James Tully

James Tully
Professor Emeritus
Political Science

PhD (1977) (Cambridge)

Office: DTB A350

James Hamilton Tully is the Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Law, Indigenous Governance and Philosophy at the University of Victoria.

After completing his BA at UBC and PhD at the University of Cambridge he taught in the departments of Philosophy and Political Science at McGill University 1977-96. He was Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at UVic 1996-01. In 2001-03 he was the inaugural Henry N.R. Jackman Distinguished Professor in Philosophical Studies at the University of Toronto in the departments of Philosophy and Political Science and the Faculty of Law. In 2003 he returned to UVic.

He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Emeritus Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation. In 2010 he was awarded the Killam Prize in the Humanities for his outstanding contribution to scholarship and Canadian public life. In May 2014, he was awarded the David H. Turpin Gold Medal for Career Achievement in Research.

His two-volume work, Public Philosophy in a New Key (Cambridge University Press 2008), was awarded the C.B. Macpherson Prize by the Canadian Political Science Association for the best book in political theory written in English or French in Canada 2008-10. He is consulting editor of the journals Political Theory and Global Constitutionalism, co-editor of the Clarendon Works of John Locke and former co-editor of the Cambridge Ideas in Context Series. He has published 11 authored & edited volumes and 90 chapters and articles on political theory, the history of political thought, Canadian political and legal theory and Indigenous politics.

At UVic Professor Tully is a founding member of the Indigenous Governance Graduate Programs (IGOV), the Consortium on Democratic Constitutionalism (Demcon) and a member of the Cultural, Social and Political Thought graduate program (CSPT).

He taught courses at the undergraduate and graduate level on contemporary political theory, the history of political thought, Canadian political and legal theory, and Indigenous and Non-Indigenous relationships, and continues to supervise graduate students in these areas.

Among his recent public lectures are: the Oxford Amnesty Lecture on "Rethinking Human Rights" from 2010; the Keynote Lecture on "Citizenship for the Love of the World" at Challenging Citizenship Conference, Coimbra, Portugal, 2011; the Stanley Woodward Lecture on "Diversity and Democracy After Boas" at Yale University, 2011; the James Moffett Lecture "On Global Citizenship" at Princeton in 2011; "Citizenship for the love of the World" at Cornell University, 2013 (PDF of the paper); "Life Sustains Life" as part of the Heyman Centre Series on Social and Ecological Value at Columbia University in 2013; "Civic Freedom in an Age of Diversity", with Groupe de Recherche sur les sociétiés plurinationale in Montreal, 2014; "On Civic Freedom Today" at The Encounter with James Tully, organized by Chantal Mouffe with the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster, 2014; the Sustainability Lecture, "Reconciliation Here on Earth" at Dalhousie University in 2014 (Video of the talk).

In video: James Tully describes his work in 90 seconds (Faces of UVic Research).

Working on new relationship between political philosophy and civic freedom

My approach to the study and teaching of politics is a form of historical and critical reflection on problems of political practice in the present. It is an attempt to renew and transform the tradition of critical philosophy so it can effectively address the pressing political problems of a globalising age and establish a new relationship of dialogue between political philosophy and citizens engaged in political struggles in practice. The aim is to throw critical light on contemporary political problems by means of studies that free us to some extent from hegemonic ways of thinking and acting politically, enabling us to test their limits and to see and consider the concrete possibilities of thinking and acting differently.

More specifically, this approach to the study of politics comprises four main steps (See Public Philosophy in a New Key [PPNK] I: chapters 1-3).

First, it starts from and grants a certain primacy to practice. It is a form of philosophical reflection on practices of governance in the present that are experienced as oppressive in some way and are called into question by those subject to them. The questionable regime of practices is taken up as a problem, becoming the locus of contest and negotiation in practice and of reflection and successive solutions and reforms in theory and policy.

Second, the aim is not to develop a normative theory as the solution to the problems of this way of being governed, such as a theory of justice, equality or democracy, but to disclose the conditions of possibility of this historically singular set of practices of governance and of the range of characteristic problems and solutions to which it gives rise (its form of problematisation). Hence, the approach is not a type of political ‘theory’ (in the sense above) but a species of ‘practical philosophy’ (politics and ethics): that is, a philosophical way of life oriented towards working on ourselves by working on the practices and problematisations in which we find ourselves. However, the objective is also not to present an ethnographic thick description that aims at clarification and understanding for its own sake. Rather, it seeks to characterise the conditions of possibility of the problematic form of governance in a redescription (often in a new vocabulary) that transforms the self-understanding of those subject to and struggling within it, enabling them to see its contingent conditions and the possibilities of governing themselves differently. Hence, it is not only an interpretive political philosophy, but also a specific genre of critique or critical attitude towards ways of being governed in the present - an attitude of testing and possible transformation.

Third, this practical and critical objective is achieved in two steps. The first is a critical survey of the languages and practices in which the struggles arise and various theoretical solutions are proposed and implemented as reforms. This survey explicates which forms of thought, conduct and subjectivity are taken for granted or given as necessary, and so function as constitutive conditions of the contested practices and their repertoire of problems and solutions. The second step broadens this initial critique by using a history or genealogy of the formation of these specific languages and practices as an object of comparison and contrast. This historical survey has the capacity to free us to some extent from the conditions of possibility uncovered in the first step and so to be able to see the practices and their forms of problematisation as a limited and contingent whole. It is then possible to call these limits into question and open them to a dialogue of comparative evaluation, and thus to develop the perspectival ability to consider different possible ways of governing this realm of cooperation. Like the tradition of critical philosophy as a whole, this approach is thus oriented to freedom, but in an intersubjective, situated and immanent manner that is more appropriate to the forms of power and possibilities of civic action today. Moreover, this approach has learned from deep ecology not to idealise the freedom of overcoming limits as an end itself, but to test different possibilities relative to our best understanding of the ground, the ecology, in which politics and critical reflection take place and on which they depend (PPNKII: chapter 3).

