Sean Gray

Assistant Professor  & Undergraduate Program Director


SN 2034
Department of Political Science, Science Building
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 Canada

Telephone: (709) 864-8185
Email: swdgray[at]mun[dot]ca


 BA Hons (Queen’s University); PhD (University of British Columbia)

 Areas for Student Research and Supervision

  • Democratic theory
  • Civic engagement
  • Ethics and public policy
  • Law and social justice
  • History of political thought

Examples of Recent Courses Taught

POSC 2100 Introduction to Political Theory
POSC 3130 Democracy and Its Discontents
LWPP 3640 Ethics, Leadership, and Policy Analysis 
LWPP 4640 Democratic Innovations in Public Policy


Sean Gray is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. His research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of democratic theory and public policy, with a special focus on deliberation, civic engagement, and political ethics. Dr. Gray received his BA from Queen’s University and his PhD from the University of British Columbia. Prior to joining Memorial in 2022, Dr. Gray was a faculty member in the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, Harvard University, with additional teaching appointments at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He completed his postdoctoral work at Harvard’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and has held fellowships at the Centre for Advanced Studies Justitia Amplificata, Goethe University Frankfurt, and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar. Outside of his academic work, Dr. Gray has served as a consultant for several organizations looking to implement participatory governance models to improve public service delivery, including the City of Vancouver and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Selected Publications


(co-edited with Archon Fung) Empowering Affected Interests: Democratic Inclusion in A Globalized WorldNew York: Cambridge University Press (Forthcoming, 2024).

(co-edited with Justin Gest) Silent Citizenship: The Politics of Marginality in Unequal Democracies. New York: Routledge (2017).

Journal Articles

Towards a Democratic Theory of Silence,” Political Studies, Vol. 75, No. 3 (2023), pp. 815-834 (First online September 2021).

Silence and Democratic Institutional Design,” Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 24, No. 3 (2021), pp. 330-345.

Mapping Silent Citizenship: How Democratic Theory Hears Citizens’ Silence and Why it Matters,” Citizenship Studies, Vol. 19, No. 5 (2015), pp. 474-491.


“Two Complaints About Undemocratic Exclusion: Domination and Usurpation” in Fung and Gray (eds.) Empowering Affected Interests: Democratic Inclusion in A Globalized World. New York: Cambridge University Press (Forthcoming, 2024).

(with Archon Fung) “The All Affected Principle: A Pathway to Democracy for the 21st Century?” in Fung and Gray (eds.) Empowering Affected Interests: Democratic Inclusion in A Globalized World. New York: Cambridge University Press (Forthcoming, 2024).

Reviews and Exchanges

Review of Robert B. Talisse, Sustaining Democracy: What We Owe the Other Side (New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 168)The Review of Politics (Online First August 2023).

Interpreting Silence: A Note of Caution,” part of “Critical Exchange: The Nature of Silence and Its Democratic Possibilities,” Contemporary Political Theory, Vol. 18, No. 3 (2019), pp. 431-435.

Globalization, Private Governance, and the Insufficiency of Stakeholder Citizenship,” part of “Critical Exchange: Democratic Inclusion Beyond the State?” Contemporary Political Theory, Vol. 18, No. 1 (2019), pp. 88-114.