Meet our JSD Students and Candidates

Xi Zhang

Xi Zhang portrait

Dissertation Title: What We Value About Others: Associative Obligation From the Perspective of Practical Reasoning

Doctoral Supervisor: Professor Moshe Halbertal (primary), Professor Liam B. Murphy

Biography: Xi Zhang is a JSD Candidate at NYU Law. He obtained his LL.B. and Bachelor of Economics (double major) from Peking University in 2014. After working as a transactional lawyer in two international law firms based in Beijing and Shanghai over three years, he moved to the United States and transitioned into academia. He obtained his LL.M. in legal theory from NYU Law in 2018, and continued his affiliation with NYU Law as a Junior Research Scholar at U.S.-Asia Law Institute and Center of Civil Justice in AY 2018-19. He joined the JSD program at NYU Law in Fall 2019, and is currently writing his dissertation exploring the topic of associative obligation through the lens of valuing under the supervision of Moshe Halbertal and Liam B. Murphy.

Research: Xi specializes in legal theory, and works at the intersections of legal, moral, and political philosophy with particular focuses on normativity and obligation, value and reason, the ethics of partiality, etc. In addition, Xi’s academic expertise covers jurisprudential methodology, experimental jurisprudence, law & emotion, and his academic competence covers socio-legal studies, comparative legal studies, Chinese legal and political thought as well as Chinese law from sociological and comparative perspectives. In the near future, Xi hopes to advance his research agenda into more substantive subject matters of law, such as international law, criminal law, and family law.

Xi has been an instructor for multiple upper-level reading groups at NYU Law since Spring 2022. Besides that, Xi has also presented his works in progress at numerous forums in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Turkey, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China. In particular, Xi has also remained an active presence in the jurisprudential community in China, including his initiative of the Chinese Jurisprudential Discussion Group in Summer 2022. Xi’s paper “Valuing, Valuable, and Reason” was awarded the winner of the Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy Essay Competition in 2021. Xi’s other works are forthcoming in Legal and Political Philosophy Review and Yenching Legal Studies (both peer-review journals in Chinese).