Gabriel Mares

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Politics
001 Fisher Hall

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate based in Princeton’s Department of Politics, studying the regulation of state violence and how concepts in international politics emerge “from below.” My research lies at the intersection of comparative political theory and international theory. My work explores how communities and states conceptualize and regulate violent threats; in particular, how colonial legacies within societies and institutions are reflected in such conceptualizations and regulations. As an interdisciplinary researcher, I draw on qualitative, interpretive, and historiographical methods to formulate and answer research questions focused on territory, agency, and sovereignty, and use archival research to support my work. My dissertation received an honorable mention from the British International Studies Association’s (BISA) Nicholson Thesis Prize committee, an international prize for best thesis in international studies. 

In my book project I recover debates in Africa, in particular in Sudan and South Sudan, on sovereignty and reconciliation in the aftermath of postcolonial state failure. I focus on how African agents articulated alternate visions of what state capacity building, human dignity, and responsibility to a population could mean, and how the doctrine of “sovereignty-as-responsibility” emerged from those debates. I use this to critique what I term “tragic structuralism,” the tendency to narrate failed resistances against domination as foredained by structural forces, in postcolonial theory. This project includes extensive archival research. In May, 2024, The University Center for Human Values at Princeton will host a book manuscript workshop for this project. 

Peer-reviewed Articles: 

“Just War Theory After Empire and the War on Terror: Reexamining Non-Combatant Immunity” International Theory doi:10.1017/S1752971920000482  

“Recovering African Contestation and Innovation in Global Politics Through Sovereignty-as-Responsibility” forthcoming, International Theory

Edited Volume Chapters: 

“Look, a Terrorist! Frantz Fanon and Just War Theory After Empire,” forthcoming. For Just War Thinkers, Vol. II: Notes from the Margins, edited by Daniel Brunstetter and Cian O’Driscoll. Under contract with Routledge’s series War, Conflict, and Ethic

In Progress: 

Beyond the Postcolonial: Comparative political theory, sovereignty, and reconciliation (book manuscript) 

“Canon Formation and Speech Act Theory: Insights from the Anti-imperial Recovery of Edmund Burke” (Under review) 

“Drowning in Discrimination: Race, pools, and schools, from ‘Reflections on Little Rock’ to McKinney, Texas” 

“Just War in an Age of Abolition: The Colonial Construction of Inter-national Order” 

“Foucault, Unleaded: Reconstructing the Incarcerable Subject Through Environmental Social Science”