What Egalitarianism Requires

An Interview with John E. Roemer


  • John E. Roemer Yale University




This is an interview by the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics (EJPE) with John E. Roemer. The interview covers Roemer’s intellectual biography; his extensive writings on exploitation, egalitarianism, socialism, bargaining, and justice; his latest work on Kantian optimization, his vision for the future of socialism; and, finally, his methodological commitments and the value of interdisciplinarity.

Author Biography

John E. Roemer, Yale University

John E. Roemer (Washington, 1945) is the Elizabeth S. and A. Varick Stout Professor of Political Science and Economics at Yale University, where he has taught since 2000. Before joining Yale, he had taught at the University of California, Davis, since 1974. He is also a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and has been a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. Roemer completed his undergraduate studies in mathematics at Harvard in 1966, and his graduate studies in economics at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1974.

Roemer’s work spans the domains of economics, philosophy, and political science, and, most often, applies the tools of general equilibrium and game theory to problems of political economy and distributive justice—problems often stemming from the discussions among political philosophers in the second half of the twentieth century. Roemer is one of the founders of the Anglo-Saxon tradition of analytical Marxism, particularly in economics, and a member of the September Group—together with Gerald A. Cohen and Jon Elster, among others—since its beginnings in the early 1980s. Roemer is most known for his pioneering work on various types of exploitation, including capitalist and Marxian exploitation (for example, A General Theory of Exploitation and Class, 1982), for his extensive writings on Marxian economics and philosophy (for example, Analytical Foundations of Marxian Economic Theory, 1981, and Free to Lose: An Introduction to Marxist Economic Philosophy, 1988), for his numerous writings on socialism (for example, A Future for Socialism, 1994), and for his work on the concept and measurement of equality of opportunity (for example, Equality of Opportunity, 1998).




How to Cite

Roemer, J. E. (2021). What Egalitarianism Requires: An Interview with John E. Roemer. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 13(2), 127–176. https://doi.org/10.23941/ejpe.v13i2.530