The 2008-09 round of the Leiter Report on philosophy departments is being released on Leiter's blog piecemeal, and today there's a list of interest to many readers of this blog: political philosophy.
Top 9 Faculties in "Political Philosophy" in the English-Speaking World
In the specialty rankings, faculties are grouped according to their mean score, rounded to the nearest .5. In parentheses after the school's name, the median and mode scores are listed. Within the grouping, faculties are listed alphabetically.
Group 1 (1-3) (rounded mean of 4.5) (median, mode)
Harvard University (5, 5)
New York University (5, 5)
University of Arizona (4.5, 4.5)
Group 2 (4-9) (rounded mean of 4.0) (median, mode)
Brown University (4, 4)
Oxford University (4.25, 4.5)
Princeton University (4, 5)
Stanford University (4.5, 4.5)
University College London (3.75, 3.75)
Yale University (4, 4.25)
This is a very good list, and shows the value of the Leiter Reports. Even though Arizona has been an excellent program in legal and/or political philosophy more often than not in my lifetime, I think it still gets undervalued in some circles just because the university as a whole isn't a traditional name-brand research powerhouse. Brown and Stanford have made important new commitments to political philosophy over the past several years, and I think either would now be a terrific place to study the field, but that's relatively new, and the kind of thing that could take a long time to become conventional wisdom.
Compared with the 2006 list (I assume that at some point that link will start pointing to the new list, but it hasn't yet):
Oxford has dropped to group 2 (G.A. Cohen has retired and not yet been replaced)
NYU has risen to group 1 (Samuel Scheffler has been hired)
Michigan has dropped out of group 2 (lost Darwall, but I'm still surprised at the drop)
Berkeley has dropped out of group 2 (lost Scheffler)
Toronto has dropped out of group 2 (lost Sreenivasan and Hawkins, but I'm still surprised at the drop)
Rutgers has dropped out of group 2 (probably some obvious reason for this but I don't recall)
Yale has risen into group 2
For what it's worth, I would still think that Michigan ought to be somewhere near the top.