Nadia Urbanati

Nadia Urbinati (Ph.D., European University Institute, Florence, 1989) is a political theorist who specializes in modern and contemporary political thought and the democratic and anti-democratic traditions. She co-chaired the Columbia University Faculty Seminar on Political and Social Thought and founded and chaired the Workshop on Politics, Religion and Human Rights. She is co-editor with Andrew Arato of the journal Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Foundation Reset Dialogues on Civilization-Istanbul Seminars.

She is the winner of the 2008-9 Lenfest/Columbia Distinguished Faculty Award. In 2008 the President of the Italian Republic awarded Professor Urbinati the Commendatore della Repubblica (Commander of the Italian Republic) "for her contribution to the study of democracy and the diffusion of Italian liberal and democratic thought abroad." In 2004 her book Mill on Democracy (cited below) received the David and Elaine Spitz Prize as the best book in liberal and democratic theory published in 2002.

Professor Urbinati is the author of Representative Democracy: Principles and Genealogy, and of Mill on Democracy: From the Athenian Polis to Representative Government. She has edited Carlo Rosselli, Liberal Socialism and Piero Gobetti, On Liberal Revolution. She co-edited with Monique Canto-Sperber Le socialism libéral: Une anthologie; Europe-États-Unis; with Alex Zakaras, John Stuart Mill's Political Thought: A Bicentennial Reassessment, and, with Stefano Recchia, A Cosmopolitanism of Nations: Giuseppe Mazzini's Writings on Democracy, Nation Building, and International Relations. She is co-editing with Steven Lukes Condorcet's Political Writing.

Among her books in Italian are: Le civili libertá: Positivismo e liberalismo nell'Italia unita, prefaced by Norberto Bobbio; Individualismo democratico; and Ai confini della democrazia: opportunità e rischi dell'universalismo democratico.

In addition to book chapters, she has published articles and book reviews in several international scholarly journals: Political Theory, Ethics, Constellations, Philosophical Forum, Dissent, Review of Metaphysics, The European Journal of Political Theory, Perspectives on Politics, Redescriptions, Rivista di filosofia, Lua Nova, Revista Política & Sociedade, Il Mulino, European Journal of Sociology/Archives Européennes de sociologie/Europäisches Archiv für soziologie; Review of Metaphysics; Bryn Mawr Classical Review Website; Dissent; and Critique.

Professor Urbinati is also an editorial contributor of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica and publishes articles in the culture section of the Italian newspaper I/ Sole24ore.

She is currently completing a monograph on the ideology of the anti-political and the critics of democracy.

Before coming to Columbia, Professor Urbinati served as visiting professor at New York University and the University of Pennsylvania, and as a lecturer at Princeton University. She also taught at the University UNICAMP in Brazil and was a visiting professor at the Scuola Superiore de Studi Universitari e Perfezionamento Sant'Anna of Pisa (Italy). She has been a member of the School of Social Sciences of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, and of the Department of Political Studies of the University of Turin (Italy). She was appointed as a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow for the academic year 2006-07 in the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University.

Nadia Urbanati
Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory and Hellenic Studies

Courses Taught

  • Contemporary Republicanism
  • Issues in Political Theory
  • Seminar in Political Theory: Democracy and Its Critics