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Carlo Invernizzi Accept

Research interests

Democracy modern and contemporary political thinking political theory European Union European politics


Fall 2020

  • Politics in the European Union (3 credits)
    REGN U6315

    This course provides an overview of current and contemporary politics in the European Union. Assuming that the latter is inextricably determined by both In terms of supranational and infranational dynamics, it examines the European Union as a whole as well as the politics of certain important member states. The lessons are based on readings from basic texts of recent comparative political and historical literature on the European Union and its member states. They contain the lecturer's first lectures and leave enough time for seminar discussions. In addition, students are required to participate in a series of structured class debates that form an integral part of pedagogy and serve as one of the foundations for individual evaluation. During the entire duration of the course, the students also work on a thesis, the topic of which is determined individually with the lecturer.


Carlo Invernizzi Accetti is Associate Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York (City College) and Associate Researcher at the Center for European Studies of the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).

His research is at the interface of democratic theory and comparative EU / US party politics. It combines a historical approach with dealing with contemporary normative questions, in particular with regard to the relationship between politics and religion, the rise of populism and technocracy as structuring poles of the election competition and the ideological transformations in connection with the mainstreaming of the environment of problems.

His first book called Relativism and Religion. Why democratic societies do not need absolute morals (Columbia University Press, 2015) traces the history of religious criticism of relativism, examines its relevance to democratic theory, and finally defends some form of moral relativism as the most solid philosophical foundation for democracy. His second book entitled What is Christian Democracy? Politics, religion and ideology (Cambridge University Press, 2019) reconstructs the history and core principles of the political ideology of Christian Democracy, focusing in particular on its influence on the process of building the European Union.

He has published over two dozen articles in internationally renowned specialist journals and edited volumes on topics such as: militant democracy, party politics, internal party reforms, populism, technocracy, the philosophical foundations of human rights and authors such as Hans Kelsen. published, Jürgen Habermas, Claude Lefort, Immanuel Kant and the Marquis de Sade.

He is currently working on two separate book projects: one with Christopher Bickerton on the relationship between populism and technocracy as structuring poles of contemporary European politics (on behalf of Oxford University Press) and one on the way environmental issues are treated - appropriated - and politicized - of traditional ideological and party families along the left-right axis (manuscript in preparation).

He is also a regular commentator on political issues in Europe and the US for venues including: Die Financial Times , The guard , Foreign Affairs , The Wall Street Journal , The Republic , quartz , The diplomatic world , 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

selected publications


  • Between populism and technocracy. Politics in the Age of Crisis of Party Democracy (together with Chris Bickerton), Oxford University Press, under contract.
  • What is Christian Democracy? The forgotten ideology Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • Relativism and Religion. Why democratic societies do not need absolute morals , Columbia University Press, 2015.
  • Hans Kelsen, The essence and value of democracy , Rowman and Littlefield, 2013 (edited with Nadia Urbinati).

Academic articles

  • 'Is the European Union secular?' Comparative European Politics , forthcoming.
  • 'Catholic Social Doctrine and Human Rights: From Rejection to Approval?' mankind , forthcoming.
  • 'Reconciliation of legal positivism and human rights: Hans Kelsen's argument of relativism', Magazine for human rights, forthcoming.
  • „The Crisis of Party Democracy, Cognitive Mobilization and the Case for Making Parties More Deliberative“ (zusammen mit 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 additions? ’(Co-authored with Chris Bickerton) Critical review of the international social and political philosophy philosopher , 20: 2, 2016.
  • “The temporality of normativity. Hans Kelsen's overcoming the problem of legal foundations ', Philosophy and Social Criticism , 42: 1 2016.
  • ' On the way to a model of Christian democracy? Politics and Religion in the Treaty of Lisbon ', French journal of political science , 65: 4, 2015.
  • 'Hans Kelsen and the basics of legal validity', Law and society, 92: 1 2015 .
  • 'Democratic Normativity, Between Truth and Procedure', Political reasons , 55, 2015.
  • “Democracy without parties. Italy After Berlusconi ’(together with Chris Bickerton), Political quarterly , 85: 1, 2014.
  • “Can democracy emancipate itself from political theology? Habermas and Lefort on the permanence of the theological-political ', Constellations , 17.2, 2011.
  • 'Kant and Sade: Is the Enlightenment totalitarian?' Political reasons , 33, 2009.

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