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Dr. Roberta Astolfi

P988-174A0115-original_Roberta Astolfi Kopie

Freie Universität Berlin

Postdoctoral Researcher, Academic Coordinator RU Orders

Boltzmannstraße 20
14195 Berlin

Dr. Roberta Astolfi is postdoctoral researcher and academic coordinator of the Research Unit Orders at the Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script” (SCRIPTS). She studied philosophy, with a special focus on political philosophy and philosophy of law, in Rome, Berlin, and Göttingen, where she gained her doctorate from the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. As a Postdoctoral Researcher, her work focused on populism and technocracy. 

Roberta Astolfi was a research assistant and the responsible for the area "Ethical and Philosophical Fundamentals of Politics" at the Academy for Civic Education (Tutzing), a lecturer in Political Philosophy and Political Theory at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and at the Freie Universität Berlin, and a research assistant at the chair for Political Theory, History of the Ideas, and Political Culture of the Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel. 

Her current research concentrates on the connection between politics and (pop-)culture. She is also expert in (the history of) Italian politics, which she addresses from a political-philosophical perspective in interviews, talks, and written analysis.

Resarch Interests

  • Political Philosophy
  • Social Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Technocracy
  • Populism
  • Elitism
  • Hegemony

Current Research Projects at SCRIPTS

How is it that liberal, representative democratic systems seem to be not only increasingly under attack, but also increasingly vulnerable and ready to break down?

The starting point of Roberta's project is the assumption that the individuals’ role in the political organization of their liberal society has been, and still is, subject to a process of impoverishment. This assumption matches with the populistic attempts to undermine the democratic systems and, surprisingly, also with those technocratic projects commonly considered the other side of the coin of populism. Thus, some questions arise: Is there a connection between that alleged weakness of liberalism and the rise of these phenomena? Which consequences could we draw from this connection? 

Roberta's research project at SCRIPTS aims to tackle these questions and offer both a rational, philosophical interpretation of the daily observable vulnerabilities of liberal democracies and an equally founded proposal to sublate them.


Astolfi, Roberta 2020: Über Begriffe und Werte im Recht: eine rechtsphilosophische Analyse der Beziehung zwischen Recht und Gesellschaft am Beispiel der Europäischen Union (On Concepts, Values, and Law: A Reflection upon the Relation between Law and Society from the Perspective of the Philosophy of Law Exemplified through the Case of the European Union), LIT Verlag.

Journal Articles

Astolfi, Roberta 2021: A Different Elite: for a Hegemonic Majority to Break the Iron Law of Oligarchy“, TOPOI. An International Review of Philosophy 39, Springer, 1-10.

Astolfi, Roberta 2017: Legal Gap: Porosity as Opportunity, Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie (ARSP), 103(4), 517-529.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

Astolfi, Roberta 2015: Value in Law: Concept and Application within the Legal System of the EU, in: Seubert, Sandra/von Waarden, Frans (ed.): Being a Citizen in Europe: Insights and Lessons from the Open Conference, Zagreb: Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg,169-183.