I am a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) and Sessional Instructor in the Department of Political Science at McMaster University. My research interests lie broadly in International Relations and Political Theory, with a special interest in how the thought of Thucydides, Aristotle, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Leo Strauss has been taken up in IR’s debates. I am especially interested in how political philosophy can shed light on our understanding of Sovereignty — the concept at the centre of IR as a discipline — and how approaching he problem of sovereignty can close the gap between International Relations Theory and Political Theory. My university career began as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, where I earned a B.A. Hon. in Political Science and Bioethics. I then joined the wonderful department at McMaster where I completed a Master’s degree in Political Theory (concentrating on the Ancient Greeks and Early Moderns), and returned for a Ph.D. in International Relations. I like to think of myself as a Political Theorist whose area of interest is International Relations, and it is a chief aim in my research and teaching to reduce the distance between these two fields of Political Science.
In July I joined the fantastic team at E-International Relations as a commissioning editor for International Relations Theory, and I’m very proud to be a (small) part of the great work that happens there. The writing is always excellent, fully open access, and is an indispensable resource for researchers, practitioners, teachers, and students of global politics.
On this page you’ll find an overview of my research projects, teaching materials, and links to other online iterations of my online identity. I can usually be found on Twitter (@mike_digs). I also keep a blog — The Surface of Things — where I document my adversarial relationship with the books on my bookshelf. Some posts grow into parts of larger research projects, but all are fun to write. I encourage anyone with similar interests to please get in touch – I’m always happy to have a conversation.
One final note. The painting in the header is Bartholomeus van der Helst’s 1648 Celebration of the Peace of Münster, which depicts the signing of one of the treaties inaugurating the Peace of Westphalia. Understanding this political moment, the transition to modernity and the foundation of our distinctively modern political outlook, is a key theme of my studies.