Jennie Ikuta is a Kinder Institute Assistant Professor of Constitutional Democracy and Assistant Professor of Political Science. Born in San Diego and raised in Yokohama, Japan, she returned to the United States as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago (2007) and completed her Ph.D. in political theory at Brown University (2014). Before arriving at Mizzou, she taught political theory at the University of Tulsa.
As a political theorist, Ikuta’s research interests center on the role of moral psychology in politics, especially in 19th- and 20th-century political thought. Her first book, Contesting Conformity: Democracy and the Paradox of Political Belonging (Oxford University Press, 2020) examines the thought of Tocqueville, Mill, and Nietzsche in order to investigate the notion of nonconformity and its relationship to modern democracy. Her second book project turns our attention to another dimension of moral psychology—willful ignorance—to examine how it sustains racial injustice in the United States.