Fourth, this political philosophy is practical in yet another sense. The hard-won historical and critical relation to the present does not stop at calling a limit into question and engaging in a dialogue over its possible transformation. The approach seeks to establish an ongoing mutual relation with the concrete struggles, negotiations and implementations of citizens who experiment with modifying the practices of governance on the ground. This is not a matter of prescribing the limits of how they must think, deliberate and act if they are to be legitimate, but, on the contrary, to offer a disclosive sketch of the arbitrary and unnecessary limits to the ways they are constrained to think, deliberate and act, and of the possible ways of going beyond them in this context. In turn, the experience with negotiation and change in practice and the discontents that arise in response provide a pragmatic test of the critical and historical research and the impetus for another round of critical activity. This approach thus seeks to establish a new relationship of reciprocal elucidation and experimentation between academic research (critical freedom) and citizens’ practices of concrete freedom.

These philosophical investigations thus stand in a reciprocal relation to the present; as a kind of permanent critique of the relations of meaning, power and subjectivity in which we think and act politically and the practices of freedom of thought and action by which we try to test and improve them.

Although this type of political philosophy can be interpreted as a tradition that goes back to the Greeks and up through Renaissance humanism and counter-Reformation critical philosophy, I am primarily concerned with its three recent phases: the practice-based political philosophy of the Enlightenment (Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, Hegel, Marx and Mill); the criticisms and reforms of this body of work by Nietzsche, Weber, Heidegger, Gadamer, Arendt, Dewey, Collingwood, Horkheimer and Adorno; and, third, the reworking of this tradition again in light new problems by scholars over the last twenty years. On my account, this eclectic family of contemporary scholars includes: the historical approach of Quentin Skinner and the Cambridge School; the critical and dialogical hermeneutics of Charles Taylor; the extension of Wittgenstein’s philosophical methods to political philosophy by Peta Bowden, Cressida Heyes, Richard Rorty, and others; the critical histories of the present initiated by Michel Foucault and carried on by David Owen, Paul Patton, Jonathan Schell and other scholars too numerous to mention; and the critical studies of Edward Said, David Scott, Anthony Anghie, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Eunice Sahle and others that apply the methods of this tradition beyond and against its Eurocentrism.

Over the last two centuries there have been many attempts to summarize this tradition. The essay by Michel Foucault written in the last years of his life, 'What is Enlightenment?' is among the best:

The critical ontology of ourselves must be considered not, certainly, as a theory or a doctrine; rather it must be conceived as an attitude, an ethos, a philosophical life in which the critique of what we are is at one and the same time the historical analysis of the limits imposed on us and an experiment with the possibility of going beyond them (de leur franchissement possible).

My research and teaching can thus be seen as an ongoing relationship between work on this approach and applications of it to various problems.

Early studies

My early work was concerned first to understand how the modern concepts of private property and individual rights emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries, in relation to John Locke, and what alternatives were set aside (A Discourse on Property). Then I turned my attention to the emergence and development of religious toleration in the same period and the connection between the two (Introduction, Letter Concerning Toleration). Next, I wanted to see what the international system of sovereign European states (the Westphalian system) would look like if one took the complex theory of Samuel Pufendorf, rather than the simpler and more familiar one of Hobbes, as the starting point (Introduction, Duty of Man and Citizen).

In An Approach to Political Philosophy I subjected these early works and the helpful criticisms of them to re-examination and revision, responding to the different yet complementary histories of Michel Foucault, John Pocock, Richard Tuck and Quentin Skinner, among others. I added studies of the concepts of the division of labour and labour power in Marx, the development of governmentality, the natural law tradition to Kant and beyond, the stages view of historical development, the modern and post-modern ideas of progress, and Locke’s theory of the government of free and equal subjects with the duty to obey and the right to judge their governors, also explaining in more detail the contemporary relevance of this kind of study. These studies were also the basis for reflections on method (Meaning & Context, Philosophy in an Age of Pluralism, 'Wittgenstein and Political Philosophy').

Struggles over recognition and dialogical constitutionalism

In response to the standoff between the Mohawk of Kanesatake and Kahnawake and the Canadian Armed Forces near Montreal in 1990, I began to study and teach how European and Euro-American theorists and lawmakers have tried to justify the dispossession, near extermination and colonisation of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas over the last 500 years. This was followed closely by parallel studies of how Indigenous peoples have resisted dispossession and usurpation and have struggled for self-determination as peoples or First Nations ('Rediscovering America', 'Aboriginal Property & Western Theory').  I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to deepen my understanding by working on the Canadian Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1992-1995) ('Aboriginal Peoples: Negotiating reconciliation'). I also began a working relationship with Professor Taiaiake Alfred in the Indigenous Governance Graduate Program at UVic (www.uvic.ca/igov).

