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Professor Mónica Brito Vieira



Mónica Brito Vieira specializes in the history of political thought and in normative political theory. She received her MA (2001) and PhD (2005) degrees in the history of political thought from the University of Cambridge. Between 2005 and 2008 she held a Junior Research Fellowship at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, where she now holds a permanent Visiting Fellowship. Before moving to York, in 2012, she served as a Research Assistant Professor at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon (ICS-UL).

Areas of Interest

Her overlapping areas of interest are the history of political thought, contemporary political theory and intellectual history. In recent years, her research has focused on the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes and on the history and theory of political representation. She is the author of The Elements of Representation in Hobbes: Aesthetics, Theatre, Law and Theology in the Construction of Hobbes’s Theory of the State (2009) and the co-author (with David Runciman) of Representation (2008). Amongst the topics she has covered in her writings and teaching are the history and theory of democracy, theories of the state and political authority, natural law, theories of justice, theories of rights, constitutionalism, canon formation, and approaches and methods in social and political theory. In addition to book chapters, she has published articles in several international scholarly journals, such as the Journal of the History of Ideas, History of Political Thought, and the Journal of Classical Sociology.

The Elements of Representation in Hobbes, Aesthetics, Theatre, Law and Theology in the Construction of Hobbes's Theory of the State by Monica Brito Vieira  Representation by Monica Brito Vieira  The Constituent Moment. Social Rights in the Constitution by Monica Brito Vieira  Arbitration in Public Law: Administrative and Fiscal Disputes


On 6 December 2016, Mónica spoke in the Portuguese Parliament about the effects of the crisis on the welfare preferences of the precariat and the dilemmas it poses to the Portuguese democracy.

Participated on 8 December 2016, on National TV - RTP 3 - speaking about Brexit in one of their main extended news programmes - 360º (please note the programme is in Portuguese).



Mónica’s research is broadly focused on early modern political thought, in particular the thought of Thomas Hobbes, and on the history and theory of political representation. She is currently starting work on a book-length project exploring the relation between representation and democracy, from a historical and from a normative perspective. She is also interested in the aesthetic and performative dimensions of representation in politics. Representation was originally an aesthetic category, and the connections between aesthetic and political representation have been a recurrent theme in much historical and theoretical reflection on the topic of representation and on the specific nature of representative government. However, this purported homology between representation in politics and representation in the arts remains, for the most part, an unscrutinised insight, deserving more thorough analysis. Currently, she is extending these two lines of enquiry to include the case of unauthorized representatives. 

Another main area of her research has concerned democracy and rights constitutionalism. Her forthcoming article with I*CON, the International Journal of Constitutional Law, is part of a co-authored book-length project (with Filipe Carreira da Silva) advancing an alternative theory of human rights, which focuses on second generation rights. The book is provisionally entitled Getting Rights Right.



History of Political Thought

Princes, Republics, and Utopias

Politics, Power, and Society


Political Research and Analysis

Approaches to Political Theory

Contact details

Professor Mónica Brito Vieira
Department of Politics and International Relations
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 324108
Fax: (01904) 323563

Feedback and Guidance hours, this semester tbc