David Ragazzoni

David Ragazzoni

Research Interest

A dual citizen (Italian and American), Dr. David Ragazzoni holds M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Columbia University, New York. 

During his Ph.D. at Columbia, he specialized in political theory and completed a special minor in law. He taught extensively for five years, first as a teaching assistant and then, for two years, as an instructor of record ("preceptor") for "Contemporary Civilization," the year-long, university-wide course in the history of political thought in Columbia College's Core Curriculum.

While at Columbia, 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 (2017) and the Core Preceptor Award for Teaching Excellence as the best preceptor of the year for Contemporary Civilization (2022; one of the four finalists in 2020). 

Dr. Ragazzoni was trained in the history of political philosophy and intellectual history (early modern and modern) at 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. 

His research interests sit at the crossroads of democratic theory and the history of political and legal ideas, with a focus on historical and contemporary debates on factions, parties, and partisanship; the long history of democracy; the history and theories of representative government (especially Renaissance Florence, 19th-century Europe, Weimar, and 19th- and 20th-century Italy); present critiques of representative democracy. Interests also include the relationship between constitutionalism and democracy; the history of 20th-century democratic theory; the history of political ideologies (republicanism, liberalism, and their connections to democracy).

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

He is currently working on a monograph based on his dissertation, tentatively titled Parties, Leaders, and Public Opinion: Parliamentarism before Fascism. His latest book projects are Hans Kelsen on Constitutional Democracy: Genesis, Theory, Legacies (co-edited with Professor Sandrine Baume, University of Lausanne; forthcoming with Cambridge University Press) and Hans Kelsen on Constitutional Democracy, Parliamentarism, and Political Philosophy: Selected Writings (co-edited with Professor Lars Vinx, University of Cambridge; under contract with Oxford University Press). He is currently co-authoring and co-editing (with Professor Gabriele Pedullà) a special issue on Machiavelli's constitutionalism for the journal History of Political Thought

Dr. Ragazzoni has presented his research at many universities, both in Europe and the United States, including, more recently, 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 and organized several panels at field conferences such as the Mancept Workshops in Political Theory (2019), the European Consortium for Political Research General Conference (2021), the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting (2015, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021), the Midwest Political Science Association (2018, 2019, 2021), the Northeastern Political Science Association (2019), and the UK and Ireland Association for Political Thought (2020).

Dr. Ragazzoni has recently organized four major international conferences in Europe and the United States: on the political and legal thought of Cesare Beccaria (2021, Columbia University); on Machiavelli's political and constitutional thought (2020, APSA's "mini-conference"); on Kelsen's democratic theory (2020, Switzerland; canceled due to pandemic); on realist democratic theory in the 20th and early 21st centuries (2019, Mancept). These conferences have generated projects that are being developed or forthcoming.

As a lecturer at Columbia in the 2022-23 academic year, he teaches "Contemporary Civilization" (from Plato to the present), "Introduction to Political Theory," and a seminar of his own design titled "Elites, Parties, and Democracy: Transnational Debates in Social and Political Theory."

Courses Taught