Antonio Y. Vázquez-Arroyo

Antonio Y. Vázquez-Arroyo


a.vazquez [at]



Office Location

Room 714, Hill Hall

My areas of teaching and research interest are interdisciplinary and engage with contemporary political questions, but always in engagement with the history of political thought broadly understood. I have written on several major thinkers and themes, including Theodor W. Adorno, Jürgen Habermas, Simone Weil, Sheldon S. Wolin, democracy, liberalism and neoliberalism, political responsibility, universal history, the intersections between catastrophes, violence, and political life, and US imperialism, among others themes. My recent work is located at the intersections of the tradition of critical theory and the dialectical legacy, from G. W. F. Hegel to Fredric Jameson.

I recently published a book titled Political Responsibility: Responding to Predicaments of Power (Columbia University Press, 2016), which consists of a political and conceptual critique of the ethical turn in the humanities and social science, and a defense of a robustly political understanding of responsibility. At the moment, I am finishing a book-length manuscript that presents a sustained engagement with the dialectical legacy of Hegelian-Marxism and its two most prominent heirs, Theodor W. Adorno and Fredric Jameson, to think not only about the political and critical import of dialectical thinking today and think about the relationship between Theory and Critical Theory, but to explore its relevance in conceptualizing universal history. I continue to work on other projects that include an exploration of different modalities of catastrophe and how these intersect with contemporary political life; a novel interpretation of transatlantic political thought that offers a critique of so-called “decolonial thought” and formulates dialectical interpretation of the historicity of political thought and concepts like colonialism, utopia, and enlightenment  

I am a member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers-New Brunswick. Currently, I am also a faculty affiliate in the Program in Critical Theory and the Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY, and have an affiliation with the interdisciplinary research network Antropolí­tica, which is based at the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. 

Courses Taught

·       Catastrophes, Crises, Political Life

·       Early Political Theory

·       Ideology and Politics

·       Literature and Politics

·       Marxism and Political Thought

·       Modern Political Theory

·       The Politics of Utopia


·       Critical theory

·       The dialectical legacy (Hegel, Marx, Adorno, Jameson)

·       Catastrophes and Political Life

·       Transatlantic Political Thought

·       Sheldon S. Wolin’s Political Thought

·       The historiography of political thought

·       Theories of interpretation


McMillan Travel Fund, University of Minnesota (Fall 2009, Spring 2011)

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship, “German Exile Culture in California,” Stanford University (Summer 2007)

Ronald N. McNair Scholarship for Minority Students, Universidad de Puerto Rico (1996-97)

American Political Science Association Minority Fellow (1996)


Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2004

B.A., Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Pedras, 1997



  • Wayward Dialectics (in progress)
  • Political Responsibility: Responding to Predicaments of Power (New York: Columbia University Press, 2016). Reviewed in Contemporary Political Theory, Perspectives in Politics, Political Theory

Journal Articles

  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Critical Theory, Colonialism, and the Historicity of Thought,” Constellations 25 (March 2018): 54-70
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “On Interpreting Hobbes Politically,” Contemporary Political Theory 16 (February 2017): 89-98
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Refurbishing Liberal Democracy? On Wendy Brown’s Undoing the Demos,” Theory & Event 20 (April 2017): 528-536
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Sheldon S. Wolin and the Historicity of Political Thought,” The Good Society 24 (2015): 146-163
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “How Not to Learn from Catastrophe: Habermas, Critical Theory and the Catastrophization of Political Life,” Political Theory 41 (October 2013): 738-765
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “The Antinomies of Violence and Catastrophe: Orders, Structures and Agents,” New Political Science 34 (June 2012): 211-221
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Democracy Today: Four Maxims,” Theory and Event 13:2 (June 2010), online
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Minima Humana: Adorno, Exile, and the Dialectic,” Telos 149 (Winter 2009): 105-125
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Universal History Disavowed: On Critical Theory and Postcolonialism,” Postcolonial Studies 11: 4 (December 2008): 451-473
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Liberal Democracy and Neoliberalism: A Critical Juxtaposition,” New Political Science 30: 2 (June 2008): 127-159
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Responsibility, Violence, and Catastrophe,” Constellations 15:1 (March 2008): 98-125
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Re-cognizing Recognition: A Commentary on Patchen Markell’s Bound by Recognition,” Polity 38:1 (January 2006): 4-12
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “El nuevo imperialismo norteamericano,” Historia y Sociedad 25 (2004): 85-107
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Agonized Liberalism: The Liberal Theory of William E. Connolly,” Radical Philosophy 127 (September/October 2004): 8-19

Book Chapters

  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “At the Edges of Civic Freedom: Power, Violence, Enmity,” in Freedom and Democracy in an Imperial Context: Dialogues with James Tully, ed. Robert Nichols and Jakeet Singh (Oxan and New York: Routledge, 2014), 48-70
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “La dialéctica de la catástrofe y la ‘catastrofización’ de la política” El poder en plural, ed. Monica Espinosa Arango and Alex Betancourt (Bogotá: Editorial de la Universidad de los Andes, 2014), 107-29.

Encyclopedia Entry

  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Responsibility” (8,000 words, peer reviewed), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought, ed. Michael T. Gibbons (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), 3248-3260

Review Essays

  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y. (co-authored with Jennifer Duprey), “Binding Violence, or the Valences of Political Power,” The Minnesota Review 78 (2012): 95-103.
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Inverted Totalitarianism,” Telos 156 (Fall 2011): 167-177
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Utopia: A Critical Archaism or an Ideological Anachronism?,” Political Theory 36:2 (April 2008): 321-332
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Agamben, Derrida, and the Genres of Political Theory,” Theory & Event 8:1 (2005)
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Recasting the Left at the End of History,” Polity 34 (Summer 2002): 553-569

Book Reviews

  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., Review of Amy Allen’s The End of Progress (Columbia University Press, 2015) in Contemporary Political Theory (forthcoming 2018)
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., “Decolonial Feints.” Review of George Ciccariello-Maher’s Decolonizing Dialectics (Duke University Press, 2017), Theory & Event 21 (January 2018): 324-329
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., Review of Shalini Satkunanandan’s Extraordinary Responsibility (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Critical Dialogues, Perspectives on Politics 15 (December 2017): 1110-1012
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., Review of Kimberly A. Hudson, Justice, Intervention, and Force in International Relations (Routledge, 2009), Perspectives on Politics 8 (December 2010): 1193-1195
  • Vázquez-Arroyo, Antonio Y., Review of Fernando Mires, El imperialismo norteamericano no existe y otros ensayos (Ediciones Vertigo, 2004), Disonante 1 (2005)

Other Publications