Sabeel Rahman is an Assistant Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, a Fellow at the New America Foundation, and a Four Freedoms Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. His interests revolve around issues of inclusive and equitable economic policy; democratic participation; law; and social and democratic theory.
Since 2013, Rahman has served as the Research and Design Director and a member of the founding leadership team of the Gettysburg Project, a Ford Foundation-funded initiative to facilitate innovation among leading practitioners and scholars in the fields of community organizing, civic engagement, and economic justice movements. In 2014 he served as a Special Advisor in the de Blasio administration in New York City, leading an inter-agency strategy and design process to help formulate a long-term, inclusive economic development agenda for the city. In 2015, Mayor de Blasio appointed Rahman to serve on the Rent Guidelines Board, which sets rent stabilization and rent control policy for New York City.
Rahman’s first book, Democracy Against Domination (forthcoming, Oxford University Press) offers a new account of how ideals of democracy can respond to persisting disparities of economic power. The book explores how progressive politics evolved from a robust critique of economic power and appeal to popular sovereignty in the Progressive Era to a thinner, managerial and technocratic focus in the late twentieth century. The book then argues for a return to the more democratic and egalitarian tradition of progressive politics, outlining what this approach might look like in context of modern debates over financial regulation, the administrative state, and normative conceptions of democratic freedom. His new book projects look to extend these themes looking at (1) innovations in democratic and inclusive governance in the US today; and (2) the movements to reinvent the social contract in an era of economic inequality. In addition to his academic work, his writings have appeared in The Atlantic, The Boston Review, The Nation, and Salon.com.
He has previously worked as a researcher and advisor in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, and an advisor to the Governance Lab @ NYU, a hub for research and innovation on civic technology and democratic participation.
Sabeel holds a Ph.D from the Department of Government at Harvard University (2013), a J.D. from Harvard Law School (cum laude 2012), and an A.B. summa cum laude in Social Studies from Harvard College. He also holds an M.Sc in Economics for Development (Distinction), and a M.St in Sociolegal Studies from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He has previously been the Reginald Lewis Fellow at Harvard Law School (2012-2014); a Graduate Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics (2010-11), and a fellow at Harvard University Center for American Political Studies(2011-12). He is also a member of the Tobin Project‘s scholar network.