dr. E. (Enzo) Rossi


  • Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
    Programme group: Challenges to Democratic Representation
  • Visiting address
    REC BC
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 166  Room number: B10.05
  • Postal address:
    Postbus  15578
    1001 NB  Amsterdam
  • E.Rossi@uva.nl
    T: 0205254904

I'm an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, the co-editor of the European Journal of Political Theory, and the principal investigator of the Dutch National Science Organisation-funded Vidi project 'Legitimacy Beyond Consent' (2016-2021). My PhD is in philosophy, from the University of St Andrews. My main focus is the relation between the descriptive and the normative study of society. More specifically, I'm interested in (i) methodological issues in political theory, e.g. realism vs moralism and, relatedly but separately, ideal vs non-ideal theory; (ii) the historical development of liberalism; (iii) the legitimacy and justification of political authority; (iv) the accommodation of  diversity; (v) the intersection between those issues. Those interests are combined in my current project of developing a realist critical theory of legitimacy

Most of my publications, preprints, and working papers can be freely downloaded from here (the automatically-generated list of publications on this site is more or less complete, but it lacks many links and full-texts). At the moment I'm writing a book on legitimacy for Polity's "Key Concept" series. This small selection of published and forthcoming work gives a sense of my other current interests:

 

  • 'Noumenal Power, Reasons, and Justification: A Critique of Forst', in E. Herlin-Karnell & M. Klatt, eds, Constitutionalism Justified (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming - with Sameer Bajaj).
  • 'Wither the Liberal Social Contract? On the Reception of Rawlsian Political Liberalism', in K.M. Becker & I. Thomson, eds, The Cambridge History of 20th Century Philosophy, 1946-2015 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)
  • 'Stanley on Ideology, or How To De-moralise Democracy', Global Discourse 7.2-3 (2017): 414-419 [Book symposium review essay, with a reply by Jason Stanley].
  • 'The EU's Democratic Deficit in a Realist Key: Multilateral Governance, Popular Sovereignty, and Critical Responsiveness', Transnational Legal Theory  8.1 (2017): 22-41 (with Jan Pieter Beetz).
  • 'Understanding Religion, Governing Religion: A Realist Perspective', in C. Laborde & A. Bardon, eds,  Religion in Liberal Political Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
  • ‘Political Realism as Ideology Critique’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 20.3 (2017): 334-348 (with Janosch Prinz).
  • 'Facts, Principles, and (Real) Politics', Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 19.2 (2016): 505-520.
  • 'Can Realism Move Beyond a Methodenstreit?', Political Theory, 44.3 (2016): 410-420 [review article].
  • 'Political Norms and Moral Values', Journal of Philosophical Research, 40.4 (2015): 455-458 (with Rob Jubb). Published with a reply by Eva Erman and Niklas Möller ('Why Political Realists Should Not Be Afraid of Moral Values'), and a rejoinder by Jubb and Rossi ('Why Moralists Should Be Afraid of Political Values').
  • 'Realism in Normative Political Theory', Philosophy Compass 9/10 (2014): 689-701 (with Matt Sleat).
  • 'Pluralism, Preferences and Deliberation: A Critique of Sen's Constructive Argument for Democracy', Journal of Social Philosophy 44.2 (2013): 129-145 (with Carlo Argenton).
  • ‘Compromise, Consensus, Justice and Legitimacy’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16.4 (2013): 557-572.
  • ‘Can Tolerance Be Grounded in Equal Respect?’, European Journal of Political Theory 12.3 (2013): 240-252. Portuguese translation forthcoming in Fundamento: Revista de Pesquisa em Filosofia (Brasil).

 


Legitimacy Beyond Consent: Confronting Transnational and Supranational Power Structures

NWO Vidi Grant (2016-2012)

 

Project researchers

 

Project overview

The idea of a crisis of democracy is frequently invoked to explain a range of phenomena plaguing European states in the era of declining national sovereignty: disaffection, polarisation, fragmentation. The crisis is usually understood as a crisis of legitimacy, and so as a failure of gathering consent through representation. This project challenges that understanding of the crisis by proposing a novel account of legitimacy, driving a wedge between consent and representation.

