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Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti

Assistant Professor

NAC 4/138B
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Carlo Invernizzi Accetti is Assistant Professor of Political Theory at The City College of New York (CUNY) and Associate Researcher at the Center for European Studies of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). He holds a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, a Master’s Degree in History and Theory of Politics from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University (Lincoln College).
His research combines a historical approach to the study of political ideas with a concern for contemporary normative issues, focusing in particular on democratic theory and the question of the relation between politics and religion. His book entitled Relativism and Religion. Why Democratic Societies Do Not Need Moral Absolutes (Columbia University Press, 2015) traces the history of anti-relativism in the political thought of the Catholic Church, and then rescues a form of philosophical relativism for modern, pluralist societies, arguing that relativism provides the firmest foundation for an allegiance to democracy.
He has published articles in a number of international peer-reviewed journals on topics such as: militant democracy, populism, human rights, secularism, constitutionalism and the contemporary crisis of party democracy. In addition, with Nadia Urbinati, he has co-edited the first full English translation of Hans Kelsen’s classic work on The Essence and Value of Democracy. 
Currently, he is working on two parallel research projects: one on the relationship between populism and technocracy as complementary critiques of party democracy, and the other on the intellectual tradition of Christian Democracy and its influence on the process of construction of the European Union. 
Professor Invernizzi Accetti is also a regular commentator on European and in particular Italian politics for venues such as the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Foreign Affairs, La Repubblica, Al Jazeera, Quartz, Le Monde Diplomatique and France 24.
Ph.D. Political Science, Columbia University, 2012
M.Phil. Political Science, Columbia University, 2008
M.A. History and Theory of Politics, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, 2006
B.A. Philosophy, Politics, Economics, Oxford University, 2004
Courses Taught

Political Ideas and Issues

Democratic Theory

Political Ideologies: From Left to Right 

European Politics

Politics in Film

- Between Populism and Technocracy. Politics in the Age of the Crisis of Party Democracy (co-authored with Chris Bickerton), Oxford University Press, under contract. 
- What is Christian Democracy? Politics, Religion and Ideology, Cambridge University Press, 2019.
- Relativism and Religion. Why Democratic Societies Do Not Need Moral Absolutes, Columbia University Press, 2015.
- Hans Kelsen, The Essence and Value of Democracy, Rowman and Littlefield, 2013 (co-edited with Nadia Urbinati).
- ‘Techno-Populism as a New Party Type : The Five Star Movement and Podemos’ (co-authored with Christopher Bickerton), Contemporary Italian Politics, 10 : 2, 2018.
- ‘Is the European Union Secular ?’, Comparative European Politics, 16:4, 2018.
- ‘Catholic Social Doctrine and Human Rights : From Rejection to Endorsement ?’, Humanity, 9:2, 2018.
- ‘Reconciling Legal Positivism and Human Rights : Hans Kelsen’s Argument from Relativism’, Journal of Human Rights, 17:2, 2018.
- ‘The Crisis of Party Democracy, Cognitive Mobilization and the Case for Making Parties More Deliberative’ (co-authored with Fabio Wolkenstein), American Political Science Review, 111 : 1, 2017.
- ‘What’s Wrong with Militant Democracy’ (co-authored with Ian Zuckerman), Political Studies, 65 : 1, 2017.
-‘Populism and Technocracy. Opposites or Complements ?’ (co-authored with Chris Bickerton) Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 20 : 2, 2016.
 - ‘The Temporality of Normativity. Hans Kelsen’s Overcoming of the Problem of the Foundation for Legal Validity’, Philosophy and Social Criticism, 42 :1 2016.
- ‘Vers un Modèle de Démocratie Chrétienne ? Politique et Religion dan le Traité de Lisbonne’, Revue Française de Science Politique, 65 : 4, 2015.
- ‘Hans Kelsen et le Fondement de la Validité du Droit’, Droit et Société, 92 : 1 2015.
- ‘La Normativité Démocratique, Entre Vérité et Procédures’, Raisons Politiques, 55, 2015.
- ‘Democracy Without Parties. Italy After Berlusconi’ (co-authored with Chris Bickerton), Political Quarterly, 85 : 1, 2014.
- ‘Can Democracy Emancipate Itself from Political Theology? Habermas and Lefort on the Permanence of the Theologico-Political’, Constellations, 17.2, 2011.
- ‘Kant et Sade: Les Lumières sont-elles Totalitaires?’, Raisons Politiques, 33, 2009.
‘Christian Democracy in America and Vice Versa: Sturzo, Maritain and the United States’, in Christian Democracy in Exile (W. Kaiser and P. Kosicki eds.), Leuven: Leuven University Press, forthcoming.
‘Militant Democracy as Decisionist Liberalism. Reason and Power in the Work of Karl Loewenstein’ (co-authored with Ian Zuckerman), The Decisionist Imagination (N. Guilhot and D. Bessner eds.), New York: Berghahn, 2019.
- ‘Populism, Technocracy and the Critique of Party Democracy’  (co-authored with Chris Bickerton)Oxford Handbook on Populism (C. Mudde, P. Taggart and R. Kaltwasser eds.) 2018.
‘Party Democracy, Between Populism and Technocracy’ (co-authored with Christopher Bickerton), Next European Democracy. The Battle to Change Europe, Milano: Feltrinelli, 2016.
- ‘Religious Truth and Democratic Freedom. A Critique of the Religious Discourse of Anti-Relativism’, Beyond Post-Secularism: Political Religion, Legal Pluralism and Democratic Constitutionalism, (J. Cohen and C. Laborde eds.), Columbia University Press, 2015.
- 'Claude Lefort: Democracy as the Empty Place of Power', Thinking Radical Democracy. The Return to Politics in Post-War France (M. Breaugh ed.), University of Toronto Press, 2015.
- ‘Lefort, Claude’, The Encyclopedia of Political Thought , Wiley Blackwell, 2011. 
- ‘Between Reason and Will: On Christopher Meckstroth’s The Sruggle for Democracy’, European Journal of Political Theory, 16:4, 2017.
- ‘In Defense of Relativism: A Reply to My Critics’, contribution to the critical exchange on my Relativism and Religion. Why Democratic Societies Do Not Need Moral Absolutes’, Journal of Politics Religion and Ideology, 17 : 2-3, 2016.
- ‘From Personalism to Liberalism: On Samuel Moyn’s Christian Human Rights’, The Immanent Frame, June 2015. 
- What is Populism?, Jan-Werner Muller, in Revue Française de Science Politique, 67: 1, 2017.
- Religion Without God, Ronald Dworkin, in Revue Française de Science Politique, 65: 4, 2015.
- The Disclosure of Politics. Struggles over the Semantics of Secularization, Maria Pìa Lara, in Constellations, 21:4, 2014.
- Democratic Statecraft, Jason Stuart Maloy, Revue Française de Science Politique, 64:6, 2014.
- The Last Utopia. Human Rights in History, Samuel Moyn, (co-authored with G. Oskian) in Critica Liberale, 185, 2011.
- Democracy in What State ?  eds. G. Agamben, A. Badiou, D. Bensaid, J-L. Nancy, J. Ranière, S. Zizek, (co-authored with G. Oskian), in Critica Liberale, 184, 2011. 
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