Lawrie Balfour

Professor of Politics

Department of Politics
S395 Gibson Hall
1540 Jefferson Park Ave
PO Box 400787
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4787


Lawrie Balfour is the author of Democracy’s Reconstruction: Thinking Politically with W. E. B. Du Bois (Oxford University Press) and The Evidence of Things Not Said: James Baldwin and the Promise of American Democracy (Cornell University Press). Her articles on race, gender, and democracy have appeared in Political Theory, Perspectives on Politics, American Political Science Review, Hypatia, The Du Bois Review, and other journals and edited volumes. She is working on two book manuscripts: one on reparations for slavery and Jim Crow and another on Toni Morrison and the idea of freedom. Balfour has held fellowships from the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard Divinity School, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A recipient of multiple teaching awards, she was Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Associate Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University in 2008-2009; a visiting faculty member at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris in May 2012; and a member of the faculty of the Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory in Bologna in 2017. Since 2017, Balfour has been the Editor of Political Theory: An International Journal of Political Philosophy. She has also served on the boards of Political Research Quarterly and Politics, Groups, and Identities and the Journal of Politics. Balfour was Director of Fellowships at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies from 2011-2013 and Interim Chair of Politics from January 2014-January 2015. She has been a core faculty member of UVA’s American Studies Program since 2016.