Caleb's research primarily focuses on democratic theory; in particular, he's interested in the contemporary obstacles to democratic practice and the consequences of those obstacles for citizen's political self-conceptions. His dissertation, entitled Living under Post-Democracy: Political Subjectivity in Fleetingly Democratic Times, brings the empirical literature on citizen participation to bear on democratic theory, challenging the latter's conceptual relevance and utility. Instead, he proposes embracing a model of post-democracy in which citizens stop thinking of themselves as 'participants' or 'decision-makers' and, subsequently, re-imagine their understandings of legitimacy, membership, responsibility, and culpability.

Additionally, he has a strong interest in political realism, particularly the work of Raymond Geuss, Bernard Williams, and Jeffrey Green. His article, "'What is to be done' when there is nothing to do?: Realism and Political Inequality," is forthcoming in Constellations, while another, "In Defense of Fighting Dirty: Better Call Saul and the Ethics of Democratic Practice," is in preparation. Related to his dissertation efforts, he also works on the question of political subjectivity in Hobbes. His piece, "'A State of Lesser Hope': The Servant in Hobbes's Natural Commonwealth" won the 2017 Hobbes Studies Essay Competition and is forthcoming. 

Caleb's future research is guided by two distinct, yet related concerns. First, how should political actors interpret democratic norms in an otherwise post-democratic environment; specifically, are they still obligated to observe such norms, even if doing so disadvantages them politically? Second, what are the ways in which a therapeutic approach to political philosophy can alleviate some of the negative, affective consequences of democratic frustration experienced by non-elites? How can this further inform a post-democratic approach to (pseudo-)political activity (e.g., voting, dissent, etc.)?

Outside of political theory, Caleb is also interested in pedagogical research; in particular, how best to prepare graduate students for their roles as instructors and how to best utilize programmatic learning Objectives (PLOs) in the classroom. He presented co-authored works at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference in both 2016 & 2017 and at the 2017 APSA meeting in San Francisco. His co-authored piece, "'When are we ever going to have to use this?': Discussing Programmatic Learning Objectives in the Classroom" is currently back under review at the Journal of Political Science Education.


We owe our life to the difference between the economic framework of late capitalism and its political facade. To theoretical criticism the discrepancy is slight: everywhere the sham character of supposed public opinion, the primacy of the economy in real decisions, can be demonstrated. For countless individuals, however, the thin, ephemeral veil is the basis of their entire existence.
— Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia #72 - "Second Harvest"