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César Valenzuela

Humanities and Sciences

César Valenzuela is a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy and a master’s student in political science; he specializes in political philosophy. His interests lie at the intersection between democratic theory, environmental ethics and philosophy of race. In his dissertation, César examines how climate change pushes us to rethink the limits of democratic legitimacy. The project explores which emergency powers should be granted to governments in order to guarantee both effectiveness and constraint in climate action, given the danger of democratic backsliding during emergencies. Secondarily, César studies whether and how the urgency of mitigation and adaptation pushes environmental activists towards radical or revolutionary action.

César was a fellow at the Stanford Basic Income Lab where he helped building a toolkit for policymakers interested in running basic income pilots in their cities. He additionally served for two years as the co-representative of the Minorities and Philosophy Chapter and co-taught a course on economic inequality at Hope House, a drug and alcohol treatment facility for women, many of whom have recently been incarcerated.

Before coming to Stanford, César earned a B.A. and an M.A. in philosophy from the universities Sorbonne and Panthéon-Sorbonne, respectively. He also studied communications, earning a B.A. from Universidad Central de Venezuela, and French Literature, receiving an M.A. from the Sorbonne. César is currently the president of GradQ - the Stanford student association for queer graduates - and a graduate fellow at the McCoy Center for Ethics.