I then tried to place the struggles of Indigenous peoples for self-determination and relations of equality with non-Indigenous peoples in the broader context of other types of struggles for recognition against unjust forms of exclusion, assimilation and subordination. This lead to a broad study of the philosophy and practice of recognising complex forms of diversity in contemporary political associations, such as the freedom of individual expression, feminism, various types of minorities (such as linguistic, cultural and religious minorities in Canada) and minorities within minorities (multiculturalism), nations in multinational constitutional states (such as Quebec and First Nations in Canada), and of all these forms of diversity within supranational associations such as the European Union. It was first presented as the inaugural John Seeley Distinguished Lectures at Cambridge in 1994 and published as Strange Multiplicity: Constitutionalism in an Age of Diversity (1995) with a dedication to the great Haida artist Bill Reid. At this time Charles Taylor, Alain-G. Gagnon and I were lecturing on these problems of ‘deep diversity’ at McGill and, with Desmond Morton, we helped to set up the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada as a forum for the study and discussion of these issues.

Strange Multiplicity argues that a constitution should not be seen as a fixed set of rules but, rather, as an imperfect form of accommodation of the diverse members of a political association that is always open to negotiation by the members of the association. It should be seen as a form of activity, an intercultural dialogue in which the culturally diverse sovereign citizens of contemporary societies negotiate agreements on their forms of association over time in accordance with the conventions of mutual recognition, consent and cultural continuity, and in respect for the living earth that sustains life. Contemporary political philosophy thus should be seen, as ensuring that citizens are free to call into question unjust forms of recognition, to enter into fair dialogues over their re-negotiation and so to work out their forms of association themselves over time.

Civic freedom and public philosophy in a globalising age

After Strange Multiplicity I came to see that this dialogical approach needed to be developed in three main ways. First, the exclusive focus should not be theories of justice: that is, what is the just form of recognition of individuals and groups? For theoretical and practical reasons there will always be reasonable disagreement over this question. Rather, the primary orientation is to the conditions and exercise of freedom: that is, are the individuals and groups who are subject to rules of recognition and governance free to call them into question (to speak truthfully to power), to exchange reasons and stories over rival accounts of just forms of recognition, to enter into effective dialogues over them, to strive to reach provisional agreements on their modifications in practice, and, since disagreement is inevitable, to start over again by challenging the injustices of the new regime of rules. I call this ongoing cycle of practices of freedom 'civic freedom' (PPNKI: chapter 9).

This turn has led to a better formulation of my vision of Canada as a multicultural and multinational association in which the members negotiate their identities - their forms of recognition and cooperation freely and equally over time (Unattained Yet Attainable Democracy). I was privileged to be a member of a team of international scholars who studied the multinational associations of Canada, Spain, Belgium the United Kingdom and the European Union from the perspective of this democratic and dialogical view of constitutionalism and diversity (Multinational Democracies). I also entered into discussions with European scholars working on similar problems in the European Union and on the relation of this vision of constitutional democracy to the republican and liberal traditions ('Reimagining Belonging', 'La conception républicaine de la citoyenneté', 'Ethical Pluralism and Classical Liberalism').

Second, these historical and critical studies of the possibilities of civic freedom apply not only to challenges to legal and constitutional rules, but to the contestation of any kind of norms to which we are made subject in various practices of governance, from the workplace to multinational corporations and global regulatory and constitutional regimes. Third, this kind of study is appropriate not only to cases of struggles over recognition, but also to a wide variety of forms of political and ethical collective action: over distribution and redistribution, over our destructive relationship to the environment; the global struggles of Indigenous Peoples, and the persistence of vastly unequal relationships of informal imperialism between the Global North and South.

This research has been supported by a Fellowship with the Trudeau Foundation, which was established to bring together scholars, graduate students and civic activists on projects of this kind (www.trudeaufoundation.ca). It also benefitted immeasurably from the continuing support of Quentin Skinner and the opportunity to reconsider the relation between history and political thought that his monumental work has brought to critical reflection (Rethinking the Foundations of Modern Political Thought). The continuing dialogue with Indigenous scholars such as Taiaiake Alfred, John Borrows, Dale Turner, Val Napoleon, Glen Coulthard and many others has been of fundamental importance. The best of the published and unpublished articles from this period were rewritten and published in Public Philosophy in a New Key in late 2008.

As we can see, civic freedom is really a field of possibilities within relations of meaning, power and subjectification. It succeeds as an activity to the extent that it initiates a dialogue between governors and the governed over the norms through which they coordinate their interaction or brings about the cooperative exercise of power by citizens themselves. It is the most basic kind of democratic freedom, that of having an effective say over or hand in the way we are governed; whether in cooperative self-government, face-to-face Socratic dialogues, democratic institutions and practices of representative governments, political parties, civic disobedience, liberation movements of various kinds, new types of global networks, and so on. It has been and can be exercised individually and collectively in countless practices of governance and in countless ways. So the field of study is really practices of civic freedom in a globalising age.

This brings us back to the outline of my approach from which we began, but, I hope, with a better appreciation of its scope and openness to revision through dialogues of mutual learning with practitioners of civic freedom. With these global themes in mind, I had the privilege to be a member of the great team of scholars, lead by Antje Wiener, who set up the journal Global Constitutionalism: Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law in 2011.

Nonviolence and the Ecological Crisis

Since Public Philosophy in a New Key, I have expanded this approach in two main ways. The first is an exploration of practices and theories of nonviolence and co-operative power-with (Satyagraha) as an alternative to the dominant politics of violence and power-over. In response to the ecological crisis, the second is work on relationships of nonviolence and co-sustainability of humans and their social systems with (and within) the living earth and its ecological systems in both Western and Indigenous practices and traditions (Gaia citizenship). Both themes were presented initially in the conclusion to PPNKII on local and global citizenship and then developed in articles and public lectures from 2009 to 2014.

