Dr. Antonio Cerella

Lecturer in International Relations

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Livesey House, LH308

+44 (0) 1772 89 2798

Subject Areas: Politics and International Relations

Antonio joined the School in September 2012, having previously been visiting research fellow at University of Sussex, Department of International Relations (February 2011–August 2012) and at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London (September–December 2009). His field of expertise encompasses political theory, international security (irregular warfare and political violence), international ethics (religion and violence, just war theory), and the relationship between art, politics and aesthetics.

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PGCHE, University of Central Lancashire, Preston

Ph.D. International Relations, Scuola Normale Superiore (SUM), Florence

M.A. Political Science, Scuola Normale Superiore (SUM), Florence

B.A. ‘Laurea’ in International Studies and Diplomacy, University of Bologna, Bologna


Antonio’s research interests lie at the crossroad of international political theory, continental philosophy and security studies. His research currently focuses on two main areas: a) revisiting some of the classics of political thought – such as Thomas Hobbes, Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and René Girard, among others – to critically analyze the crisis of modernity, and its political, epistemic and institutional implications. In particular: the problem of political order in the post-Westphalian age, the ethical foundation of that order, the meaning and relevance of ethics in the so-called ‘age of disenchantment’; and b) exploring – from a critical perspective – the new forms of violence in contemporary international relations, with a specific focus on martyrdom, self-immolation, and the dynamics of radicalization.

He co-edited and contributed to the Special Issues ‘Mimetic Theory and International Studies’ [Journal of International Political Theory, 2015], ‘Carl Schmitt: Political Theology and Modernity’ [Journal for Cultural Studies, 2016], and to the volume ‘The Sacred and the Political. Explorations on Mimesis, Violence and Religion’ [Bloomsbury, Political Theory and Contemporary Philosophy Series, 2016].

He is Convenor of CRIPT– British International Studies Association working group on Contemporary Research on International Political Theory


Cerella, A. (2016). “Encounters at the End of the World: Max Weber, Carl Schmitt and the Tyranny of Values”. Journal for Cultural Research, Vol. 20(1), pp. 20–40, doi: 10.1080/14797585.2016.1141833

Cerella, A. and Gallo, E. (2016). “Machiavelli Reloaded: Perceptions and Misperceptions of the ‘Prince of Realism’”. International Politics, Vol. 53(4), pp. 435–446, doi: 10.1057/ip.2016.8

Cerella, A. and Bradley, A. (2016). “The Future of Political Theology and the Legacy of Carl Schmitt”. Journal for Cultural Research, Vol. 20(1), pp. 1–12, doi:

Cerella, A. (2016) “The Myth of Origin: Archaeology and History in the Work of Agamben and Girard”, in The Sacred and the Political: Exploration on Mimesis, Violence and Religion (London & New York: Bloomsbury), pp. 213‒236.

More publications

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

  • Global Politics [PO1109]
  • Globalisation: History, Theories and Approaches [IR2101]
  • Terrorism and Security [CJ3025]
  • Concepts and Theories in International Relations [IR4010]
  • Research Methods in International Relations [IR4013]
PhD Supervision

  • Shakil Akhtar, The Politics of Betrayal: Pakistani-US International Relations since 1971 – [Completed 2015]
  • Stephen Haraldsen, The Geography of Citizenship in West Cumbria: Globalisation and the Role of the Nuclear Industry – [Director of studies]


  • [On invitation] ‘El umbral y el límite:
Reflexiones sobre el sentido ético-político de la alteridad en la era global’, Summer School on ‘La construcción de la identidad en tiempos de crisis: el papel de la violencia y la religión’, 24-26 June 2015, Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo, Valencia, Spain.
  • [On invitation] ‘Space and Sovereignty: A Reversed Perspective’, Art and Sovereignty Conference, 17-18 April 2015, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
  • 'Homo Sacer Revisited: Sacrality and Immance in Global Politics’, The 2015 Telos Conference, 14–15 February 2015, New York City, NY, USA.
  • [On invitation] ‘European Spaces and Global Complexity: A Theo-Political Genealogy’, The Second Bi-Annual Telos in Europe Conference – 5-8 September 2014, L’Aquila, Italy.
  • [On invitation] ‘Homo Sacer Revisited: Sacrality and Immanence in Global Politics’, International Conference on ‘The Sacred in a Global Age’ – University of Cambridge, 4-5 September 2014.
  • 'Schmitt and the Global Age: Some Critical Remarks’, International Symposium on ‘Political Theology and Modernity: The Legacy of Carl Schmitt’ – Lancaster University, 9 June 2014.
  • [On invitation] ‘Violent Origins and International Politics: A Genealogy’, Research Seminar, Nottingham Trent University, 26 March 2014.
  • [On invitation] ‘A Reversed Political Theology: Globalization as Philosophy of History’, IRNRD 6th Annual Conference, Notre Dame University, Beirut – Lebanon, 11–13 December 2013.
  • [On invitation] ‘The Global and the Sacred: A Genealogy’, International Symposium on ‘Mimetic Theory and Islam’, Heythrop College, London, 5-7 November 2013.
  • ‘Until the End of the World: Girard, Schmitt and the Origins of Violence’, International Conference “Politics, Violence and the Sacred: Exploring René Girard’s thought in Security and International Studies”, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) – Preston, UK, 23-24 May 2013.
  • ‘The Cage, the Agent, and the Philosophy of History: Remarks for an “Unchained” International Historical Sociology’, BISA workshop on ‘The Historical Sociology of the International’, University of Sussex, 13 September 2012.
  • [On invitation] ‘The Space of the Sacred: Outline for an Alternative Genealogy of the Global Age’, Birkbeck University, Department of Law, 23 November 2011.
  • ‘Explorations in Mimetic Theory and International Relations: A REMUS Colloquium’, Heythrop College, London, 7-8 November 2011. The project is under the direction of Michael Kirwan and under the aegis of the Heythrop Institute: Religion and Society
  • [On invitation] Guest Lecturer, ‘The Qualitative/Quantitative Divide’, Richmond University, MA in International Relations, London, 8 November 2011.
  • ‘Religion and Political Form: Carl Schmitt’s Political Theology as Critique of the Secular/Post-Secular Dichotomy’, International Conference ‘The Post-secular in International Politics’, University of Sussex, 27 October 2011.
  • 'Paradoxical Spatialities: An Inverted Genealogy of Globalization’, Royal Geographical Society - IBG Annual International Conference, London 31 August - 2 September 2011.
  • ‘Vindiciae contra tyrannos’: integrazioni al concetto di “politico” attraverso una genealogia della violenza’, XXIV Convegno Società Italiana di Scienza Politica, Università UAIV, Venice, 16-18 september 2010.
  • 'Religion, Violence and Civilisation: Max Weber Revisited’, 3rd Annual Graduate Conference in Security Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, 24-25 June 2010.
  • ‘Religion, Secularisation and International Politics: A Weberian Framework’, Globalisation & Civilisation in International Relations-Towards New Models of Human Interdependence, UCD School of Sociology, Norbert Elias Foundation and Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 8-10 April 2010.
  • ‘A Genealogy of Terror’, 2nd Italian Graduate Conference in Political Science, Graduate School in Social, Economic and Political Sciences, Gargnano (BS), Italy, 29 June-1 July 2009.
  • ‘Story of a Concept: Terrorism’, 2nd ECPR Graduate Conference, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona 25-27 August 2008.

Research Activities

Convenor of CRIPT– British International Studies Association working group on Contemporary Research on International Political Theory