Professor Cécile Laborde elected to Académie Royale de Belgique

Cécile Laborde, Nuffield Professor of Political Theory and a Fellow of the British Academy, was recently elected to the Belgian Royal Academy (Académie Royale de Belgique) as Associate Member in ‘La Classe des Lettres et des Sciences morales et politiques’.  

The reception ceremony for new members took place in Brussels on 16 December 2022.

Professor Laborde gave her inaugural lecture to the Academy on 5 June 2023, on the topic of the philosophical foundations of anti-discrimination law.

In the ceremony, the Permanent Secretary of the Academy, Professor Didier Viviers, spoke of her influential contributions to political philosophy, both from an analytical and critical perspective, on the topics of secularism, multiculturalism, liberalism, democratic theory and equality.

He praised her book Critical Republicanism (Oxford UP 2008) for its ambitious defense of a secularism of ‘non-domination’ – one that breaks both from the standard French perspectives on laïcité and from Anglophone theories of nationalism and multiculturalism.

He noted the impact of her recent prize-winning book, Liberalism’s Religion (Harvard UP 2017) – a book that has profoundly reshaped recent scholarship about the concept of religion in liberal governance and law.

I am a great admirer of the vitality of Belgium’s academic life and its international profile, at the intersection of different institutional and intellectual traditions. It is a pleasure and an honour to join the ranks of such eminent académiciens’.

Professor Cécile Laborde

The Académie Royale, originally founded in 1772, comprises 200 full members elected from Belgium and 200 associate members from around the world. Cécile Laborde was one of seven new members and associate members elected last year, when the Academy celebrated its 250th Anniversary.