Traditional theories of democratic legitimacy are voluntaristic: representation legitimises the exercise of political power through consent, by making it receptive to the will of those over whom it is exercised. This project challenges democratic voluntarism in all its forms: those grounded in actual or hypothetical consent, as well as those grounded in deliberative and aggregative proceduralism. It abandons voluntarism by acknowledging that legitimate authority is necessarily coercive, but does so without thereby falling into an idea that 'might is right'.

The alternative proposal is critical responsiveness: political coercion can be legitimate when it is responsive to stakeholders’ values (vetted for ideological distortions). The shift from a voluntarist to a values-based theory of legitimacy enables exploration of two key, related, questions posed by globalisation to European democracies:

  • What is the proper remit of the supranational authority of the European Union?
  • To what extent can the transnational political power wielded by economic actors (corporations, IMF, WTO) be made compatible with liberal democracy?

Theories of legitimacy should solve Rousseau’s paradox: “Man is born free: but everywhere he is in chains.” This project responds to the insight that solutions that dissolve the chains—that is, that show that legitimate authority is not coercive—are not satisfactory. The way to tackle the paradox is ask whether the chains make sense in the light of the values of those who bear them.

Power structures (Iceland, photographer unknown)

2017

2016

  • Rossi, E. (2016). Can realism move beyond a Methodenstreit? [Review of: M. Freeden (2013) The political theory of political thinking: the anatomy of a practice; M. Sleat (2013) Liberal realism: a realist theory of liberal politics]. Political Theory, 44(3), 410-420. DOI: 10.1177/0090591715621507  [details] 
  • Rossi, E. (2016). Facts, principles, and (real) politics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 19(2), 505-520. DOI: 10.1007/s10677-015-9647-8  [details] 
  • Chiesa, F., & Rossi, E. (2016). Contested Identities and Spatial Marginalisation: The Case of Gypsy-Travellers in Wales. In S. Moroni, & D. Weberman (Eds.), Space and Pluralism Budapest: Central European University Press.

2015

2014

2013

  • Rossi, E. (2013). Can Tolerance Be Grounded in Equal Respect? European Journal of Political Theory, 12(3), 240-252.
  • Rossi, E. (2013). Compromise, Consensus, Justice and Legitimacy. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 557-572.
  • Argenton, C., & Rossi, E. (2013). Pluralism, Preferences and Deliberation: A Critique of Sen’s Constructive Argument for Democracy. Journal of Social Philosophy, 44(2), 129-145.
  • Ferretti, M. P., & Rossi, E. (2013). Pluralism Slippery Slopes and Democratic Public Discourse. Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory, 137, 29-47.

2012

  • Rossi, E. (2012). Justice, Legitimacy, and (Normative) Authority for Political Realists. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 15(2), 149-164.

2010

  • Rossi, E. (2010). Modus Vivendi, Consensus, and (Realist) Liberal Legitimacy. Public Reason, 2(2), 21-39.

2009

  • Rossi, E. (2009). The Exemption That Confirms the Rule: Reflections on Proceduralism and the UK Hybrid Embryos Controversy. Res Publica, 15(3), 237-250.
  • Ferretti, M. P., & Rossi, E. (2009). Usi e abusi del piano inclinato in circostanze di pluralismo. Notizie di Politeia, 25(95), 57-71.

2008

  • Rossi, E. (2008). Liberal Democracy and the Challenge of Ethical Diversity. Human Affairs: Postdisciplinary Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 18(1), 10-22.

2017

  • Rossi, E. (Author). (2017). Authenticity, Alienation and Privilege. Web publication/site, IAI News.
  • Rossi, E. (Author). (2017). What Michelangelo’s David Can Teach Us About Radical Politics. Web publication/site, IAI News.

