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Director of the Max Weber Programme


Short Biography

Richard Bellamy took up the Directorship of the Max Weber Programme on the 1st of May 2014, on exceptional leave from his position as Professor of Political Science at University College, London (UCL).

Richard was educated at the University of Cambridge and the European University Institute in Florence. After three years as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford he went on to lectureships at Cambridge and Edinburgh and then to Chairs at the Universities of East Anglia, Reading, Essex and UCL.

At UCL he was the founding Head of the new Department of Political Science and Director of the School of Public Policy from 2005- 2010 and of UCL’s European Institute, which he established, from 2010-2013.

Richard has held Visiting Fellowships at Nuffield College, Oxford; the EUI in Florence; Australia National University (ANU); the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) in Oslo; and the Hanse Wissenschaft-Kolleg in Delmenhorst. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter


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Research interests

Richard’s main research interests are in the History of European Social and Political Theory post-1750 and Contemporary Analytical Legal and Political Philosophy.

He has written on the history of both Italian political thought and European liberalism, on Pluralism, Compromise and Public Ethics; Constitutionalism, Rights and the Rule of Law; and Citizenship, Representation and Democracy. (for publications please see below).

He has recently completed a monograph exploring the democratic legitimacy of Global Governance, with particular attention to the European Union. This book is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in February 2019 and is entitled A Republican Europe of States: Cosmopolitanism, Intergovernmentalism and Democracy in the EU.

Richard is currently engaged on a book on The Democratic Constitution for Oxford University Press and a study of Political Leadership, provisionally entitled The Democratic Prince.

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Prizes and awards


Richard has worked extensively on Italian political thought and in 2012 he was awarded the Serena Medal by the British Academy, given `for eminent services towards the furtherance of the study of Italian history, literature, art or economics'.

His work on constitutionalism, culminated in his Political Constitutionalism which won the 2009 David and Elaine Spitz Prize. Richard has also been a leading figure in the normative study of the European Union and directed a number of prominent ESRC and European Commission research projects in this area.

He was the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for 2012-2014 for a project on `A Republic of European States: Cosmopolitanism, Republicanism and the EU’, which he is currently completing.

An article from this project, co-authored with Sandra Kröger and entitled “Beyond a constraining dissensus: The role of national parliaments in domesticating and normalising the politicisation of European integration”, Comp Eur Polit, 2016, 14: 131-153, won the PADEMIA 2016 Research Award (journal article category) for ‘Outstanding Research on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe’ that has ‘contributed substantially to the state of the art of research on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe, and influenced academic and political debates on the topic’.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in 2002 and of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in 2008.

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Main publications

Richard has written 8 monographs to date, edited or co-edited a further 25 volumes and is the author of over a 100 journal articles and book chapters.

His books include Modern Italian Social Theory: Ideology and Politics from Pareto to the Present, Liberalism and Modern Society: An Historical Argument; (with Darrow Schecter) Gramsci and the Italian State; Liberalism and Pluralism: Towards a Politics of Compromise; Political Constitutionalism and Citizenship: A Very Short Introduction.

He has edited or co-edited numerous books and journal special issues, including  Victorian Liberalism; Constitutionalism in Transformation; Pluralism and Liberal Neutrality; Citizenship and Governance in the EU; Political Concepts; The Cambridge History of Twentieth Century Political Thought; Lineages of European Citizenship; Making European Citizens. He has also edited scholarly editions of works by Beccaria, Bobbio and Gramsci . His most recent co-edited works include  Courts and Representative Democracy, Representative Democracy in the EU: Does One Come at the Expense of the Other?,  National Parliaments and the Politicization of European Integration, European Boundaries in Question? and Political Theory and the European Union.

His publications have been translated into several languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.

A selection of his articles on liberalism was published by Bloomsbury as Rethinking Liberalism. His articles on Italian political thought have been collected as Croce, Gramsci, Bobbio and the Italian Political Tradition and published by ECPR Press. Under their new imprint with Rowman and Littlefield, ECPR Press are in the process of publishing a volume collecting some of his EU articles, many written with the volume’s co-author Dario Castiglione.The volume is entitled From Maastricht to Brexit: Democracy, Constitutionalism and Citizenship in the EU and will appear in April 2019. 

You can download some of Richard's past and recent papers from the EUI Repository (Cadmus), the UCL Repository (Discovery), his SSRN Author page, his Academia page, his Research Gate author pages or via his  Personal website. You can also find details of Richard’s books at his Amazon Author’s Page.

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Professional service

Richard is on the editorial board of the British Journal of Politics and International Relations Modern ItalyRes Publica: A Journal of Legal and Social PhilosophyThe European Legacy: Towards New Paradigms, and Global Constitutionalism.

He is on the International Advisory Boards of the European Journal of Political Theory, Iris: European Journal of Philosophy and Public Debate, Serendipities -- Journal for the Sociology and History of the Social Sciences,  Symposium: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences, and Diacritica: Philosophy.

He was an associate editor of the European Journal of Political Theory and the European Political Science Review, and on the editorial boards of European Political Science, Government and Opposition, Modern Intellectual History, and the Journal of Modern Italian Studies. He co-edits the journal CRISPP (Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy).

Richard was the Academic Director of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) from 2002-2006, the Founding Chair of the Britain and Ireland Association of Political Thought from 2008-2013, and a member of the Politics and International Relations Panel, UK Research Evaluation Framework (REF) 2014.

He has appeared on TV and radio in Britain and abroad, and written for major newspapers and reviews such as The Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, and the New York Times Sunday Book Review.


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English, Italian, French and German (basic)

Download Richard's CV 


Page last updated on 04 October 2018