.), Vancouver: UBC Press, 2014: 46-68.
  • "Rights in the Age of Identity Politics," Osgoode Hall Law Journal 50 2013: 609-36.
  • "Indigenous Cultural Rights and Identity Politics in Canada," Review of Constitutional Studies 18:1 2013: 89-109.
  • "Identity Politics and the Risks of Essentialism," Liberal Multiculturalism and Fair Terms of Integration, Peter Balint and Sophie de la Tour (eds.) London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013: 159-76. 
  •  "À La Défense des Droit Culturels: Réponse à Jean LeClair," Recherches Amérindiennes au Québec XLI: 1 2012, pp. 111-15.
  • "Pluralism and Method at the Turn of the Century” Modern Pluralism: Anglo-American Debates since 1880, Mark Bevir ed., Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 60-80. 2012.
  • "La discriminación pública de la identidad religiosa: La criminalización de las prácticas poligámicas de los mormones en Canadá," HACIA UNA SOCIEDAD POST-SECUL: La gestión de la nueva diversidad religiosa, Francisco Colom González y Ana López Sala (eds.), Madrid: Fundación Jiménez Abad. 2012
  • "Domestic and International Norms for the Assessment of Indigenous Identity" in A. Eisenberg and W. Kymlicka eds., Identity Politics in the Public Realm. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, pp. 137-62. 2011
  • "Feminism and multiculturalism," The Ashgate Research Companion to Multiculturalism Duncan Ivison ed., London: Ashgate, pp. 119-40. 2010
  • "L’évaluation publique de l’identité autochtone," La Reconnaissance dans tous ses états Michel Seymour ed., Montreal: Québec Amérique, pp. 227-252. 2010
  • "The Public Assessment of Indigenous Identity’ Plural States of Recognition, Michel Seymour and Martin Blanchard eds., London: Palgrave/Macmillan. 2010
  • "Identity, multiculturalism, and religious arbitration: the debate over shari'a law in Canada," Sexual Justice/Cultural Justice, Barbara Arneil, Monique Deveaux, Rita Dhamoon and Avigail Eisenberg, eds. London: Routledge, 211-30. 2007.
  • "Equality, trust and multiculturalism' in Social Capital and Social Diversity," Fiona Kay and Richard Johnston eds. Vancouver: UBC Press, 67-94. 2007.
  • "Reasoning about the identity of Aboriginal people"' in Accommodating Cultural Diversity: Contemporary Issues in Theory and Practice, Stephen Tierney ed., London: Ashgate, pp. 79-97. 2007.
  • "Reasoning about identity: Canada's Distinctive Culture Test," in Diversity and Equality, Avigail Eisenberg ed., Vancouver: UBC Press, pp. 34-53. 2006
  • "New approaches to fundamental freedom in Canada" in Diversity and Equality, Avigail Eisenberg ed., Vancouver: UBC Press, pp. 1-14. 2006.
  • "Pluralism and the Politics of Diversity" in Pluralism: Developments in the Theory and Practice of Democracy, Rainer Eisfeld ed., World of Political Science Series, Germany: Barbara Burdich, 2006, 59-80. 2006.
  • "The Normative Dimensions of Equality" co-written with Colin Macleod; Dimensions of Inequality in Canada, David Green and Jon Kesselman eds., Vancouver: UBC Press, pp. 33-64. 2006
  • "Education and the Politics of Difference," Educational Philosophy and Theory, Special Issue on the Politics of Iris Marion Young, Jan 38(1): 7-23. 2006.
  • "Is Trust a Multicultural Concept?," Social Capital and Social Diversity, Fiona Kay and Richard Johnston eds., Vancouver: UBC Press. 2006
  • with Colin Macleod, "The Normative Dimensions of Equality," Dimensions of Inequality in Canada, David Green and Jon Kesselman eds., Vancouver: UBC Press, 2006.
  • "The Distinctive Culture Test," Human Rights Dialogue Special Issue on Cultural Rights, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, 12:2 (Spring) 26-7. 2005.
  • "The Limits of Liberal Multiculturalism: A Response to Patrick Loobyck," Ethnicities 5:1 (March 2005): 123-7.
  • with Jeff Spinner-Halev, "Introduction," Minorities with Minorities: Equality, Rights and Diversity, Avigail Eisenberg and Jeff Spinner-Halev eds. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press,pp. 1-18. 2005
  • "Identity and Liberal Politics: The Problem of Minorities within Minorities," Minorities with Minorities: Equality, Rights and Diversity, Avigail Eisenberg and Jeff Spinner-Halev ed. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, 249-270. 2005.
  • "Are Referendum on Minority Rights Every Justified?" Representation and Democratic Theory, David Laycock ed., Vancouver: UBC Press, pp. 3-22. 2004.
  • "Diversity and Equality: Three Approaches to Cultural and Sexual Difference," Journal of Political Philosophy 11; 1 (March 2003) 41-64.
  • "Context, Difference, Sex and Social Justice," Canadian Journal of Political Science 35:3 (September 2002) 613-28.
  • "Pluralism, Consociationalism, Group-Differentiated Citizenship and the Problem of Social Cohesion," in Chang Shiyin ed., Collected Works on Sino-Western Political Culture, Tianjin People's Press, Tianjin, pp. 235-62. (Published in Mandarin). 2002

Web Publications

  • 2016 - The Politics of Ethnic Fraud, In Due Course Download December 2016
  • 2014 - Choice or Identity? Dilemmas of Protecting Religious Freedom in Canada. Recode Working Paper Series No. 24 (Jan 2014), Augsburg Germany ISSN 2242-3559 1-15. Download
  • 2012 - Identity politics and public decision-making in Canada: What does success looks like? Canada’s Experience with Pluralism Centre for Global Pluralism website. 500 words, February 17.
  • 2011 - Multiculturalism, Interculturalism and their Skeptics. FEDCAN Equity Issues Portfolio Series, Download 1600 words
  • 2006 - "Reasoning about the identity of Aboriginal people" with Martin Blanchard, Document de Travail/Working Papers 1:1 Spring, 9 pp. http://www.creum.umontreal.ca/IMG/pdf/ATELIERS_VOL1N1_07_103_111.pdf
  • 2005 - "The Distinctive Culture Test" Human Rights Dialogue, Special Issue on Cultural Rights, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/publications/archive/dialogue/2_12/section_3/5149.html/:pf_printable
  • 2001 - "Ought there to be a Referendum on the BC Treaty Process?' Policy.ca: A Non-Partisan Resource of the Political Analysis of Canadian Policy Issues, http://www.policy.ca/ 12 mss pp.
  • 2001 - "Diversity and equality: Three approaches to cultural and sexual difference,"Constitutionalism Web-Papers (C onWEB), http://www.les1.man.ac.uk/conweb/, 24 mss pp.
  • 2000 - "Citizenship and the Recognition of Cultural Diversity" website of the Canadian Policy Research Network, http://www.cprn.org/doc.cfm?doc=696&l=en , 5 mss pp.
Dr. Eisenberg's CSPT Colloquium presentation on April 2, 2014, "How Religious Freedom is Changing Citizenship"
Ethnic and Democratic Governance, LearnOutLoud.com, Download