Brian Smith

Brian Smith, PhD

Assistant Professor

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Dr. Brian Smith is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Nazarbayev University. He received his PhD in Political Science from Boston University. He also earned an MS in Ethics and Public Policy from Suffolk University. Prior to working at Nazarbayev, Dr. Smith taught at the  School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen (Tyumen, Russia), and before that he was a full-time lecturer at Suffolk University’s (Boston, USA) Politics, Philosophy, and Economics program.
Dr. Smith broadly works in political theory/philosophy, though he also has an interest in military ethics and International Relations theory. He is broadly interested in alternative models of citizenship found within anarchist communities, New Social Movements (NSMs), and the new left. Many of these groups privilege the concept of active or deliberative citizenship over rights-based, ascriptive, or state-centered notions of citizenship. He also has an interest in pre- and early-liberal approaches to transmigration and the movement of peoples. His published work can be found in Citizenship StudiesHistory of Political ThoughtPolityScience and SocietyLocke StudiesPhilosophy and Literature, and elsewhere.
Currently, Dr. Smith is working on two book projects. The first is titled: John Locke, Territory and Transmigration: From Migrants to Scattered Multitudes (under contract, Routledge). This project treats Locke as an early theorist of migration and the movement of peoples. In particular, this project explores Locke’s relationship to the early modern hospitality discourse in the natural law tradition and the radical 17th century Whig ideology of populationism. Specifically, this project shows that Locke advocated for the free movement of peoples and the duty of princes to promote policies that attract would-be citizens. The second project is titled The Dawn of Double Effect: The Rise of Intention in Military Ethical Discourse (under contract, Brill). This book provides a historiographical account of the justifications for killing innocents, noncombatants, and civilians (as they have been alternatively called) from the 16th century to today. The broad aim of this project is to give an account of where the ascendant norms in International Humanitarian Law come from and what pressures are currently at work in reshaping these norms.


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