2016

  • Rossi, E., Sleat, M., & Jubb, R. (2016). A year in the life of the European Journal of Political Theory. European Journal of Political Theory, 15(4), 375-376. DOI: 10.1177/1474885116670775  [details] 

2017

2016

  • Rossi, E. (2016). Морализм и утопия в политической философии. Gefter (гeφтeр).
  • Rossi, E. (2016). Review of Raymond Geuss, Reality and Its Dreams (Princeton University Press 2016). Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

2010

  • Rossi, E. (2010). Liberalism, Modernity, and Communal Being. Imprints: Egalitarian Theory and Practice, 10(3), 257-264 .

Scientific position

  • Rossi, E. (2014). co-editor European Journal of Political Theory, Sage.

Media appearance

  • Rossi, E. (06-03-2017). News analysis: Dutch election barometer for high-stake elections in Europe [Web] China - Europe. News analysis: Dutch election barometer for high-stake elections in Europe.
  • Rossi, E. (24-04-2015). Interview on Russia Today [Print]. Interview on Russia Today.
  • Rossi, E. (17-04-2015). På kanten. Interview door Hanne Østli Jakobsen [Print] Morgenbladet. På kanten. Interview door Hanne Østli Jakobsen.
  • Rossi, E. (27-03-2015). Generasjon lydig på barrikadene. Interview door: Hanne Østli Jakobsen en Sonia Mangiapane [Print] Morgenbladet. Generasjon lydig på barrikadene. Interview door: Hanne Østli Jakobsen en Sonia Mangiapane.
  • Rossi, E. (20-03-2015). Interview on Russia Today [Print]. Interview on Russia Today.
  • Rossi, E. (06-03-2015). Aggiornamenti dall'università di Amsterdam occupata. Interview door: Radio Black Out [Radio]. Aggiornamenti dall'università di Amsterdam occupata. Interview door: Radio Black Out.
  • Rossi, E. (01-01-2015). Maagdenhuis eviction. Interview door: 31Mag.nl [Print]. Maagdenhuis eviction. Interview door: 31Mag.nl.

Journal editor

  • Rossi, E. (reviewer) (2014-2018). European Journal of Political Theory (Journal).

