Research Affiliate, Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women


Chloé Bakalar received an A.M. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree in politics from New York University. Most recently, she was Values and Public Policy Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values and the Woodrow Wilson School/Center for the Study of Democratic Politics.

Chloé Bakalar is a political and legal theorist with a background in American politics. Her research focuses on questions of democratic theory, the history of modern political thought and public law, with an emphasis on freedom of speech. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Small Talk: The Impact of Social Speech on Liberal Democratic Citizenship, which highlights neglected concerns for everyday communication in the history of political thought and Anglo-American jurisprudence, and introduces a framework for understanding how everyday talk—or “social speech”—influences liberal democratic citizenship and political outcomes in both positive and negative ways. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach that draws upon deliberative democratic theory, classical liberal political thought and empirical social science, this book closely examines two contemporary case studies of social speech, online speech (including online hate speech and cyber harassment) and safe space speech, in order to demonstrate how the tone and content of seemingly apolitical communication can affect both the scope and quality of liberal democratic citizenship. It then provides policy recommendation for how these types of communication can best be structured to advance the values of equality and inclusiveness.