Federico Zuolo

Email: federico.zuolo@unipv.it
Telephone: +390382984265
CV file: [ita] [eng]




After the degree (laurea) in Philosophy (2003), he received the PhD in Philosophy at the University of Pavia(2007). Currently, he is Junior Research Fellow at the Department of Political and Social Sciences (from March 2012) within the Italian Ministry funded research project (FIRB) 'Feeding Respect' Food policies and minority claims in multicultural societies (http://feedingrespect.wordpress.com/).

Academic curriculum

Federico Zuolo is currently Research Fellow in Political philosophy within the Italian Ministry for Research funded project (FIRB 2010) "Feeding Respect". From 2007 to 2008 he was research assistant at the University of Trento, within the EC funded project Euroethos (http://euroethos.lett.unitn.it/). In 2009 he was Junior Research Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, University of Pavia. From 2010 to 2011 he worked at the Institute for Advanced Study of Pavia, within the EC funded project RESPECT - Towards a Topography of tolerance and equal respect (http://respect.iusspavia.it/index.php), as research fellow and project manager. In 2005-6 he was visiting student at the Université Paris X (Nanterre), in 2009 visiting scholar at the Cambridge University, and in 2012 visting scholar at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.

His research interests include diverse issues in contemporary political philosophy: the concepts of respect and toleration, group rights, the treatment owed to minorities in contemporary liberal democracies (in particular exemptions from the law), questions of feasibility and efficacy of normative political theories. He also worked extensively on issues and authors in the history of political philosophy, among which in particular Plato, Xenophon, and Spinoza. He published a number of articles in diverse international and Italian journals: European Journal of Political Theory, Utopia and Utopianism, Rivista di filosofia, Teoria politica, Filosofia politica, Il Politico.

Personal web pages:

Research interests

Federico Zuolo's field of research is analytic political philosophy, from both a conceptual and applied perspective. In particular, his interests include issues concerning the treatment owed to minorities in contemporary multicultural societies, notably the issue of cultural groups as moral agents and patients, and the issue of efficacy of normative political theories.

Equal treatment, minorities and 'dietary pluralism'. Normative theories aiming at accommodating minority claims in pluralistic democratic societies have traditionally adopted liberal or communitarian principles, and individualist or group based approaches. However, in this debate, the issue concerning the relationship between the type of group at stake and the normative response owed to the group by the institutions has surprisingly received less attention than other normative issues. The starting hypothesis of this research is that the commitment to an egalitarian treatment of minorities requires a preliminary understanding of the specific types of cultural and social groups forming contemporary pluralism, so as to appreciate better the relevance and acceptability of possible group dimensions that are not reducible to a purely individualistic perspective.
In this domain, a priviliged focus will be devoted to the issue of which normative basis (respect, toleration, recognition, or promotion of diversity) should inform the treatment of dietary pluralism. A particular attention will be paid to analysis of this issue from the point of view of the theory of rights, with a view to understanding whether dietary pluralism should be better accounted for in terms of individual or group rights.

Efficacy and feasibility. Normative political theories have usually focused on the task of justifying principles of social justice at a more or less abstract level. Recently, besides the more fundamental issue of justification, some theorists have claimed that normative theories should be construed in a way that is also feasible in practice. Building on the analysis of the concept of feasibility, which concerns mostly the factual constraints to normative prescriptions, this research seeks to deepen our comprehension of the feasibility issue and understand whether feasibility is equipped to account for all the relevant aspects of the realizability of normative political theories. The research hypothesis is that, to complete the analysis of realizability, the concept of feasibility is not sufficient, and should be complemented by that of efficacy. The concept of efficacy is meant to devise rational ways to overcome the factual constraints - singled out by feasibility considerations - in a way that is coherent with the principles included in the normative theory.

Recent publications

Senofonte, Ierone o della tirannide, introduction, translation and commentary by Federico Zuolo, Roma, Carocci, 2012.

Platone e l’efficacia. Realizzabilità della teoria normativa, Sankt Augustin, Academia Verlag, 2009.

Edited books:
How Groups Matter. Challenges of Toleration in Pluralistic Societies, Gideon Calder, Magali Bessone, Federico Zuolo (eds.) New York, Routledge, 2014.

Articles and book chapters:
"The Priority of Suffering over Life. How to Accommodate Animal Welfare and Religious Slaughter", RESPECT Project Working Paper Series, No. 1/2014,

"Beyond Groups? Types of Sharing and Normative Treatment", in How Groups Matter. Challenges of Toleration in Pluralistic Societies, G. Calder, M. Bessone, F. Zuolo (eds.) New York, Routledge, 2014.

(with Emanuela Ceva), "A Matter Of Respect. On the relation between majority and minorities in a democracy", Journal of Applied Philosophy, 30(3), pp. 239-253, 2013, doi: 10.1111/japp.12021, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/japp.12021/abstract.

"Toleration and informal groups. How does the formal dimension affect groups’ capacity to tolerate?", European Journal of Political Theory, 12(3), 2013, pp. 288-305, DOI: 10.1177/1474885112465249, http://ept.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/05/30/1474885112465249

(with Emanuela Ceva), "A Right to a Mosque? Access to Public Space, Religious Freedom and Participatory Goods", in S. Moroni, D. Weberman (eds.), Space and pluralism, Budapest, Central European University Press, forthcoming (2013).

"Salute pubblica e responsabilità parentale. L’esenzione dall’obbligo di vaccinazione", Ragion pratica, 1, 2013, pp. 129-136, DOI: 10.1415/73219, http://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1415/73219.

(with M. Bocchiola), "On Justice and Other Values: G. A. Cohen’s Political Philosophy and the Problem of Trade-offs", Philosophical Papers, vol. 42, n. 1 (March 2013), pp. 1-24, vol. 42, n. 1 (March 2013), pp. 1-24, DOI: 10.1080/05568641.2013.774721, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/05568641.2013.774721#.UgiIaKNftYU.

"Conscientious Objection in Italy: The Favoured Way of Handling Irreducible Conflicting Values?", in G. Calder, E. Ceva (eds), Diversity in Europe. Dilemmas of differential treatment in theory and practice, London, Routledge, 2010, pp. 111-125, http://routledge-ny.com/books/details/9780415580823/.

"Il progresso morale in Kant. Impossibilità ontologica e necessità pratica", Rivista di filosofia, 3, 2009, pp. 373-396, http://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1413/30461.

"Some Formal Criteria to Distinguish between Utopia and Ideal Theory", Utopia and Utopianism, 3, 2009, pp. 81-93.

"La salute pubblica tra paternalismo e autonomia. Il caso delle vaccinazioni obbligatorie in Italia e Repubblica Ceca", (con Klara Weger and David Sanc), Notizie di Politeia, n. 95, 2009, pp. 72-85.

"Principi senza fatti. Riflessioni sulla critica di G.A. Cohen a J. Rawls", (con M. Bocchiola), Teoria politica, 1, 2008, pp. 107-121.

"La techne del politico tra conoscenza e saper fare", Filosofia politica, 21/2, 2007, pp. 179-197.

"Spinoza, Machiavelli e il repubblicanesimo", Il Politico, 70/208, 2005, pp. 143-164.

"L’obiezione di coscienza alle vaccinazioni obbligatorie: un profilo legislativo e concettuale", in C. Casonato, C. Piciocchi, P. Veronesi (eds), Forum BioDiritto 2008. Percorsi a confronto, Padova, Cedam, 2009, pp. 533-552.

A full list of publications is included in the CV above.