Political Science Department

Tamara Metz

Associate Professor of Political Science and Humanities; Associate Dean of the Faculty

Email | 503-777-7299 | Eliot 425

Contemporary political theory, history of political thought, political philosophy.

Ph.D. in Government, Harvard University, 2004. Reed College 2006–.

My research and teaching interests include contemporary political theory, especially liberal, democratic, feminist, Marxist and queer, and the history of Western political thought. My current research focuses on gender and care in the neoliberal social formation. In Untying the Knot: Marriage, the State and the Case for Their Divorce (Princeton University Press, 2010), I explored the history of liberal treatment of the relationship between marriage and the state and argued that marriage should be disestablished. I co-edited Justice, Politics, and the Family (Paradigm Press, 2014) and have published work in various edited volumes and journals including Just MarriageContemporary Political TheoryPolitics & Gender, Social Theory and Practice, Journal of PoliticsThe Encyclopedia of Political Thought, and The Nation. In addition to my work in political theory, I have a special interest in the pedagogy of thesis advising.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Political Science 387 - American Constitutional Democracy - Description
Political Science 393 - Liberalism and Its Critics - Syllabus
Political Science 394 - Sex, Gender, and Political Theory - Syllabus
Political Science 396 - Neoliberalism and its Critics - Syllabus
Political Science 398 - What is Political Freedom? - Syllabus
Humanities 110 - Ancient Greece and Rome - Hum110 Website

Selected Publications

“Marriage and the Neoliberal Politics of Care,” Stating the Family: New Directions in American Politics, Carol Nackenoff and Julie Novkov, eds., Lawrence: University of Kansas Press (2020).

“Symposium Comment on Stephen Macedo, Just Married,” Syndicate Philosophy, (January 2018). Online

“Review of Stephen Macedo, Just Married,” Journal of Politics, (May 2017).

“Review of Joan Tronto, Caring Democracy,” Contemporary Political Theory, (2016).

“Perils of Marriage and Neoliberal Politics of Care,” B.U. L. Rev. Annex (April 22, 2016). Online

Justice, Politics, and the Family, edited volume with Daniel Engster, Boulder, CO: Paradigm Press (July 2014). Online

"Marriage," Encyclopedia of Political Thought, Michael Gibbons, ed.. Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell-Wiley (October 2014).

"Review of Elizabeth Brake, Minimal Marriage," Social Theory and Practice (January 2014).

"What's Next? Disestablish Marriage!" In "What's Next for the LGBT Movement?" The Nation. June 27, 2013. Online

Untying the Knot: Marriage, the State and the Case for Their Divorce. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010. Online

"Demands of Care and Dilemmas of Freedom: What We Really Ought to be Worried About," Politics and Gender, 6 (2010), 1-8.

"The Future of Marriage and the State." In Marriage and Family: Complexities and Perspectives, Elizabeth Peters, ed., New York: Columbia University Press (2009).

"Review of Linda McClain, The Place of Families." Harvard University Press, 2006. Politics and Ethics Review. 2 (1) (Spring 2006).

"The Liberal Case for Disestablishing Marriage," Contemporary Political Theory, (Sping 2007).

“Why We Should Disestablish Marriage,” in Just Marriage. Mary Lyndon Shanley. New Democracy Forum. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, October, 2004.