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Dr. mr. I. (Irena) Rosenthal

Faculty of Law
Photographer: Ed O'Mahoney

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Postal address
  • Postbus 15575
    1001 NB Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile


    Irena Rosenthal is assistant professor at  PPLE (Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics) and the department of Jurisprudence. She is also Head of Studies of the law major at PPLE. She studied law (cum laude) and philosophy (cum laude) at the University of Amsterdam and New York University School of Law and obtained her PhD at VU University. In 2006-2007, she was Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Humanities Center, Johns Hopkins University.  Her dissertation ('Democracy and Ontology: An Agonic Encounter between Political Liberalism, Foucault and Psychoanalysis') received the  European Award for Legal Theory (awarded every three years for the best dissertation in legal philosophy). 

    Her research interests include contemporary political and legal theory, democratic citizenship, agonistic democracy, human rights, religious freedom, the emotional and bodily dimensions of democratic citizenship, Foucault's political thought, political liberalism and neoliberalism. Her current research focuses on the 'care crisis', such as the tensions between care and precarious working conditions.


    Selection of Publications

    • I.Rosenthal (2018) Democracy and Ontology: Agonism between Political Liberalism, Foucault and Psychoanalysis Oxford: Hart Publishing, Bloomsbury Press.
    • I. Rosenthal (2016) 'Ontology and Political Theory: A critical encounter between Rawls and Foucault', European Journal for Political Theory, preprint available: DOI: 10.1177/1474885116659633.
    • I. Rosenthal (2016) 'Aggression and Play in the Face of Adversity: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Democratic Resilience', Political Theory, June 2016, Vol. 44(3), 337-362



    In 2017-2018:

    • Integrative Seminar 1: Human Rights and Politics (PPLE).
    • Bachelor Thesis: Emotions and Politics (PPLE).
    • Integrative Seminar 4: Creative Citizenship (PPLE).




    PPLE programme
  • Publications



    Democracy and Ontology: Agonism between Political Liberalism, Foucault and Psychoanalysis, Oxford: Bloomsbury Press, 2018.


    Peer reviewed Articles

    'Ontology and Political Theory: A critical encounter between Rawls and Foucault', European Journal for Political Theory, preprint available: DOI: 10.1177/1474885116659633.

    I. Rosenthal (2016) 'Aggression and Play in the Face of Adversity: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Democratic Resilience', Political Theory, June 2016, Vol. 44(3), 337-362.


    Book review 'Bonnie Honig: Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair' Contemporary Political Theory (2017).

    ‘De kunst van het luisteren en zwarte koffie: Joeps lessen in parrhesia’ M. De Wilde & a.o. (Ed.), Ontsloten Sluitstuk: Essays voor Joep van der Vliet, Amsterdam: Lulu 2013.

    Liberal Democracies and the Production of Religious Truth: Some Comments on Veit Bader’s “Secularism or Democracy: Associational Governance of Religious Diversity” ’, Krisis. Journal for Contemporary Philosophy, 2008, 35-41.

    ‘The State is a limitation on human existence. An interview with Simon Critchley’, with Gijs van Oenen and Ruth Sonderegger, Krisis. Journal for Contemporary Philosophy, 2008.

    ‘What is an educated Man? De NEXUS-conferentie 2007’, Krisis. Journal for Contemporary Philosophy, 2007.

    ‘Inleiding op dossier Feminisme’, Krisis. Journal for Contemporary Philosophy, 7, 2006, p. 24 – 27

    Book Chapters

    ‘The Dutch pastorate: pluralism without pain?’ In I. Ter Avest (Ed.), Education in Conflict (Religious diversity and Education in Europe, 9). Münster: Waxmann 2009.

    ‘Dreadlocks, hanenkammen en de juridische constructie van een godsdienstig domein’, O.J. Tans & a.o. (Ed.), De Grenzen van het goede leven. Rechtsgeleerde opstellen aangeboden aan Prof. Mr. A. Soeteman. Nijmegen: Ars Aequi 2009.

    ‘Pluraliteit en het Nederlandse pastoraat’ In I. Ter Avest & a.o.  (Ed.), Samen Leven, Samen Botsen, Amsterdam: Gopher 2009.


    Democracy and Ontology: An Agonic Encounter between Political Liberalism, Foucault and Psychoanalysis, PhD Dissertation, VU University, Amsterdam, 2012.

    Popular Scientific

    'Dit zijn de 8 mensenrechten die we nu nodig hebben', Filosofie Magazine, nr. 11 2018.

    'MeToo-beweging strijdt voor onbeziorgd plezier', Volkskrant, 12/1/2018.

    ​‘Nederland en de Pijn van het Pluralisme’ (‘Netherlands and the Pain of Pluralism), De Gids, March 2008.

    ‘Zorg baart internetgeneratie kopzorgen’,  (op-ed piece about combining work and care) with Julia van Ooststroom, Volkskrant, 25/6//2003.

    ‘Slimme student verlaat het land’, (op-ed piece about Dutch universities) with Britta van Beers and Julia van Ooststroom, Volkskrant, 26/2/2003.

    Book reviews NRC Handelsblad

    John Rawls: Een Theorie van Rechtvaardigheid (12/5/2006)

    Amartya Sen: The Argumentative Indian (2/9/2005)

    Olivier Roy: Laïcité en face l’islam (13/5/2005)

    Saba Mahmood: Politics of Piety (25/2//2005)

    Stanley Cavell: Cities of Words (12/11/2004)

    John Gray: Straw Dogs (3/9/2004)

    Michael Ignatieff: The Lesser Evil; Judith Butler: Precarious life (23/7/2004)

    Henk Procee: Bij die wereld wil ik horen! (21/5/2004)

    Christien Brinkgreve: Vroeg mondig, laat volwassen (8/4/2004)


  • Publications




    • Rosenthal, I. (2015). European Award of Legal Theory.

    Talk / presentation

    • Rosenthal, I. (invited speaker) (5-2015). Reclaiming Creativity for Democracy, Center for Contemporary European Philosophy, Radboud University.
    • Rosenthal, I. (speaker) (9-2014). Aggression and Play: a Psychoanalytic Reading of Democratic Resilience, Paper presented at the ECPR General Conference, Glasgow, UK.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • Krisis Tijdschrift voor actuele filosofi