Talk / presentation

  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (11-2017). Political Normativity, King's College, London.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (11-2017). Realist Legitimacy, Workshop on Pragmatism and Realism, Norwich, United Kingdom.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (15-9-2017). Reply to Brennan at Author-meets-critics session, Utrecht University.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (6-2017). Legitimacy and Coercion, Global Justice Meets Global Democracy Workshop, Durham, United Kingdom.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (5-2017). Wither the Liberal Social Contract?, Compromise Workshop, Milan, Italy.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (4-2017). Libertarianism, Capitalism, Ideology, Philosophy Department Colloquium, United Kingdom.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (3-2017). Libertarianism, Capitalism, Ideology, Talking Points Seminar, London, United Kingdom.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (3-2017). Ideology and Epistemic Democracy, Democracy Between Substance and Procedure , Rennes, France.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (1-2017). Justice and legitimacy in ReThink UvA, Examining Actual Political Practices, London, United Kingdom.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (1-2017). Response to Forst, Workshop on Legitimacy Beyond the State, Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (19-1-2017). Invited panelist, public debate on Intersectionality and Political Strategy of the Left, VU University.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (18-11-2016). Being Realistic and Demanding the Impossible, Political realism and practical morality conference, Budapest, Hungary.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (18-11-2016). Being Realistic and Demanding the Impossible, Political realism and practical morality conference, Budapest, Hungary.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (7-11-2016). Libertarianism, Capitalism, Ideology: A Reality Check, Brussels School of International Studies.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (13-6-2016). Libertarianism, Capitalism, Ideology: A Reality Check, ‘Beyond Contractarianism?’ Ohio State University Philosophy Annual Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (1-6-2016). 'Being Realistic and Demanding the Impossible', University of Reading.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (23-5-2016). Being Realistic and Demanding the Impossible, University of Antwerp.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (14-4-2016). Being Realistic and Demanding the Impossible, University of Milan.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (29-2-2016). Commentary on Hindriks on ideology, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (29-1-2016). Justice and Legitimacy in the Emergent European Polity, Exploring Structures of Justification and Proportionality in Contemporary Constitutional Law, Amsterdam.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (25-1-2016). Libertarianism, Capitalism, Ideology: A Reality Check, Contemporary European Law Seminar Series, Amsterdam.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (27-10-2015). Ypi and White on Partisanship, The Meaning of Partisanship Workshop, University of Oslo.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (15-10-2015). Libertarianism, Capitalism, Ideology: A Reality-Check, SciencesPo Political Theory Seminar Series, Paris.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (10-9-2015). Commentary on Gaus on Public Reason, Leiden University College, Leiden.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (27-8-2015). Facts, Principles, and Politics, Facts and Norms Workshop, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (24-8-2015). Commentary on Sagar on Legitimacy, Political Realisms Workshop, UCL, London.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (15-8-2015). Debate with Martin van Hees on Capitalism, Vitamine Z Festival, Amsterdam.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (8-7-2015). Pluralism, Realism, and Legitimacy, Modus Vivendi Conference, University of Münster, Münster.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (11-6-2015). Understanding Religion, Governing Religion, Religion in Liberal Political Philosophy Conference, University College London, London.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (22-4-2015). What Is the Common Good?, Political Arts Initiative, West Gallery, The Hague.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (11-4-2015). Being Realistic and Demanding the Impossible, Festival of Sciences and Humanities, De Nieuwe Universiteit Amsterdam, Maagdenhuis Amsterdam.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (9-1-2015). On Being Realistic and Demanding the Impossible, What is Realism? Workshop, Yale-NUS, Singapore.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (24-11-2014). Pluralism, Realism, and Legitimacy, Conference, Democracy, Identity and European Integration Conference, University of Rjeka, Rijeka, Croatia.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (12-11-2014). Facts, Principle, and Politics, Invited lecture at Political Theory Seminar Series, University of Manchester, Manchester.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (10-11-2014). Facts, Principles, and Politics, Invited lecture at Philosophy Department Seminar Series, Aarhus University, Aarhus.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (15-10-2014). Should Consent Matter for Legitimacy?, Invited lecture, Philosophy & Public Affairs Seminar Series, University of Amsterdam Philosophy Department, Amsterdam.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (25-9-2014). Should Consent Matter for Legitimacy?, Invited lecture at Political Philosophy Seminar Series, Leiden University, Leiden.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (2-7-2014). Political Realism, Invited lecture at Masterclass for PhD Students, University College London, London.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (12-6-2014). Libertarianism and Capitalism: A Reality Check, Invited lecture, Workshop on Robert Nozick, Politicologenetmaal, Maastricht University, Maastricht.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (7-4-2014). On Prehistoric Myths in Political Philosophy, Invited lecture at Faculty Research Workshop, Georgetown University in Qatar, Qatar.
  • Rossi, E. (invited speaker) (26-3-2014). Libertarianism and Capitalism: A Reality Check, Invited lecture at Philosophy Department Seminar Series, Tilburg University, Tilburg.

Others

  • Rossi, E. (visiting researcher) (1-2017 - 6-2017). UCL Institute of Advanced Studies (visiting an external institution).
  • Rossi, E. (visiting researcher) (1-1-2017 - 30-6-2017). University College London (visiting an external institution).
  • Rossi, E. (organiser) (2015). Co-organiser annual conference of the Association for Social and Political Philosophy, University of Amsterdam Law School (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
  • Rossi, E. (participant) & Langvatn, S. A. (participant) (8-9-2014 - 10-9-2014). Organized workhop at MANCEPT Conference, University of Manchester, Manchester. Workshop on "Theorising Legitimacy" (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
  • Rossi, E. (participant) (3-5-2014). Organized symposium at Senate House, University of London, London. Symposium in Honour of John Skorupski (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
  • Rossi, E. (other) (2012). Member of the executive committee, Association for Social and Political Philosophy, Association for Social and Political Philosophy (other).
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