Boucoyannis works on the historical foundations of liberalism and democracy, with a special focus on the origins of European political institutions. Her work sheds light on the role of the state, taxation, inequality and of judicial structures in the creation of liberal, constitutional orders. She also works on the theoretical foundations of liberalism, offering in particular a reconsideration of assumptions about inequality.
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Questions the widespread association of the idea of a balance of power with realist and conservative approaches to international relations and world affairs. Recommends a more “realist” understanding of liberalism, consonant with the foundations of the liberal political order, especially as exemplified in the Federalist Papers.