In 2014 I had the honour and pleasure to learn from and give my responses to constructive criticisms of my recent work by brilliant colleagues in On Global Citizenship and Freedom and Democracy in an Imperial Context, edited by Robert Nichols and Jakeet Singh. 'Reconciliation Here on Earth' and 'Trust, Mistrust and Distrust in Diverse Societies' are the most recent works on these themes (Fall 2014).

NOTE: See Publications for a complete list of references and works cited.


  • A Discourse on Property: John Locke and his Adversaries, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980, second edition, 1982.
  • Editor and Introduction, John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1982, reprinted 1985, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2001.
  • Editor, Introduction, Contributor, Meaning and Context: Quentin Skinner and his critics, Cambridge: Polity Press and Princeton University Press
  • Editor and Introduction Samuel Pufendorf, On the Duty of Man and Citizen according to Natural Law, tr. Michael Silverthorne, Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, Cambridge, 1991.
  • An Approach to political philosophy: Locke in contexts, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, February 1993
  • Editor, with assistance of Daniel M. Weinstock, Philosophy in an age of pluralism: the philosophy of Charles Taylor in question, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Strange Multiplicity: constitutionalism in an age of diversity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Reprint 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006
  • Editor with Alain-G. Gagnon, Multinational Democracies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • Co-editor, with Annabel Brett, Rethinking the Foundations of Modern Political Thought, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • Democracy and Civic Freedom, Volume I of Public Philosophy in a New Key, Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Imperialism and Civic Freedom, Volume II of Public Philosophy in a New Key, 2008.
  • Politische Philosophie als kritische Praxis, Campus Verlag, 2009.
  • On Global Citizenship: Dialogue with James Tully, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.
  • Freedom and Democracy in an Imperial Context: Dialogues with James Tully, edited by Robert Nichols and Jakeet Singh, London: Routledge, 2014.

Recent chapters:


  • "Life Sustains Life 2: The ways of re-engagement with the living earth", in Akeel Bilgrami, ed. Nature and Value (Columbia University Press, 2018) forthcoming.
  • "Life Sustains Life 1: Value: Social and Ecological", in Akeel Bilgrami, ed. Nature and Value (Columbia University Press, 2018) forthcoming.


  • "Reconciliation Here on Earth", in Michael Asch, John Borrows & James Tully, eds., Reconciliation and Resurgence, forthcoming 2017.


  • "Two Traditions of Human Rights," in Matthias Lutz-Bachmann and Amos Nascimento, eds., Human Rights, Human Dignity and Cosmopolitan Ideals (London: Ashgate), pp. 139-158. (Reprinted and revised from 2012 “Rethinking Human Rights and Enlightenment”)
  • "Responses", in Robert Nichols and Jakeet Singh, eds., Freedom and Democracy in an Imperial Context: Dialogues with James Tully (London: Routledge, 2014), pp. 223-293
  • "Afterword" and "Replies to Interlocutors" in Tully, On Global Citizenship: Dialogue with James Tully (London: Bloomsbury Academic), 84-100, 269-328.
  • 'Trust, Mistrust and Distrust in Diverse Societies', in Dimitrios Karmis, ed. Trust and Distrust in Diverse Societies, forthcoming 2015.


  • "Communication and Imperialism", in Arthur Kroker and Marilouise Kroker, eds., Critical Digital Studies A Reader, Second Edition (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), pp. 257-283 (Reprint of 2008).
  • "'Two Concepts of Liberty' in Context," in Bruce Baum and Robert Nichols, eds., Isaiah Berlin and the Politics of Freedom (London: Routledge), pp. 23-52.
  • "A Just Relationship between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Peoples of Canada," in Sandra Tomsons and Lorraine Mayer, eds., Philosophy and Aboriginal Rights: Critical Dialogues, (Toronto: Oxford University Press).
  • "Préface," in Dalie Giroux et Dimitrios Karmis, eds., Ceci n’est pas une Idée Politique: Réflexions sur les approaches a l'étude des idées politiques (Presses de l’Université Laval), pp. xiii-xv.


  • "Rethinking Human Rights and Enlightenment", Self-evident Truths? Human Rights and the Enlightenment, The Oxford Amnesty Lectures of 2010, (London: Bloomsbury), pp. 3-35.
  • "On the Global Multiplicity of Public Spheres: The democratic transformation of the public sphere?", David Midgley and Christian Emden, ed., Beyond Habermas: From the bourgeois public sphere to global publics (New York: Berghahn), pp. 169-205.
  • "Strange Multiplicity", Philosophy 12 (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson) [high school textbook].


  • "Canada as a Multinational Democracy", Peter Russell and Francois Rocher, eds. Essential Readings in Canadian Government and Politics (Toronto: E Montgomery, 2010) pp. 67-72.


  • "Conclusion: Consent, Hegemony, Dissent in Treaty Negotiations", in J. Webber and C. MacLeod, eds., Consent Among Peoples (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010), pp. 233-256.
  • "L’absencia de llibertat des moderns a l’ear de constitutionalisme I de l’imperialisem posterior a’11 de septembre (with Michael Simpson), in Ferran Requejo, eds. Federalisme i: plurinacionalitat. Teoria I analisi de casos (Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunja, 2010), pp. 95-158
  • "Canada as a Multinational Democracy", Peter Russell and Francois Rocher, eds. Essential Readings in Canadian Government and Politics (Toronto: E Montgomery, 2010) pp. 67-72.


