Tel Aviv University
Ariel and Joshua Weiner Family Fellowship

Research Topic

Legal Foundations of the Diasporic Jewish Nation


Julie Cooper is a senior lecturer in the Political Science Department at Tel Aviv University. Her research interests include the history of political theory; early modern political theory, especially Hobbes and Spinoza; secularism and secularization; Jewish political thought; and modern Jewish thought. At the Katz Center, her work will focus on the possibilities and perils of politics without sovereignty.

Cooper received her PhD in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught at Tel Aviv University, the University of Chicago, Syracuse University, and Columbia University.

Selected publications

  • coedited with Samuel H. Brody, Explorations in Jewish Political Thought (Penn Press, forthcoming)
  • “Heretic or Traitor? Spinoza’s Excommunication and the Challenge that Judaism Poses to the Study of Religious Diversity,” Political Theology 21.4 (2020)
  • Secular Powers: Humility in Modern Political Thought (University of Chicago Press, 2013)



Studying law between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries, an age of transition from a world of empires to the modern age of the nation-state and international law.


Asking if and how Jewish history, culture, and experience offered new paradigms with which to engage the politicaland, conversely, how mainstream political theories might expand Jewish studies in new and productive directions.