Eniola Anuoluwapo Soyemi obtained her PhD in Political Science from Boston University, where she focused on political philosophy. Her dissertation asks how law comes to wield an especial type of legitimacy that secures the general obedience of a given population. Her dissertation combines political philosophy and legal philosophy, experimental field work in Nigeria, and archival research in England on the colonial origins of Nigeria’s legal system, by analysing, in particular, the arguments of Aristotle, Rousseau, and H.L.A. Hart. It demonstrates a connection between participation and citizens’ perception of the moral legitimacy of laws, it does so by identifying participation as a means of understanding the rationale for laws, rather than as chiefly a means of making and influencing them to the point of everyone’s satisfaction and approval. Eniola’s thesis does not follow the trends of deliberative democratic theory, but in fact acts as a challenge to that sub-field.
Eniola is now engaged in turning her dissertation into a book manuscript. She is also working on a number of journal articles, on topics including the purpose of freedom in Rousseau, and the lessons of responsible freedom offered by an examination of justice in Aristotle's conception.
Her research interests lie in questions concerning the nature of freedom, justice, moral obligation, and democratic participation.
Eniola has teaching interests in Ancient to Early Modern Western Political Philosophy, Normative Ethics, and in African Philosophy and Religion. At Boston University, she led undergraduate seminars in political philosophy.