Department of Political Science

Prof Richard Bellamy

Prof Richard Bellamy

Professor of Political Science

Dept of Political Science

Faculty of S&HS

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2005

Research summary

Richard's research combines intellectual history, analytical legal and political philosophy and comparative politics. His publications range from historical studies of Italian political thought post 1700 and of European liberalism 1830-1950, through work on compromise and political ethics, to a republican account of citizenship, democracy and constitutionalism, which he has applied to both the UK and the EU. 

Richard has written 10 monographs, edited or co-edited more than 30 books and special issues and authored over 50 refereed journal articles and more than 100 short articles and book chapters. He has also edited scholarly editions of works by Beccaria, Bobbio and Gramsci. His publications have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish. 

Richard's research on Italian political thought was recognised with the award of the Serena Medal by the British Academy in 2012. His Political Constitutionalism won the 2009 David and Elaine Spitz Prize. He has also been a leading figure in the normative study of the European Union and directed and participated in a number of Leverhulme, ESRC and European Commission research projects in this area. His article, co-authored with Sandra Kröger, 'Beyond a constraining dissensus: The role of national parliaments in domesticating and normalising the politicisation of European integration' Comparative European Politics (2016) 14.2: 131-153  won the PADEMIA 2016 Research Award (journal article category) for ‘Outstanding Research on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe’.

Richard's most recent monograph is A Republican Europe of States: Cosmopolitanism, Intergovernmentalism and Democracy in the EU and was published by Cambridge University Press in 2019.  A collection of 20 articles on this topic written over the past 25 years with Dario Castiglione was also published in 2019 by Rowman and Littlefield, as From Maastricht to Brexit: Democracy, Constitutionalism and Citizenship in the EU.

 He is currently completing a book on the Democratic Constitution for Oxford University Press and developing a study of Political Leadership provisionally entitled The Democratic Prince. He is co-editing The Cambridge Companion to Constitutional Theory with Jeff King and The Cambridge Dictionary of Political Thought with Terry Ball.

Teaching summary

PhD Students

Richard has successfully supervised 24 PhD students on topics relating to different areas of his research. He is open to supervising students interested in the history of European political thought post 1750 and topics in contemporary analytical legal and political philosophy - especially in constitutional and democratic theory. Past thesis subjects of his PhD students have ranged from studies of Thomas Reid, T H Green, Hegel and Antonio Gramsci, to feminist theories of care and free speech, explorations of political liberalism and Irish nationalism, the implications of republican theory for global justice, normative accounts of the European Union, and various aspects of citizenship theory, democratic theory and constitutionalism. 

MA/MSc and BA Students

Richard is currently Director of the MSc Programme in Global Governance and Ethics and teaches the core module Global Ethics. He also teaches an optional MA module on Public Ethics and an u/g module on Democracy, Constitutionalism and Citizenship.


University of Cambridge
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1983
University of Cambridge
Other higher degree, MA Cantab | 1979


Richard Bellamy joined UCL in 2005 as the College's first Professor of Political Science. He was the founding Head of the new Department of Political Science and Director of the School of Public Policy from 2005- 2010. He was Director of UCL’s European Institute, which he also established, from 2010-2013

Richard was educated at the University of Cambridge and the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. After three years as a postdoctoral research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford he went on to lectureships at Cambridge and Edinburgh and then to Chairs at the Universities of East Anglia, Reading, Essex, UCL and the EUI. 

Richard has held Visiting Fellowships at Nuffield College; the EUI; Australia National University (ANU); the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) in Oslo; and the Hanse Wissenschaft-Kolleg (HWK) in Delmenhorst. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter and at the Hertie School in Berlin. He was Director of the Max Weber Post-doctoral Programme at the EUI from 2014-2019.

Richard was Academic Director of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) from 2002-2006 and Founding Chair of the Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought from 2008-2013. He was a member of the 2014 REF Panel for Politics and International Relations.

Richard is on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Politics and International RelationsGlobal Constitutionalism, the European Journal of Political TheoryRes PublicaJus Cogens, the European Legacy and Modern Italy, was an Associate Editor of the European Political Science Review, and previously served on the boards of European Political Science,  Modern Intellectual History, Government and Opposition and the Journal of Modern Italian Studies. He has co-edited the journal CRISPP (Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy) since 2001.