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About Dr John Wolfe Ackerman

Dr John Wolfe Ackerman is a Lecturer in Politics & International Relations at Northeastern University London. John teaches Political Theory.



MA, PhD (Political Science) Northwestern University (2008, 2013)

MA (International Relations) The University of Chicago (2006)

BA (Art History) Williams College (1999)


Professional Body Membership

American Political Science Association member, 2010-present

Dr John Wolfe Ackerman's Research

Dr Ackerman’s main research project at present involves an effort in re-historicising Hannah Arendt’s political thought – reading it back into the German and German-Jewish intellectual and political contexts out of which it emerged in order to generate new critical understandings of the arguments advanced throughout Arendt’s writings and their implications for contemporary political theory.


Selected publications

Judith Butler: Between Ethics and Politics, with Bonnie Honig. Makers of Jewish Modernity, eds. Jacques Picard, Jacques Revel, Michael P. Steinberg and Idith Zertal. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.

Political-Theological Pluralism. Religious Pluralism: A Resource Book, eds. Aurélia Bardon, Maria Birnbaum, Lois Lee and Kristina Stoeckl. Florence: European University Institute/Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, 2015.

Deanimalisiertes Leben (Deanimalised Life). Suspensionen. Über das Untote, eds. Carolin Blumenberg, Alexandra Heimes, Erica Weitzman and Sophie Witt. Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 2015.

The Memory of Politics: Hannah Arendt, Carl Schmitt and the Possibility of Encounter. Concentrationary Memories: Totalitarian Terror and Cultural Resistance, eds. Griselda Pollock and Max Silverman. London: I.B. Tauris, 2014.

Hannah Arendt. Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought, ed. Gregory Claeys. Washington, DC: SAGE/CQ Press, 2013.

Agonalität (Agonality), with Bonnie Honig. Arendt-Handbuch. Leben – Werk – Wirkung, eds. Wolfgang Heuer, Bernd Heiter and Stefanie Rosenmüller. Stuttgart: Verlag J.B. Metzler, 2011. (Chinese translation, Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press, 2015.)

Review essays and reviews

Why Political Theology Again? Review Essay on Paul W. Kahn, Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty and Paul W. Kahn, Sacred Violence: Torture, Terror, and Sovereignty. Annual Book Review Symposium, Tulsa Law Review 48.2 (Winter 2012): 285-298.

Review of Andreas Kalyvas, Democracy and the Politics of the Extraordinary: Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Hannah Arendt. The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory 86.4 (Oct.-Dec. 2011): 320-324.

Online publications

Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism. Expanding Jewish Political Thought: Beneath, between, before, and beyond the state. Penn Libraries online exhibition, University of Pennsylvania, 2017.

Dr John Wolfe Ackerman's Teaching

At Northeastern University London, Dr Ackerman teaches on the following courses:

  • Modern Political Thought
  • Old Powers New Powers: Imperialism, Colonialism and the Modern State
  • International Relations: Theory and Practice

Prior to Northeastern University London, John has taught politics and law at the University of Kent, the Technical University Dresden and Northwestern University.


Languages Spoken

Fluent in English, German, French.