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Membership Requirements

To join the Association for Political Theory, you must meet our membership requirements and complete our online application form.  Your application information will be transmitted to our Membership Secretary.

Successful applicants must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Holding an advanced degree in some field related to political theory or political and social philosophy;

  • Holding a faculty-level appointment at an institution of higher learning, or holding the equivalent at a research institute or government agency relevant to political thought. 

  • Enrollment in a masters or doctoral program in a field related to political thought.

  • Publishing work in political thought, broadly construed, that has been subject to professional peer review or its equivalent.

The Association encourages applicants from many fields in addition to political science and philosophy.  Our members include scholars of history, rhetoric, English, sociology, film studies, literature, religion, economics, and other fields.  Many fields can be  “relevant to political theory or political philosophy” if you are interested in making them so.  Just explain your interest in your membership application.

There are two ways to demonstrate that you meet our membership requirements.  For most scholars, the listing of your name and email address on the website or in the online directory of a university, college, or research institute should suffice. Note that we must be able to confirm your appointment and email address online.  Graduate students are strongly encouraged to add a website address documenting their enrollment (such as a departmental graduate student directory).  Scholars not listed on an official website or whose email address cannot be confirmed on an official site will need to document the validity of their standing or of their email address by some other means. Such means include an email confirmation of your credentials from an established scholar or an administrative staff member at an established institution of higher learning, writing from an email address that we can confirm as valid.

The aim of these requirements is not to be needlessly exclusive, but to eliminate applications from individuals who are not serious scholars, as well as to weed out applicants who may seek to mine our membership directory in order to send spam email, or who may seek access to our conference paper archive in order to plagiarize the work of our members.  We periodically receive applications raising such suspicions; almost all of those applicants never respond when questioned about their credentials.

Individuals who have a strong desire to join but who do not obviously meet the membership requirements listed above may petition the APT Membership Secretary, explaining why an exception to these requirements should be considered.

Because Association officers are all volunteer college or university faculty, the review of membership applications may take some four to six weeks, particularly during busy parts of the academic year or during break periods, when officers may be away from their campuses.

All members have the option of listing themselves in our password-protected online membership directory or of opting out of that listing entirely.  Members who choose to list themselves have the further option of listing their contact information as well as their names and research interests, or of listing just their names and research interests.  The applications of those choosing to list themselves in our online membership directory may be edited to assure that the information submitted conforms to the style of our directory and does not contain inappropriate or offensive information.

See also "Frequently Asked Questions " about membership.

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