Urbinati, Nadia 1955–
Urbinati, Nadia 1955–
Born 1955. Education: European University Institute, Ph.D., 1989.
Writer, educator. Columbia University, New York, NY, Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Contemporary Civilization. Visiting professor at New York University, University of Pennsylvania, and Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e Perfezionamento Sant'Anna of Pisa; has also taught at Princeton University and the University UNICAMP in Brazil.
David and Elaine Spitz Prize, 2002, for Mill on Democracy: From the Athenian Polis to Representative Government; Laurance S. Rockefeller visiting fellow, Princeton University, 2007-08.
(With others) Studi sulla cultura filosofica italiana fra Ottocento e Novecento, 2nd edition, Clueb (Bologna, Italy), 1982.
Le civili libertà: positivismo e liberalismo nell'Italia unita, Marsilio (Venice, Italy), 1990.
(With Marco Sabella) Quale federalismo? Interviste sull'Italia del futuro, Vallecchi (Florence, Italy), 1994.
(Editor) Carlo Rosselli, Liberal Socialism, translated by William McCuaig and Fondazione Rosselli, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1994.
Individualismo democratico: Emerson, Dewey e la cultura politica americana, Donzelli (Rome, Italy), 1997.
Mill on Democracy: From the Athenian Polis to Representative Government, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2002.
(Editor, with Monique Canto-Sperber) Le socialisme libéral: Une anthologie: Europe-États-Unis, Editions Esprit (Paris, France), 2003.
Representative Democracy: Principles and Genealogy, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2006.
Ai confini della democrazia: Opportunité e rischi dell'universalismo democratico, Donzelli (Rome, Italy), 2007.
(Editor, with Alex Zakaras) J.S. Mill's Political Thought: A Bicentennial Reassessment, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2007.
Editor, with Andrew Arato, of Constellations. Contributor of articles and book reviews to periodicals, including Political Theory, Ethics, Philosophical Forum, Dissent, Review of Metaphysics, EuropeanJournal of Political Theory, Perspectives on Politics, Redescriptions, Rivista di filosofia, Lua Nova, and Critique.
Nadia Urbinati is the Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Contemporary Civilization at Columbia University. She previously taught at Princeton University and the University UNICAMP in Brazil, and has been a visiting professor at New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e Perfezionamento Sant'Anna of Pisa, Italy. Urbinati received the David and Elaine Spitz Prize for her book Mill on Democracy: From the Athenian Polis to Representative Government.
In Mill on Democracy, Urbinati examines the political theories of nineteenth-century British economist and philosopher John Stuart Mill. Urbinati contends that Mill's view of modern representative government was inspired by the democratic political life of ancient Athens. As she writes in her introduction to the book: "This book redirects scholars' attention to John Stuart Mill as a political thinker. It is my belief that Mill's political ideas, properly understood, can enrich our understanding of the procedures, ethos, and political practice of democracy. In addition, they provide a fresh perspective on contemporary approaches to deliberative democracy and allow us to revisit the theory of political liberty." "Mill, Urbinati contends, had a true understanding of the robust democracy that was pivotal to the Athenian achievement; moreover, this understanding decisively influenced his construction of a theory of representative government appropriate to modernity," stated Bruce L. Kinzer in Albion. The critic added: "No scholar before her has given such close and incisive attention to the integral role of deliberation in Mill's theory of representative government; nor has any before her invoked the agonistic political order of ancient Athens as the inspirational source of this theory." Victorian Studies critic C.L. Ten also applauded Urbinati's effort, stating, "In showing the relevance of Mill's writings on ancient Greece to his views on democratic theory and liberty, Urbinati has made a valuable and original contribution." John Lewis and Robert Garmong, writing in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, found that, "as a work dealing with the classical past, Mill on Democracy offers points of interest regarding Mill's relationship with scholars such as George Grote. It reinforces how Mill saw the ancients and how he used them to create his own thought. It reminds us that nineteenth century thinkers had far different interpretations than we."
Urbinati later wrote Representative Democracy: Principles and Genealogy, "a timely and important work," observed Brian G. Henning in the Review of Metaphysics. The author rejects the notion that representation is an impractical substitute for direct democracy, arguing instead that representation is an essential part of the democratic political process. "The essence of Urbinati's thesis is that the modern conception of sovereignty has engendered the presumption that representation and democracy are incompatible," noted Perspectives on Political Science critic Jeffrey D. Hilmer. According to Henning, the author "argues that, by magnifying the often hasty and ill-conceived decisions of the electorate, the immediateness of direct democracy makes it inherently unstable. On the other hand, by requiring a passage of time before decisions are made, representative democracy is more likely to avoid these problems."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Albion, winter, 2004, Bruce L. Kinzer, review of Mill on Democracy: From the Athenian Polis to Representative Government, p. 678.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review, June 4, 2003, John Lewis and Robert Garmong, review of Mill on Democracy.
Choice, June, 2007, D.M. Judd, review of Representative Democracy: Principles and Genealogy, p. 1828.
Constellations, September, 2005, review of Mill on Democracy, pp. 437-444.
International Affairs, March, 2003, Raffaele Marchetti, review of Mill on Democracy, p. 415.
Journal of Economic Literature, March, 2003, review of Mill on Democracy, p. 267.
Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Volume 32, number 2, 2003, Duncan S.A. Bell, review of Mill on Democracy, pp. 354-356.
Perspectives on Political Science, fall, 2007, Jeffrey D. Hilmer, review of Representative Democracy, p. 238.
Review of Metaphysics, September, 2007, Brian G. Henning, review of Representative Democracy, p. 164.
Victorian Studies, winter, 2004, C.L. Ten, review of Mill on Democracy, p. 345.
Columbia University Web site,http://www.columbia.edu/ (May 10, 2008), biography of Nadia Urbinati.