Joshua Freedman

  • Assistant Professor of Politics

Areas of Study


PhD, Northwestern University, 2019
MA, University of British Columbia, 2011
BA (Hons), University of Toronto, 2010


Joshua Freedman is an assistant professor of politics at Oberlin College, where he teaches courses on global politics, international law, international security, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He also teaches an advanced seminar on genocide and international criminal law.

Freedman’s research interests center around the politics of recognition, identity, and status in international conflict and diplomacy.

Political leaders often engage in open fights for recognition, announcing that some crucial element of their state’s identity, or status, has not been properly acknowledged and respected in the conduct of diplomacy. Recognition campaigns of this sort have captured peace-negotiations, they have made reconciliation between adversaries more difficult and conflicts more entrenched, and they have been used to frame, defend, and oppose cooperation between states and international organizations.

Freedman’s book project, The Recognition Dilemma in World Politics, explores the agency that so often lurks behind these struggles, motivating the question of why recognition, and its perceived absence, is so often made to matter. Substantively, his research draws on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Armenian-Turkish genocide dispute, Brexit, and China’s rise.

Elements of this research have been published in the European Journal of International Relations. Public commentary stemming from this research has been featured in the Monkey Cage @ the Washington Post, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and Al Jazeera English.

Spring 2024

International Security — POLT 220
Politics & Power of International Law — POLT 229

Fall 2024

Introduction to International Politics — POLT 120


Joshua Freedman presents at European Workshops in International Studies

July 21, 2021

Visiting Assistant Professor of Politis Joshua Freedman presented new research on the international status politics of climate governance at the European Workshop in International Studies.

Joshua Freedman publishes article in International Studies Quarterly

February 4, 2021

Visiting Assistant Professor of Politics Joshua Freedman published an article in International Studies Quarterly on the politics of identity and recognition in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.


College of Arts and Sciences Welcomes New Faculty for 2023-24

September 18, 2023

Students choose Oberlin—and thrive at Oberlin—because of the nurturing mentorship of the outstanding faculty who guide their learning. We are honored to welcome the newest additions to our faculty across the College of Arts and Sciences for 2023-24.