Professional Biography

Dr. Ben-Porath received her doctorate in political philosophy from Tel Aviv University in 2000. She was awarded two successive Tel Aviv University President’s postdoctoral grants. In 2001-2004, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University.

Dr. Ben-Porath has been teaching at Penn GSE since 2004. At Penn, she served as a special assistant to the university president. She is executive committee member of the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy, and the chair of the faculty advisory board for Penn Press. From 2012-2013 she was affiliated with the Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University. She is currently an associate member of the political science department and the philosophy department at Penn.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Ben-Porath’s research focuses on citizenship education, normative aspects of educational and social policy, and the social and educational effects of war. Her areas of expertise include philosophy of education and political philosophy. Her books include Free Speech on Campus (2017) and Varieties of Sovereignty and Citizenship (2012), as well as Tough Choices: Structured Paternalism and the Landscape of Choice (2010) and Citizenship under Fire: Democratic Education in Times of Conflict (2006).  




Guest Columns
in The Washington Post's "Answer Sheet":



Ph.D. (Political Philosophy) Tel Aviv University, 2000

M.A. (Philosophy of Education) Tel Aviv University, 1994

B.A. (Education and Humanities) Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1993

Areas of Expertise

Civic education 
Politics of education reform
Philosophy of education
Political philosophy



Selected Publications

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2017). Free speech on campus. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Ben-Porath, S. (2016, November). Safety, dignity and the quest for a democratic campus culture. Philosophical Inquiry in Education, 24(1), 79–85.

Ben-Porath S., & Dishon, G. (2015). Taken out of context: Defending civic education from the situationist critique. Philosophical Inquiries in Education. 23(1), 22-37. 

McGinn, K., & Ben-Porath, S. (2014, July). School choice and parental engagement: Some reasons for caution. Theory and Research in Education12(2), 172-192. 

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2013, July). Deferring virtue: The new management of students and the civic role of schools. Theory and Research in Education, 11(2), 111-128.

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2012, June). School choice and educational opportunity: Rationales, outcomes and racial disparities. Theory and Research in Education. 10(2), 171-189.

Ben-Porath, S.R., & Smith, R. M. (Eds.). (2012). Varieties of sovereignty and citizenship. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2012, August). Citizenship as shared fate: Educating for membership in a diverse democracy. Educational Theory62(4), 381-395. 

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2012, February). Defending rights in (special) education. Educational Theory62(1), 25-38. 

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2011, September). Wartime citizenship: An argument for shared fate. Ethnicities11(3), 313-325.

Ben-Porath, S. (2010, December). Exit rights and entrance paths: Accommodating cultural diversity in a liberal democracy. Perspectives on Politics8(4), 1021-1033.

Ben-Porath, S. R. (2010). Tough choices: Structured paternalism and the landscape of choice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2010). School choice as a bounded ideal.  Journal of Philosophy of Education. 43(4), 527-544.

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2008, Spring). Care ethics and dependence—Rethinking jus post bellumHypatia, 23(2), 61-71.

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2007, March). Civic virtue out of necessity: Patriotism and democratic education. Theory and Research in Education. 5(1), 41-59. 

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2006). Citizenship under fire: Democratic education in times of conflict. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.