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Dr Lucia Rubinelli

Dr Lucia Rubinelli

College: Robinson


I am Junior Research Fellow in the History of Political Thought at Robinson college. Before, I was Fellow in Political Theory at the London School of Economics. I received my PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2017 and I hold degrees from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris), the LSE and the Università di Trieste.

Research Interests

My primary research interests include the history of nineteenth and twentieth century political thought, political and constitutional theory. My work explores the variety of ways in which the principle of popular power has been articulated during the French Revolution and after. My first book, forthcoming with CUP, offers a history of the language of constituent power in relation to ideas of national and popular sovereignty. It mainly focuses on how Sieyes’ first theorisation of pouvoir constituant has been used and misused by subsequent theorists, among whom Carl Schmitt, legal scholars in the ‘50s and ‘60s and Hannah Arendt. In my next research project, I am to explore how nineteenth century debates about plebiscites travelled into the twentieth century.

Key Publications


Constituent power: a history”, Cambridge University Press, Ideas in Context Series, forthcoming March 2020



“Elites, democracy and parties in the Italian Constituent debates, 1946-1947”, part of the special section on Parties, Elites and Democracy, Constellations (10.000 words), forthcoming.

“Costantino Mortati and the idea of material constitution”, History of Political Thought, Vol. 40, Issue , 2019, 515-546

“Sieyes versus bicameralism”, The Review of Politics, Vol. 8, Issue 2, 2019, 255-279

“Taming sovereignty: constituent power in nineteenth century French political thought”, History of European Ideas, Vol. 44, Issue 1, 2018, 60-74.

“How to think beyond sovereignty: Emmanuel Sieyes on constituent power”, European Journal of Political Theory, April 2016, 1-21

“Il potere del popolo nelle democrazie contemporanee”, Introduction and Editor of the Special section of Rivista di Politica, 4/2016, 26-32, with F. Brandmayr and R. Pereira


Book chapters:

Of post-men and democracy” book chapter in Marquez, X., ed., Democratic Moments, Bloomsbury Academic, 2018, 97-105

“Sieyes e l’idea del potere costituente della nazione”, book chapter in Campi, A., De Luca, S., Nazioni e Nazionalismi, Rubettino, 2018, 97-105.


Book Reviews:

“L’historie de la souveraineté populaire et Brexit”, review of Tuck, R., The Sleeping Sovereignty (CUP, 2016), Revue Française de Science Politique, March 2018, 21-22.