The Leo Strauss Award is presented annually by the American Political Science Association (APSA) to honor the best doctoral dissertation in political philosophy.
Shuk Ying Chan is a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College and the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University. Her research sits at the intersection of 20th century anticolonial thought, theories of global justice; questions of empire and race; and ideas of equality and self-determination.
Her book project, Postcolonial Global Justice, explores the moral and political implications of decolonization as an unfinished project of global justice. In it, she develops an account of “postcolonial global justice” by drawing on the normative visions and political programs of anticolonial thinkers in the era of formal decolonization. In doing so, her project aims to yield a set of historically informed and action-guiding principles that help navigate the questions of self-determination and equality raised in three areas of contemporary global politics: global governance, international investment, and global cultural exchange.
Ying holds a PhD in political theory from Princeton University, and a B.A. and MPhil in politics from the University of Hong Kong. From 2023 she will be a Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Political Theory in the Department of Political Science at University College London.
Citation from the Award Committee:
In “Postcolonial Global Justice,” Shuk Ying Chan argues that we can only understand the nature of global justice if we examine it from the perspective of anti-colonial thought. In a wide-ranging analysis of a number of anti-colonial thinkers (Nehru, Nkrumah, Cabral, Fanon, Césaire), Chan argues that their thought offers an important critique of global hierarchies beyond formal colonial arrangements. Chan’s dissertation is impressive on a number of levels: she moves effortlessly between ideal theory and historically grounded analysis of post-colonial thinkers; she shows an incredibly deep and broad understanding of a plethora of western and non-western thinkers; and perhaps most importantly, Chan uses her immense knowledge to offer clear and cogent recommendations for pragmatically addressing injustice in existing global cultural, economic, and political arrangements. “Postcolonial Global Justice” offers a dazzling, clear, deeply useful, and truly global theoretical framework for analyzing global justice.
APSA thanks the committee members for their service: Dr. Lida E. Maxwell (chair) of Boston University, Ivan Andre Ascher of University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and Dr. Jane A. Gordon of the University of Connecticut, Storrs.