Lucia M. Rafanelli

photo: Lucia Rafanelli
Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs
479 Monroe Hall
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Political theory; contemporary political theory; theories of human rights and global justice; collective agency and collective personhood

Current Research

The global political arena is diverse and dynamic, alive with multitudes of state and non-state actors striving to influence each other with every tool at their disposal. We need a political theory of global politics to help us navigate this arena in all its complexity. This requires moving beyond the field’s traditional focus on states engaging in global politics by waging wars or employing other conventional tools of coercive foreign policy. Professor Rafanelli’s current book project, Promoting Justice Across Borders: Political Theory for the New Global Politics, takes on this task. It engages with prominent thinking on topics such as toleration, legitimacy, collective self-determination and the perils of activism in a non-ideal world to produce a more complete, nuanced ethics of foreign political influence than any currently on offer.

The ethical standards it develops call on us to rethink received notions about the ordinary bounds of politics and to abandon the thought that politics does and should take place primarily within the state. These ethical standards give us a model for how to engage in political struggles for justice on a global scale - not only in conditions of supreme emergency but in the ordinary circumstances of everyday global politics. They, therefore, form the basis of a cosmopolitanism that is neither premised upon nor aimed at bringing about the end of politics. They show how the promotion of justice everywhere can be the legitimate (political) concern of people anywhere.


2018: Ph.D. in Politics, Princeton University

2015: M.A. in Politics, Princeton University

2013: B.A. in Government and Philosophy, Cornell University (magna cum laude in government, distinction in all subjects)


As of 21 July 2019:

Peer-reviewed articles

“A Defense of Individualism in the Age of Corporate Rights,” The Journal of Political Philosophy 25, 3 (2017): 281-302

Book reviews

Review of C.A.J. Coady, Ned Dobos, and Sagar Sanyal eds., Challenges for Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical Demand & Political Reality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), forthcoming in the Journal of Moral Philosophy


2016-2017: Laurance S. Rockefeller Graduate Prize Fellowship from the Princeton University Center for Human Values

2013: Phi Beta Kappa