  • "Federations, Communities and their Transformations", André Lecours et Geneviève Nootens, eds. Dominant Nationalism, Dominant Ethnicity: Identity, Federalism and Democracy (Brussels: Peter Lang 2009), pp. 195-212.
  • "Lineages of Contemporary Imperialism", Duncan Kelly, ed. Lineages of Empire: The Historical Roots of British Imperial Thought (Oxford: Oxford Universirty Press and The British Academy, 2009), pp. 3-30.


  • "Cultural Diversity and Integration in the European Union", in D. Held and H. Moore, ed., Cultural Politics in a Global Age, Oxford: Oneworld, pp. 259-66.
  • "On Law, Democracy and Imperialism", in E. Christodoulidis and S. Tierney, ed. Public Law and Politics: The Scope and Limits of Constitutionalism, Ashgate Press, pp. 69-102.
  • "Two Meanings of Global Citizenship: Modern and Diverse", in M.A. Peters, A. Britton, H. Blee, ed., Global Citizenship Education: Philosophy, Theory and Pedagogy Sense Publishers, pp. 15-41.
  • "Communication and Imperialism", in Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, eds., Critical Digital Studies Reader, (University of Toronto Press), pp. 205-231. (2nd edn 2014)


  • "The Imperialism of Modern Constitutional Democracy", The Paradox of Constitutionalism, ed. Martin Loughlin and Neil Walker, (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 315-39.
  • "The Practice of Lawmaking and the Problem of Difference", Multiculturalism and Law: Critical Debates, ed. Omid Payrow Shabani, (University of Wales Press), pp. 19-41, with responses by Thomas McCarthy and Jocelyn Maclure.
  • "Défi constitutional et art de la résistance: la question des peoples autochtones au Canada" Pluralisme et démocratie: entre culture, droit et politque, ed. Stéphane Vibert (Quebec: Quebec Amerique, 2007), pp. 309-54. Revision
  • with David Owen, "Redistribution and Recognition: Two Approaches", Multiculturalism and Political Theory, David Owen and Anthony Laden, eds. (Cambridge University Press), pp. 265-91.


  • "Constitutional Pluralism", in Comparative Constitutional Law, Second Edition, edited by Vicki Jackson and Mark Tushnet, Foundation Press. From Strange Multiplicity. Reprint
  • "Multinational Democracy", Comparative Constitutional Law, Second Edition, edited by Vicki Jackson and Mark Tushnet, Foundation Press. Reprint from Multinational Democracy.
  • "Reconciling Struggles over the Recognition of Minorities: Towards a Dialogical Approach", Diversity and Equality: The changing framework of freedom in Canada, ed. Avigail Eisenberg, Vancouver: UBC Press, pp. 15-33.
  • "Political Freedom", Locke and Law, ed. Thom Books, Philosophy and Law Series, London: Ashgate. Reprint.


  • "Exclusion and Assimilation: two forms of domination", Domination and Exclusion, ed. Melissa Williams and Stephen Macedo (Princeton: Princeton University Press), pp. 191-229.
  • "A Response to Professors Blake and Wenar", Domination and Exclusion, pp. 250-58.
  • "The Unfreedom of the Moderns", Constitutionalism and Democracy, ed. Richard Bellamy, in the series The International Library of Essays in Law and Legal Theory (2nd Series), ed. Tom D. Campbell ( London: Ashgate), Reprint.

Recent articles:



  • "Two Ways of Realizing Justice and Democracy: Linking Amartya Sen and Elinor Ostrom", Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 16, 2 (March 2013) 220-233.
  • "Global Disorder and Two Responses", Journal of Intellectual History and Political Thought, 2,1 (November 2013).


  • "Middle East Legal and Governmental Pluralism: A view of the field from the demos", Middle East Law and Governance, 4 (2012), pp. 225-263.
  • "Editors' Introduction: Pluralism, Constitutionalism and Governance", with Anver Emon, Middle East Law and Governance, 4 (2012), pp. 189-193.


  • "The Crisis of Global Citizenship", translated into Dutch by Dr. Karen V.Q. Vintges for Tijdschrift  voor Humanistek, 45, 12 (April-May 2011), pp. 55-70. translation.
  • 2011 "Dialogue", Feature Symposium: Reading James Tully, Public Philosophy in a New Key (Vols. I & II) Political Theory, 39, 1 (February 2011), pp. 112-161, 145-61.


  • "Testing Freedom Clarified: Reply to Daniel Weinstock", Literary Review of Canada (December).



  • "Modern Constitutional Democracy and Imperialism", Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 46, 3 (Fall), pp. 461-494.


  • "A New Kind of Europe: democratic integration in the European Union", Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 10, 1 (March), 71-86.


  • "Communication and Imperialism", 1000 Days of Theory, CTheory, td035, 2/22/2006, 32 pages, edited by Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, http://www.ctheory.net/printer.aspx?id=508. Reprinted in The Digitial Studies Reader, ed. A. & M. Kroker (University of Toronto Press, 2008).


  • "Recognition and Dialogue: The Emergence of a New Field", Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 7, 3 (Autumn 2004), pp. 84-106.


  • "Politische Philosophie als kritisches Handeln", Deutsche Zeitscrhrift fur Philosophie, 51, 1 (2003), pp.1-23.
  • "Diverse Enlightenments", Economy and Society, 32, 3 (August), pp. 485-505.
  • "La liberté civique en contexte de globalisation", Les Cahiers du Juin 27, 1, 2 (October 2003), pp. 1-10.


  • "Political Philosophy as a Critical Activity", special edition, Political Theory, 30, 4 (August 2002), pp. 533-556.

