Dr. Mara Marin

Dr. Mara Marin
Assistant Professor
Political Science

PhD (2008) (Chicago)

Office: DTB A349

2020 Spring term office hours:

Fridays 11:20 am -12:20 pm or by appointment

Curriculum Vitae

Mara Marin is Assistant Professor of Political Theory at the University of Victoria. She is interested in the ways in which intersections of gender, race and class reproduce structures of oppression and in how collective action and legal reform can dismantle oppressive structures.

Her first book, Connected by Commitment (Oxford University Press, 2017), examines the relation between descriptive, social-theoretical questions about the nature of oppression, normative questions of responsibility for structural injustice, and conceptions of collective action that can transform oppressive structures. Connected by Commitment argues that three sets of social relations – legal, care and work relations – should be understood on the model of a relationship Marin calls "commitment." A commitment is a relationship of obligations developed over time through the accumulated effect of open-ended actions and responses. The concept of commitment links the descriptive question of what makes oppression enduring to the normative question of what action is required in response to the injustice of oppression.

Her current book project, a study of anti-racist solidarity, takes up the challenge raised by divisions of class, gender and sexuality for notions of shared black interests. This project defends, first, a view of action as a response, from the particular structural position occupied by an agent, to the structure of race. Secondly, it argues that solidarity for anti-racist action should be understood as the shared condition of acting against the structure of race. As this condition can be shared by agents who occupy different positions in the structure of race, this view of solidarity explains how agents with different experiences of racism can stand in solidarity with each other. As part of this argument, she constructs a notion of race as a social structure. To do so, she draws on the historical, sociological and theoretical literature on the relation between race and global capitalism to understand how a variety of racial divisions are created in the historical process of capitalist expansion and consolidation, and thus how different racialized groups experience different form of racial domination, and therefore how their current domination has a common source in a set of interrelated processes that affect different groups in different ways. The connection between solidarity and the social reality of race central to this view sets it apart from views of solidarity as forged through democratic debate in a multitude of publics (Gooding-Williams) and pragmatist views of agency as intelligent action (Glaude).

Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Toronto's Centre for Ethics, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Normative Orders cluster at Frankfurt University, and a Harper Schmidt Fellow at the University of Chicago. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago, a MA in Gender Studies from Central European University, and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Bucharest.


  • Feminist theory
  • Critiques of capitalism
  • History of political thought
  • Theories of oppression, domination and structural injustice
  • Legal theory
  • Authority and political obligation

Dr. Marin teaches courses on Political Theory.

Teaching 2019-20

Fall 2019:

Spring 2020:

Courses taught


Connected by CommitmentOppression and Our Responsibility to Undermine It (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Chapters and journal articles: 

Racial Structural Solidarity, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 2018 (available online at http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/eunYJnDIGjtR74KJf7tR/full)

Care, Oppression and Marriage, Hypatia, Vol. 29, no. 2 (Spring 2014)

Marriage as Commitment: A Revisionary Argument in American Multicultural Studies, edited by Sherrow O. Pinder, Sage Publications, 2012