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Research Team

University of Genoa


Valeria Ottonelli

Associated Investigator


Valeria Ottonelli is Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Genoa, Dept. of Classics, Philosophy and History. Her main research interests focus on the theory of just migration policies and on the normative theory of democratic institutions and participation. In relation to the latter topic, she has published extensively on voting paradoxes and democratic legitimacy, the ethics of democratic participation and the practice of democratic deliberation. Her work has appeared in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, The Journal of Political Philosophy, Political Theory, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, International Migration Review, Political Studies, and the Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. She is currently engaged in a research project on the virtue of political prudence in everyday democratic politics.

Carlo Burelli is a post-doc researcher in Political Theory at the University of Genova. He obtained his PhD from the University of Milano and subsequently joined the ERC project REScEU. He won the Flavio Baroncelli prize for moral and political philosophy and was awarded a fellowship by Fondazione CRT. He also held visiting fellowships at Cambridge, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Burelli works at the intersection of political theory and political science, as his research is broadly interested in clarifying what can and should hold together today’s large and conflictual societies. This vast question led him to cross various academic debates, such as utopian and realist political theory, theories of justice and theories of legitimacy, solidarity and equality in contemporary societies. Burelli published two books: "E fu lo Stato" and "Realtà, Necessità, Conflitto". He also published many articles on leading international journals, such as the European Journal of Political Theory, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, and the Journal of Common Market Studies.


Simona Langella graduated in Philosophy at the University of Genoa and in Educational Sciences at the University of Salamanca, she received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Genoa. She was the recipient of several research grants and European scholarships (Marie Curie). Currently she is Full Professor of History of Philosophy. Fields of research: History of Scholastic philosophy in the 16th century, with particular focus on the concept of natural law and its anticipations during the Middle Ages. The history of the foundations of subjective rights in the modern period and some aspects of the current debate on human rights. The specula principum written between the 15th and 16th centuries. History of mysticism, with particular attention to the philosophical debate on it.

After successfully completing two M.A.’s (in History & Philosophy) Cum Laude at Utrecht University, Carline is currently pursuing a PhD degree at the University of Genoa with a scholarship from the Northwestern Italian Philosophy Consortium (curriculum: Ethics & Politics). In her research, she focusses on epistemic responsibilities of democratic citizens. She works on a ‘virtue epistemology’ account of citizen duties in response to the epistemic deficits in a post-truth democracy. Her research interests include: voting ethics, democratic legitimacy, epistemic democracy, moral responsibility, social epistemology.


Maria Silvia Vaccarezza is Assistant Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Genova, and secretary of Aretai – Center on Virtues. Previosusly, she has been Visiting Scholar at the University of S.Andrews (UK) and at the Thumos research group of the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva (CH). She is author of several monographs, journal articles and book chapter on a number of topics, including: Iris Murdoch; Aristotle’s and Aquinas’ ethics; the role of phronesis; the debate over the unity of the virtues; moral exemplarity and admiration for exemplars; virtue, duty, and supererogation; philosophy of emotions and philosophy of education. Among the journals where she has published lately, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, the Review of Philosophy and Psychology, the International Journal of Philosophical Studies and the Journal of Value Inquiry.

Federico Zuolo is Associate Professor in Political Philosophy. Before joining the University of Genoa, he held positions in Pavia and Trento (Italy) and was Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Experienced Research Fellow at the University of Berlin (Freie) and the University of Hamburg. His main interests include animal ethics, public reason, toleration, respect and the basis of equality. He has published papers on animal ethics (Utilitas, Social Theory and Practice, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Journal of Value Inquiry) and on issues of pluralism, toleration and respect (Journal of Applied Philosophy, Journal of Social Philosophy, European Journal of Political Theory). He has published a book on animal politics, Animals, Political Liberalism and Public Reason (Palgrave 2020).

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