Academic Profile

People Feature

Cécile Laborde FBA

Professorial Fellow
Professor of Political Theory

Research Interests: Equality and Discrimination; Republican Non-Domination and Freedom; Secularism and Religion; Democratic Theory and Rights.

Cécile Laborde holds the Nuffield Chair of Political Theory and is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Before she joined Oxford in January 2017, she was a Professor of Political Theory at University College London. After studying political science in France, Cécile Laborde obtained a DPhil from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, in 1996. She has held permanent posts in political theory at the University of Exeter and King's College, London. In 2007, she was Associate Professor to the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. She spent the 2010-11 academic year in Princeton, as a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study. She was the director of UCL’s Religion and Political Theory Centre, which was funded by a European Research Council (ERC) personal grant.

She has published extensively in the areas of republicanism, liberalism and religion, theories of law and the state, and global justice. She is the author of 5 monographs and has written articles in major journals of political science and political theory. She is notably the author of Pluralist Thought and the State in Britain and France (2000), Critical Republicanism. The Hijab Controversy in Political Philosophy (2008), and Liberalism’s Religion, which was published by Harvard University Press in 2017 and was awarded the 2019 Spitz Prize.

Cécile's last book, Philosophie libérale de la religion, was published in Paris (Hermann/Raison Publique) in April 2023. In December 2022, she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Belgium. 

Cécile Laborde is the convenor of the Nuffield political theory workshop.

Cécile Laborde FBA


A list of Cecile’s selected publications is shown below. A full list of Cecile's publications may be found in 'Publications'.


Liberalism’s Religion, Harvard University Press, 2017.

Winner, Spitz Prize, 2019. Read about the reception of Liberalism's Religion.


'Being Free, Feeling Free. Race, Gender and Republican Domination', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, forthcoming Summer 2024. 

'Legal Toleration and Rights to do Wrong', Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, Volume 8, 2022.

'Minimal Secularism: Lessons for, and from, India', American Political Science Review, First Online, September 2020.

'Cosmopolitan Patriotism as Civic Ideal' (with Lior Erez), American Journal of Political Science, January 2020.

‘Religion and the Law: the Disaggregation Approach’, Law and Philosophy, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp. 581-600, November 2015.

'Political Liberalism and Religion: On Separation and Establishment', Journal of Political Philosophy, 21(1):67-86, 2013.

Critical Republicanism. Oxford University Press, 2008.