Ballingall, Robert



Email Address



Political Theory


Public Policy


Ryan Balot

Ballingall, Robert


The Reverent City: Plato's 'Laws' and the Politics of Ethical Authority


Robert is the 2016-17 Allan Bloom Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow for Research in Classical Political Thought at the University of Toronto, where he also took his PhD. His research examines the fraught relationship between classical political philosophy and modern—especially liberal democratic—political thought. Robert’s work has appeared in History of Political Thought, Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought, and The Journal of Intellectual History and Political Thought.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

2016. “Distant Goals: Second-best Imitation in Plato’s Laws.” History of Political Thought 37, no. 1: pp. 1-24.

2012. “An Unresolved Problem with the ‘Developmental’ Concept of Power in C. B. Macpherson.” Journal of Intellectual History & Political Thought 1.1: 136-74.

2011. “Is There a Case for Limiting Democratic Openness?” Public Policy & Governance Review 2.2: 52-62. First runner-up for the 2011 Sylvia Ostry Prize in Public Policy.

Book Reviews:

2016. “Plato’s Theological Entanglements.” Review of Gerd Van Riel, “Plato’s Gods” (Ashgate, 2013). Anamnesis 5: pp. 140-45

2014. “Liberalism as Ideology: Essays in Honour of Michael Freeden,” eds. Ben Jackson & Marc Stears (Oxford University Press, 2012). History of Political Thought 35.3: 590-93.

2013. “Plato’s Laws: Force and Truth in Politics,” eds. Gregory Recco & Eric Sanday (Indiana University Press, 2013). Polis 32.2: 350-53.

2012. “Plato’s Laws: A Critical Guide,” ed. Christopher Bobonich (Cambridge University Press, 2010). Journal of Intellectual History & Political Thought 1.1: 252-56.

2011. Martha C. Nussbaum, “Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities” (Princeton University Press, 2010). Public Policy & Governance Review 2.2: 74-76.

Research Interests

Greek political thought, liberalism and democratic theory, the rule of law, the politics of colonialism, environmental ethics

Previous Degrees

MPhil in Politics, University of Oxford, BA (Hons, first class) in Political Science, University of Alberta

Teaching Experience

Course Instructor: POL200: Political Theory (2015), TA: Lead Writing TA (2015-16), POLB30: Law, Justice, and Rights (2015), POL320: Modern Political Thought (2013-15), POL200: Political Theory (2009-2013)