Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Uday Mehta

Committee Members

Leonard Feldman

Duncan Faherty

Subject Categories

Ethics and Political Philosophy


political theory, travel, liberalism, rhetoric, ethics, authority


In this dissertation, I use texts by Plato, Locke, Homer, and Gandhi to explore the political dimension of travel. I argue that travel is a proxy for practices and conditions that exceed “normal” politics. In this capacity, travel reveals what normal politics is, or is assumed to be. Travel marks a boundary of the political realm in a double sense: it may conceal or point to a pre-political source of authority; and it may provide an intimation of new political modes and orders. My analyses suggest that there is no single or consistent relationship between travel and politics. Rather, the political meanings of travel are tethered to the political visions of their texts. In this sense, my argument is about the function of travel in political argumentation, not about its trans-textual meaning.

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