ProfileJean Cohen (Ph.D., New School for Social Research, 1979) is the Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Political Thought and Contemporary Civilization. She teaches contemporary political and legal theory; continental political thought; rights, religion and constitutional democracy; contemporary civilization, critical theory, and international political theory. Professor Cohen's areas of interest are sovereignty, human rights, religion and democratic constitutionalism, and gender and the law.
Professor Cohen is the author of numerous books and articles including Class and Civil Society: The Limits of Marxian Critical Theory (University of Massachusetts Press, 1982); Civil Society and Political Theory (co-authored with Andrew Arato) (MIT Press, 1992); Regulating Intimacy: A New Legal Paradigm (Princeton University Press, 2002); and Globalization and Sovereignty: Rethinking Legality, Legitimacy and Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2012). She is the co-editor with Yoav Peled et al. of Democratic Citizenship and War (Routledge 2011) and with Cecile Laborde of Religion, Secularism and Constitutional Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2015).
Professor Cohen is the recipient of Columbia University's Distinguished Faculty Award (the prestigious Lenfest Award) for excellence in teaching and research (February 2013) and the Distinguished Alumna Award from The New School for Social Research (May 2013). She has received many other fellowships and honors and has taught abroad numerous times in Germany (Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Frankfurt), France (Collège de France, Sciences Po, La Sorbonne, Paris), Italy (University of Pisa), and Canada (University of Toronto Law School).
Her current work is focused on democratic constitutionalism and the discourse of religious freedom: the challenges that "accommodation" and religious legal pluralism pose to liberalism, democratic legitimacy, the rule of law and constitutional democracy.