Caudio Corradetti, Italian
Associate professor of political philosophy and international relations at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. My philosophical interests are oriented to the understanding of the interconnections between law and politics as well as the role of capitalism in society. I have been raised with the idea that interdisciplinary readings and reflections help the formulation of new and hopefully deeper views as well as increase the level of critical thinking.

My duty at VIU was to teach two courses, one on Global Governance and the other on a selection of classical texts of political philosophy. Both courses were for me very challenging, but in different ways.
In the first, whose long title was ‘Global Governance for Peace and Security, Cooperation and Development. At the Root of Cosmopolitan Constitutionalism’, I aimed at reconstructing the philosophical, political and legal development of the idea of a global governance, peace and justice among nations. In particular, I articulated conceptions for the emergence of a notion of global public authority and constitutionalism starting from the paradigm shift for new forms of authority conceptualizations. Students were asked to develop a critical approach and to reflect upon colonization processes, contemporary regional phenomena of constitutionalisation of multi-polities, as in the case of the European Union, and the relation between global wealth and authority. It was certainly an unusual course to offer to bachelor students but notwithstanding the demanding standard the students feedbacks were excellent.

The other course I offered was more of an introductory style. It attracted students with almost no background in philosophy. I remember a very talented Israeli student telling me right at the beginning: “I’m taking this course because I have never understood anything in philosophy!”. Eventually at the end he scored the highest grade. The course offered a detailed overview of the political philosophical development from ancient times to modernity. Lectures provided a selection of primary texts of classical authors accompanied by the support of secondary literature. Core topics included the definition of normative political thinking, as with the relation between morality and politics, morality and law as well as the role of individual and collective subjectivity. The course’s fil rouge was devoted to the capturing of the birth, development and decline of the State. This trajectory was analysed as part of a context of interstate relations, as with the arousal of the ius gentium as well as cosmopolitanism and/or liberal internationalist approaches. Organized around prominent key philosophers, the course has included a special section dedicated to the contemporary Italian political thought.

The choice to spend a semester at VIU was totally by chance. I did know about this programme and the membership of my university. One day I received a call of interest for filling-in a teaching at VIU and I applied, I found it was a great choice to make.
Venice and San Servolo are great places to stay both as a student and as a teacher. I had a great time meeting colleagues both local and international as well as students. There is a plenty of initiatives that are organized on weekly basis and which provide great opportunities for enjoying the beauty of the place. I’m still in contact and cooperate with some of the colleagues met there.

I believe that if you like experimenting yourself as a teacher in an international environment and if you are sensitive to the beauty of the contest then it would be harder to find reasons not to go. The VIU is for those who have an open-minded, progressive view of education and who like to meet people from a variety of backgrounds. Sometimes this is not an easy task, but it is certainly rewarding.

I found always a winning move to establish an empathy with students no matter whether they were Europeans, Africans, Asians etc. After all students from all over the world have similar expectations. They truly start from different background points, but organizing a course at VIU is to leave these differences in the back and to provide a new common starting point. This is not an easy task but of crucial importance.

I really enjoyed when with the class we decided to go in the garden around a long wooden table to have our lecture. It worked differently from usual and I believe it allowed a free way of thinking and doing philosophy.

Thanks to VIU, I also have the opportunity to go to Munich, Germany, to deliver a three-day seminar on my research on the cosmopolitan though by Kant. The place was somehow chosen by the topic I was researching on in those days. I wished to present my research to a German audience.