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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
October 19, 2017
Canadian Excellence
Dr. Ashwani Kumar Peetush

Dr. Ashwani Peetush

Associate Professor & Graduate Coordinator

Contact Information
Phone: 519-884-1970 ext.3874
Fax: 519-884-5465
Office Location: S014
Office Hours: By Appointment
Academic Background

Dr. Peetush specializes in Legal and Political Theory, and Ethics.

Ph.D. University of Toronto

B.A. McGill University


My research area is in legal and political philosophy, and ethics. My current focus is human rights, democracy, and global justice. I am interested in the conditions that make possible democratic deliberation: those that foster reflective, critical, and engaged citizenship. My work explores approaches to creating meaningful grassroots intercultural dialogue between various communities and peoples, given the diversity of their beliefs and practices. The underlying motivation of my research is to raise consciousness of issues of justice and fairness; in particular, I am concerned with the manner in which specific communities are arbitrarily disadvantaged, marginalized, and structurally oppressed on the basis of race, culture, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and economic status. In terms of international law and global justice, I am interested in developing a pluralistic framework for understanding human rights, one which recognizes the fundamental importance of basic norms of ethical decency, of equality and freedom (especially for women and the disabled), but, at the same time respects that such norms may be justified, articulated, and balanced within the self-understandings of localized contexts. 

In addition, I am interested in classical Indian philosophy and Sanskrit studies. My focus is in the metaphysics of the self and consciousness in Advaita Vedānta and Buddhism. I explore the legal and political implications of such theories with regard to current issues of toleration, pluralism, and justice. 

Recent Publications

Books Edited

Peetush, Ashwani and Jay Drydyk. Human Rights: India and the West. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2015.

Also available on Oxford Scholarship Online:

Articles and Books Chapters

Peetush, Ashwani. “Human Rights and Political Toleration in India: Multiplicity, Self, and Interconnectedness.” In Human Rights: India and the West, ed. Ashwani Peetush and Jay Drydyk. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2015.

Peetush, Ashwani. “Justice, Diversity, and Dialogue: Rawlsian Multiculturalism”. In Multiculturalism and Religious Identity: Perspectives from Canada and India, ed., Lori Beaman and Sonia Sikka. Montreal: McGill-Queens Press. 2014.

Peetush, Ashwani Kumar. “Diversity, Secularism, and Religious Toleration”, in Living with Religious Diversity, ed. Sonia Sikka, Bindu Puri, Lori G. Beaman & Omita Goyal, Special Issue of IIC Quarterly, Winter 2013/Spring 2014, 158-73.

I welcome graduate students interested in any of the above areas.

Additional Information

Interview Feb. 2013, New Delhi, India: