Minh Ly is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Vermont. His book, Answering to Us: The Right to Democratic Accountability, is under contract with Princeton University Press. The book explains the importance of accountability to democracy. The novel democratic theory that it develops gives us the resources to reckon with two of the most formidable anti-democratic forces we face today: the rise of elected authoritarianism and discrimination against minorities. Elected authoritarians are persecuting minorities and attacking the rule of law. Yet they claim to be democratic, because they were elected and contend that they represent the will of the people. Responding to this challenge, Answering to Us proposes a conception of democracy based not on a uniform popular will, but on the equal accountability of the government to the diverse persons it governs. Equal accountability requires the very rights to freedom of the press, protest, and the rule of law that elected authoritarians threaten. The book shows that we are freely self-governing when our public servants are democratically accountable to us, and we participate democratically to protect each other’s freedom and equality.
Professor Ly’s research and teaching focus on democratic theory, the rights and responsibilities of democratic citizenship, economic justice, and global justice. His research has been published in the Journal of Politics, the Review of International Political Economy, the Business Ethics Journal Review, and the Routledge Handbook of Global Economic Governance. Before joining UVM, he was a Lecturer at Stanford in the Center for Ethics in Society and a postdoc in the University Center for Human Values and the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. Professor Ly earned his Ph.D with distinction in political science from Brown and his A.B. from Harvard.