Select publications relating to Indigenous governance:

  • "Conclusion: Consent, Hegemony, Dissent in Treaty Negotiations", in J. Webber and C. MacLeod, eds., Consent Among Peoples (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010), pp. 233-256.
  • 2003 "Struggles of Indigenous Peoples for and of Freedom", Reprint with changes, Box of Treasures of Empty Box? 20 Years of Section 35, ed. Ardith Walkem and Halie Bruce (Vancouver: Theytus Books Ltd), pp.272-308.
  • 2005 "Exclusion and Assimilation: two forms of domination", Domination and Exclusion, ed. Melissa Williams and Stephen Macedo (Princeton: Princeton University Press), pp.191-229.
  • "A Response to Professors Blake and Wenar", Domination and Exclusion, pp.250-58.
  • 2006 "Rediscovering America: The Two Treatises and Aboriginal Rights", in John Locke: Critical Assessments, ed. Peter Anstey (Oxford University Press), Reprint.
  • 2006 "Reconciling Struggles over the Recognition of Minorities: Towards a Dialogical Approach", Diversity and Equality: The changing framework of freedom in Canada, ed. Avigail Eisenberg, Vancouver: UBC Press, 15-33.
  • "The Struggles of Indigenous peoples for and of freedom", Political theory and the rights of Indigenous Peoples, ed. Paul Patton, Duncan Ivison, Douglas Saunders (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000) pp.36-59.
  • "Reconsidering the British Columbia Treaty Process", Speaking truth to power: a treaty forum, ed. Roderick A. MacDonald (Ottawa: Law Commission of Canada and the BC Treaty Commission, 2000) pp.3-19. (Also available on the Commission"s website.)
  • "The Illiberal liberal: Brian Barry"s polemical attack on multiculturalism", Multiculturalism Reconsidered, ed. Paul Kelly (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2002) pp.102-13.
  • "The Unfreedom of the moderns in relation to their ideals of constitutionalism and democracy", Modern Law Review, 65, 2 (March 2002) pp.204-28.
  • "The Kantian Idea of Europe: critical and cosmopolitan perspectives", The Idea of Europe: from antiquity to the European Union, ed. Anthony Pagden (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002) pp.331-58.
  • "Introduction", Multinational Democracies, ed. Alain Gagnon and James Tully (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001) pp.1-34.
  • "An Ecological Ethics for the Present", Government for the Environment, ed. Nicolas Low and Brendan Gleeson (London: Macmillan, 2000) pp.147-164.
  • "Democracy and Globalization", Canadian Political Philosophy: Contemporary Reflections, ed. Ronald Beiner and Wayne Norman (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2000) pp.36-62.
  • "A Just relationship between Aboriginal peoples and Canadians", Aboriginal rights and self-government: the Canadian and Mexican experience, ed. Curtis Cook and Juan Lindau (Montreal: McGill Queens University Press, 2000) pp.39-71.
  • "Struggles over recognition and distribution", Constellations, 7, 4 (Fall 2000) pp.469-82.
  • "Aboriginal Peoples: negotiating reconciliation", Canadian Politics, third edition, ed. Alain Gagnon and James Bickerton (Toronto: Broadview Press, 1999) pp.411-39.
  • "What is the constitution of the Spirit of Haida Gwaii?" History and Anthropology, 2, 1 (March 1997) pp.1-6.
  • (Co-author) "The Principles of a renewed relationship", Report of the Canadian Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, volume 1 (Ottawa: Canadian Communication Group, 1996) pp.675-96.
  • Strange multiplicity: constitutionalism in an age of diversity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
  • "Aboriginal property and western theory: recovering a middle ground", Property Rights, ed. Jeffrey Paul, Ellen Frankel Paul and Fred Miller (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) pp.153-80.
  • "Rediscovering America: the Two Treatises and Aboriginal rights", An Approach to Political Philosophy: Locke in Contexts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) pp.137-78.

Recent public lectures:


  • "Richard Gregg and the Power of Nonviolence: The Power of Nonviolence as the unifying animacy of life", J Glenn and Ursula Gray Memorial Lecture, Department of Philosophy, Colorado College, Colorado Springs CO, March 1, 2016. Available in PDF
  • "On the Significance of Gandhi Today", Perspectives on Gandhi’s Significance Workshop, Reed College, Portland OR, April 16, 2016. Available in PDF
  • "On Gaia Citizenship", The Mastermind Lecture, University of Victoria, Victoria BC, Canada, April 20, 2016. Available in PDF


  • "A View of Transformative Reconciliation: Strange Multiplicity & the Spirit of Haida Gwaii at 20", Indigenous Studies and Anti-Imperial Critique for the 21st Century: A symposium inspired by the legacies of James Tully, Yale University, October 1-2, 2015. Available in PDF
  • "Reflecting on Public Philosophy with Jim Tully," video interview, Government House meditation garden, Victoria BC, March, 2015, Video available on Vimeo.


  • "Reconciliation Here on Earth," Ondaatje Hall, McCain Building, Dalhousie University, Department of Social Anthropology, College of Sustainability, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, March 20, 2014. (Available on Youtube).
  • Round Table with John Borrows, Michael Asch, James Tully, Alumni Hall, King’s College, Halifax, March 21, 2014.
  • Open Academy Community Conversation with James Tully, John Borrows and Michael Asch, Pier 21, Royal Society of Canada, Halifax, March 22, 2014.
  • "Civic Freedom in an Age of Diversity: James Tully’s Public Philosophy”, Groupe de Recherche sur les sociétiés plurinationale, Centre Pierre Péladeau, UQAM, Montreal, April 24-26, 2014. Video available on Vimeo.
  • "Thoughts on Co-Sustainability", the NOMIS Foundation workshop on sustainability, Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, London, UK, June 22-23, 2014.
  • "On Civic Freedom Today", The Encounter with James Tully, organized by Chantal Mouffe, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, London, UK, June 24, 2014.


