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An American and Italian citizen, David Ragazzoni is currently a PhD candidate in Political Theory and a Teaching Assistant at the Department of Political Science of Columbia University in New York, where he also pursues a 'special minor' in Law. His research is fully funded by a Dean's Fellowship and primarily supervised by Nadia Urbinati. David was trained in the history of political philosophy at Scuola Normale Superiore (the Italian Ecole Normale Superieure) and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa (Italy), two elite institutions of the Italian academic system which fully funded his undergraduate and graduate studies. Before embarking on a PhD at Columbia, he was a visiting student at Yale (Department of Politics), a visiting scholar at Columbia (Department of Politics), and a part-time lecturer and graduate fellow at the University of Pennsylvania (Department of Politics), where he also received the President Amy Gutmann Leadership Award.
Outside academia, he interned at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome (Directorate for Multilateral Political Affairs: G8 and Counter-Terrorism) and at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime at the UN Headquarters in New York.
RESEARCH INTERESTS AND RESEARCH AGENDA
His research interests sit at the intersection of democratic theory, intellectual history, and the history of modern political thought.
Over the past years he has focused on modern European political thought, and primarily on debates on the concepts of representation and democracy through the lens of authors such as Tocqueville, J. S. Mill, Marx, and early XX-century German political, legal, and State theory (Weber, Schmitt, and Kelsen).
At Columbia his research agenda revolves around modern Italian political thought and intellectual history (late XVIII-XX centuries), XX-century democratic theory, and the intersection of the two (Italian visions of democracy, representative institutions, and the State in the XIX and XX centuries).
He is the co-author and coeditor of the volume "The Fate of Democracy. The Enduring Relevance of Tocqueville" (Rome, 2010; in Italian); the author of the book "The Democratic Leviathan. Parliament, Parties, and Leaders between Weber and Kelsen" (Rome, 2016; in Italian); and the coauthor, with Nadia Urbinati, of the book "Italy’s “Second Republic”. Genealogy of an Ideology" (Milan, 2016; in Italian). With Nadia Urbinati he is also the author of the book chapter “Italian Theories of Representative Government in Italy between the 1840s and the 1920s” in the volume "Parliament and Parliamentarism. A Comparative History of a European Concept" (Oxford-New York, 2016).
Besides numerous essays and book chapters in Italian volumes and peer-reviewed journals, he has published essays and book reviews in “Contemporary Political Theory”, “Political Studies Reviews”, “Journal of Intellectual History and Political Thought”, "Cambridge Review of International Affairs" (among other venues).
He is currently working on a number of essays and review essays in English concerning the concepts of sovereignty, democracy, and partisanship in the history of political thought and democratic theory; on a book chapter titled “Political Compromise and Party Democracy: An Overlooked Puzzle in Kelsen's Democratic Theory" to be included in the volume "Compromise and Disagreement in Contemporary Political Theory" (under contract with Routledge, forthcoming in July 2017); and on two broad projects on modern Italian political thought (the Italian Enlightenment: Verri and Beccaria; the work of Norberto Bobbio, with regards to both his "history" of the history of political thought and his theory of democracy). Together with Lars Vinx, he is planning to work on the project of the first full English translation of Hans Kelsen’s essays on democracy from the 1920s and early 1930s, to show the distinctiveness of his democratic vision in XX-century political thought and its relevance for contemporary democratic theory.
David presented his work in workshops at Yale (Politics) and Columbia (Politics; Law School); in thematic conferences at Oxford (Inaugural Graduate Conference in Political Theory as well as the Early Career Seminar in the History of Political Thought), University of London (London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought), Saint Andrews (First Graduate Conference in International Political Theory), the University of California at Berkeley (Graduate Conference in the History of British Political Thought), and the University of Cambridge (Ninth Graduate Conference in Intellectual History and Political Thought); in field conferences such as the Mancept Workshops in Political Theory, the European Consortium for Political Research General Conference, and the American Political Science Association Annual Conference.
As a graduate student in Italy, he co-organized the three editions (2008-2010) of the Colloquium in Political Philosophy between IUSS (Pavia), Scuola Normale and Scuola Sant'Anna (Pisa), under the scientific supervision of Salvatore Veca and with the participation of Nadia Urbinati.