Rodrigo Mendoza is a Ph.D. student at Columbia's Department of Political Science specializing in political theory. His work critically examines theories of justice, mainly within the Rawlsian tradition, and is oriented towards developing a new account of justice that may be better suited to providing real-world guidance for both policymaking and individuals' actions. He hopes that such an account may be able to provide clearer insights into what specific duties different actors must fulfill and what courses of action they must take for justice to be furthered.
Mr. Mendoza holds a B.A. from Columbia, where he majored in political science, philosophy, and history, as well as an M.A. in the social sciences from the University of Chicago. At both universities, he explored the possibility of shifting the focus of justice theory from institutions, around which Rawlsian theories revolve, to interpersonal interactions. Understanding institutions to be a product of individuals' actions, Mr. Mendoza believes this shift may serve as the first step in the development of his account of justice, allowing him to more effectively analyze justice both at the level of analysis of individuals and at the level of institutions.