  • “Transformative Change and Idle No More”, Indigenous Peoples and Democratic Politics, First Peoples’ House, University of British Columbia, March 1, 2013.
  • "Citizenship for the love of the World," Department of Political Science, Cornell University, March 14, 2013.
  • "Life Sustains Life", the Heyman Centre Series on Social and Ecological Value, with Jonathan Schell and Akeel Bilgrami, Columbia University, May 2, 2013.
  • "Global Disorder and Two Responses", Keynote Address, Conference on Global Order and Disorder in Historical Perspectives, Queen Mary College and University of London, London, June 3-4, 2013.
  • "The role of the Right to Justification: a dialogue with Rainer Forst," the second annual Global Constitutionalism Conference, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, June 8-9, 2013.
  • "Presentation and Discussion of Dipesh Chakrabarty’s 'The Anthropocene and its Challenges to Humanist Thought,' the Victoria Colloquium in Political, Social and Legal Theory, University of Victoria, September 27, 2013.


  • "Normative and Empirical Political Science in Canada: A brief history", the Plenary Session on Empirical Analysis and Normative Theory, Canadian Political Science Annual Meeting, University of Alberta, Edmonton, June 13, 2012.
  • "Questions on Diversity in Canadian Politics and Public Administration", The Panel on Diversity and Public Administration, Canadian Political Science Annual Meeting, University of Alberta, Edmonton, June 14, 2012.
  • "Decolonizing Political Theory, Plenary Panel on Decolonizing Political Theory, Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meeting, University of Alberta, Edmonton, June 15, 2012.
  • Chair, Panel on Decolonizing Political Theory, Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meeting, University of Alberta, Edmonton, June 15, 2012.
  • "Deparochializing Political Theory", The Conference on Deparochializing Political Theory, Transnational Political Theory Research Network, UVic, August 2-4, 2012.
  • "The Spirit of Haida Gwaii and Belonging Differently", The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research on Belonging Differently, Banff Springs Hotel, August 5-11, 2012.
  • "Forty Years of Native American Studies", The Workshop on the 40th Anniversary of Native American Studies, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 26-29, 2012.
  • "The Gaia Tradition", The Workshop on Norm, Nature and Climate Change, The Nomis Foundation (Monaco) and the London School of Economics, London, UK, December 14-16, 2012.
  • "Charles Taylor on Deep Diversity", The Conference on the Work of Charles Taylor, Museum of Fine Arts and University of Montreal, Montreal, March 28-30, 2012, (available on Youtube)
  • "The Meaning of 'Belonging Differently'," Canadian Institute for Advanced Research workshop on Belonging Differently, Toronto, Ontario, February 18-19, 2012.
  • The First 'Mentoring Café', Canadian Political Science Annual Meeting, University of Alberta, Edmonton, June 13, 2012.


  • "On the meanings of "belonging differently"", The first meeting of the taskforce on belonging differently, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), Intercontinental Hotel, Toronto, January 22-23, 2011,
  • "Deliberative and Cooperative Democracy: Amartya Sen and Elinor Ostrom", The Conference on Global Justice, University of California San Diego with Amartya Sen and Elinor Ostrom. April 28 – May 1, San Diego, California 2011.
  • "On Global Citizenship", The James A. Moffett 29 Lecture in Ethics, Centre for Human Values, Princeton University, April 21, 2011.
  • "Hannah Arendt on Violence and Nonviolence", Departments of Political Science and History, University Oklahoma, April 25, 2011.
  • "On Global Citizenship: revised", Department of Political Science, Northwestern University, May 16, 2011.
  • "Citizenship for the Love of the World", Keynote Address, The Conference on Challenging Citizenship, Centro de Estudos Sociais, University of Coimbra, Coimbra Portugal, June 2-5, 2011.
  • "Hannah Arendt on Violence, Nonviolence and Power", Goethe University, Frankfurt Germany, June 7, 2011.
  • "Philosophical Investigations of the Right to Justification", Toleration and Justification: The Conference on the Work of Rainer Forst, York University, UK, June 8-10, 2011.
  • "Political Theory and Imperialism", Panel on political theory and imperialism, APSA, Seattle, Washington, September 2, 2011.
  • "Diversity and Democracy after Franz Boas", the Stanley T. Woodward Distinguished Lecture, Yale University, September 15, 2011, at the Symposium on Franz Boas.
  • "Nonviolence and the Peacemaking Martial arts, a dialogue on Richard Gregg and Thousand Waves", Thousand Waves, Chicago, September 19 2011.
  • "Two Traditions of Human Rights", The Centre for Human Rights, University of Washington, Seattle, November 4, 2011.


