Will Kymlicka

Will Kymlicka

Professor and Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy

Philosophy, Political Studies

Queen's University

Will Kymlicka received his B.A. in philosophy and politics from Queen's University in 1984, and his D.Phil. in philosophy from Oxford University in 1987. He is the author of seven books published by Oxford University Press: Liberalism, Community, and Culture (1989), Contemporary Political Philosophy (1990; second edition 2002), Multicultural Citizenship (1995), which was awarded the Macpherson Prize by the Canadian Political Science Association, and the Bunche Award by the American Political Science Association, Finding Our Way: Rethinking Ethnocultural Relations in Canada (1998), Politics in the Vernacular: Nationalism, Multiculturalism, Citizenship (2001), Multicultural Odysseys: Navigating the New International Politics of Diversity (2007), and Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights (2011, co-authored with Sue Donaldson), awarded the 2013 Book Prize by the Canadian Philosophical Association. He is also the editor of 23 books including Multiculturalism and the Welfare State (OUP 2006), The Politics of Reconciliation in Multicultural Societies (OUP, 2008), Identity Politics in the Public Realm (UBC 2011), Rooted Cosmopolitanism (UBC 2012), Multiculturalism and Minority Rights in the Arab World (OUP, 2014), International Approaches to Governing Ethnic Diversity (OUP, 2015), The Strains of Commitment: The Political Sources of Solidarity in Diverse Societies (OUP, 2017), Gender Parity and Multicultural Feminism (OUP, 2018), and Animal Labour: A New Frontier of Interspecies Justice? (OUP, 2019). He is currently the Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy at Queen's University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, of the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. His works have been translated into 34 languages.

Current Projects

The Multiculturalism Policy Index [MCP] is a scholarly research project that monitors the evolution of multiculturalism policies in 21 Western democracies. The project is designed to provide information about multiculturalism policies in a standardized format that aids comparative research and contributes to the understanding of state-minority relations.

In the burgeoning field of critical animal studies, Queen’s Philosophy is establishing a home for scholars focused on the ethical, legal and political dimensions of human-animal relationships. We live in an unprecedented era of animal exploitation, habitat destruction, and species loss, prompting many to reconsider the ethics and sustainability of our treatment of non-human animals. APPLE’s goal is to help bring “the animal question” into the mainstream of academic research and public debate in Canada, focusing in particular on the moral, legal and political dimensions of how human-animal relations are governed. Information about APPLE’s research, events and members can be found here: APPLE's Website

Will Kymlicka is co-director, with Irene Bloemraad (sociology, UC Berkeley), of a multi-year program on Boundaries, Membership and Belonging, funded by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. The program brings together leading social scientists and political and legal theorists from around the world to explore how the boundaries of social and political membership are drawn in the contemporary world, and whether we can re-draw these boundaries in a way that is more inclusive without losing solidarity and the possibility of collective action. All societies distinguish members from non-members. Indeed, evolutionary biology and psychology suggest that humans are predisposed to distinguish “us” from “them,” and the process can lead to increased trust and cooperation towards members. But it can also lead to prejudice, suspicion and injustice towards non-members. The Boundaries, Membership & Belonging program brings together normative theorists and empirical social scientists to make sense of membership politics, particularly at the national level: to explore how claims to national membership are made and contested, how the circle of national membership expands and contracts over time, how ideas of national belonging are mobilized, and how feelings of national membership relate to more universalist or cosmopolitan identities and claims. In short: why membership matters in a globalizing world.