David Ragazzoni

David Ragazzoni

Research Interest

Dr. David Ragazzoni is a Core Lecturer in Contemporary Civilization and a Faculty Advisor for the MA in Political Theory at Columbia University, where he previously was an Early Career Lecturer in the Discipline of Political Science. He holds M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Columbia University, New York, with a specialization in democratic theory and the history of political thought and a “special minor” in Law. 

During his PhD, he received awards for both his research and his teaching, including the Doria Prize for the best paper by a Ph.D. student across the four subfields of political science and the Core Preceptor Award for Teaching Excellence in Columbia's Core Curriculum for the course Contemporary Civilization in 2021/2022 (for which he was one of the four finalists in 2019/2020).

Dr. Ragazzoni received his previous degrees from Scuola Normale Superiore and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa (Italy), two prestigious institutions of the Italian academic system, earning his Italian doctorate and, in 2018, Italy's National Scientific Habilitation as Associate Professor for his Italian scholarship. 

His research revolves primarily around historical debates on factions, parties, and the theory and practice of political conflict (with a focus on the political and legal ideas of Renaissance Italy and early 20th-century Continental Europe), and on the lessons that we can draw for our hyper-polarized present. It also examines the long history of democracy and constitutionalism, the study of political ideologies, the history of 20th-century democratic theory, and the populist critique of liberal, constitutional democracy. 

Dr. Ragazzoni is currently completing a book manuscript titled Democracy Between Parties and Leaders: Weber to Gramsci. Related to this project are two volumes: Hans Kelsen on Constitutional Democracy: Genesis, Theory, Legacies (co-edited with Professor Sandrine Baume, University of Lausanne; forthcoming with Cambridge University Press for the Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law series) and Hans Kelsen on Constitutional Democracy and Political Philosophy: Selected Writings from the Weimar Years (co-edited with Professor Lars Vinx, University of Cambridge; under contract with Oxford University Press for the Oxford Constitutional Theory series). He is also editing the first English translation of Norberto Bobbio's Regime Types and Regime Changes in the History of Political Thought: Herodotus to Marx (under contract with Columbia University Press for the Columbia Studies in Political Thought/History series). With Professor Nadia Urbinati (Columbia) and Professor Cristina Lafont (Northwestern), he is one of the co-editors and co-authors of the first ever Handbook of Democratic Theory (under contract with De Gruyter). 

His work in English has been published in Ethics and International Affairs, Constellations, International Journal of Critical and Democratic TheoryJournal of Political IdeologiesJournal of Modern Italian StudiesPolitical TheoryContemporary Political Theory, Cambridge Review of International Affairs; he has also contributed chapters to edited volumes, including the Cultural History of Democracy, a project in six volumes under the general editorship of Professor Eugenio Biagini (University of Cambridge).

Dr. Ragazzoni has presented his research at many universities, both in Europe and the United States, including, among others, the Universities of Oxford (2017; 2020), Cambridge (2016; 2018), Vienna (2019), Amsterdam (2019), Edinburgh (2019), Stanford (2020), and Harvard (Spring 2017; Fall 2017; 2019; 2022). He has presented his work often at the annual meetings of professional organizations such as APSA, MPSA, NPSA, ECPR, Mancept, and the UK and Ireland Association for Political Thought. Between 2019 and 2021 Dr. Ragazzoni designed and organized four international conferences, including Torture, Death Penalty, Imprisonment: Cesare Beccaria and His Legacies (Columbia Law School) and Machiavelli's Renaissance: The Present and Future of a Classic (the first political theory mini-conference accepted by APSA). Both conferences have generated projects that are currently being developed for academic journals such as History of Political Thought, European History of Ideas, Global Intellectual History, and Modern Intellectual History.

At Columbia he has taught extensively over the years in various capacities (Teaching Assistant, Instructor of Record during the final stage of his PhD, Early Career Lecturer, Lecturer in the Core Curriculum). As a Lecturer, he has taught Introduction to Political Theory (a gateway course to the major in political science), the Fall and the Spring sequences of Contemporary Civilization (year-long course, Plato to the present), and two courses of his own design: Democracy: Theory and Practice and Elites, Parties, and Democracy: Transnational Debates in Social and Political Theory (late 19th-early 21st century)



Courses Taught