  • "On the History of Global Citizenship", Faculty of History and Political Science, University of Cambridge, February 8, 2010.
  • "Human Rights and Enlightenment: A view from the twenty-first century", The 2010 Oxford Amnesty Lecture, University of Oxford, February 10, 2010.
  • "Research Approaches to Global Citizenship", Department of Politics, University of Southampton, February 11, 2010.
  • "Public Philosophy in a New Key", The Workshop on Public Philosophy in a New Key, Queen Mary College University of London, London, February 12, 2010.
  • "Two Traditions of Human Rights", Department of Political Science, UBC, March 11, 2010.
  • "On Responsible Citizenship", Critical Thinkers in Religion, Philosophy and Law Series, University of Ottawa, April 9, 2010.
  • "Michel Foucault and Narrative Therapy", Faculty of Human and Social Development, UVic, April 15, 2010.
  • "A Dilemma of Democratic Citizenship", Keynote Address, British Columbia Political Science Association Annual Meeting, UVic, May 8, 2010.
  • "Public Philosophy, Civic Freedom and Nonviolence", The SSHRC Conference on Public Philosophy in a New Key, the Delta OPR Hotel, Victoria BC, May 27-29, 2010.
  • "Roundtable on Methods", The Young Researchers Workshop", Department of International Relations and Centre for Global Governance, University of Hamburg, July 23, 2010.
  • "The Work of Decolonization", Annual Distinguished Lecture, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta, November 2, 2010.
  • "Two Approached to Human Rights", Faculty of Law, University of Alberta, November 3, 2010.


  • "Approaches to Global Citizenship", Nathanson Center on transnational human rights, crime and security, Osgoode Hall Law School, March 20, 2009.
  • "Informal Imperialism and Res Publica", The Conference on Republic and Empire: Rethinking the Categories, Departments of Political Science, Law and Philosophy, Columbia University, New York, April 3-4, 2009.
  • "The Crisis of Global Citizenship", Goethe University, Frankfurt, July1, 2009.
  • The Roundtable on James Tully, Public Philosophy in a New Key", American Political Science  Association Annual Meetings, Toronto, August 30, 2009.
    "Democracy, Freedom and Imperialism: Debating James Tully"s Public Philosophy in a new key", Villa Schifanoia, Sala Europa, European University Institute, September 21-22, 2009.
  • "Keynote Speaker: Freedom and Imperialism: a complex history", The Conference on Republican Freedom: The European Heritage, Villa Schifanoia, Sala Europa, European University Institute, September 24-26, 2009.


  • "On Global Citizenship", UVIC Distinguished Professor Lecture, March 13, 2008.
  • "Imperialism and Global Citizenship", Political Theory Seminar, Yale University, April 30, 2008.
  • "Counter-cultures and Globalisation", Royal Society Roundtable, UBC Kelowna, May 28, 2008.
  • "Thinking along with Feminism and the Abyss of Freedom", APSA, Boston, August 30, 2008.
  • Global and Local Citizenship", Keynote, Prairie Political Science Association Annual Meeting, University of Regina, September 26, 2008
  • "Two Concepts of Liberty in Context", The Conference on Sir Isaiah Berlin on Liberty, UBC, October 18, 2008.
  • "Aboriginal Self-Government and Aboriginal citizenship", The Conference on Aboriginal Self-Government, University of Saskatchewan Faculty of Law, November 5-6, 2008.


  • "Comparative Constitutionalism in a Historical Perspective", Second Annual Roundtable on Constitutionalism, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, February 24, 2007.
  • "Transformations in Federalism: 1950-2007", Majority and State Nationalism: Ethnicity, Culture and Politics, UQAM, Montreal, April 15, 2007l.
  • "Spiritual Practices of Trust, Respect and Peace in an Age of Distrust, Disrespect and War", Conference on Religious Pluralism, Department of Religious Studies and Institute of Democracy, Diversity and Toleration, Columbia University, New York, October 11-13, 2007.
  • "Global Citizenship and Imperialism", Committee on Global Thought Special Lecture Series, Columbia University, New York, October 12, 2007.


  • "Imperial Dimensions of Modern Constitutions", The Conference on Constitutional Form and Constituent Power, Faculty of Law, European University Institute, Florence, March 24-25, 2006.
  • "Reflections on Democratic Constitutionalism", The First Annual Lecture on Democratic Constitutionalism, Departments of Politics, International Relations, Law and Philosophy, and the Institute of Governance, Queens University Belfast, March 28-29, 2006.
  • "A New Kind of Europe", Distinguished Lecture, The Biennial Conference of the European Community Studies Association, Victoria, BC, May 18-20, 2006.
  • "On Imperialism", The Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Lecture, Whitman College, Washington, USA, October 26.
  • Background Paper and Action Committee, Muslims in Western Societies, Trudeau Foundation Annual Public Conference, Vancouver, November 16-18, 2006.


  • "On the Question of Global Public Spheres", Keynote Address, Changing Perceptions of the Public Sphere, Rice University, Houston Texas, December 15-17, 2005.

The Encounter with James Tully

Organized by Chantal Mouffe with the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster, June 24, 2014.

Reconciliation: The Responsibility for Shared Futures

Dalhousie University, Department of Social Anthropology, College of Sustainability, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, March 20, 2014.

Watch Professor Tully’s address:

The Conference on the Work of Charles Taylor

Museum of Fine Arts and University of Montreal, Montreal, March 28-30, 2012.
Watch Professor Tully speak about Charles Taylor and deep diversity:

The Stanley T. Woodward Lecture on Indigenous Visions: A Franz Boas Centennial

Event at Yale University, September 15-17

Keynote address: James Tully, “Diversity and Democracy After Boas”

Making Peace: meditation on activism "The Power of Non-Violence"

Making Peace: meditations on activism poster

Governor General confers Killam Prize on Dr. James Tully

The Governor General of Canada conferred the Killam Prize on Jim Tully in a special ceremony on December 14, 2010 in Rideau Hall.

Watch the introduction by Jeremy Webber and speech by James Tully:

James Tully and David Johnston 

from left to right: Erin Tully, James Tully, Governor General David Johnston

James Tully and others

from left to right: Jeremy Webber, James Tully, Tim Smith, Alex Robb, Joëlle Alice Michaud-Ouellet