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COMMENTS 

An interview with the President of the European Court of Human Rights

Dean Spielmann, President of the European Court of Human Rights since September 2012, has served as a Judge in the Court for over a decade. In a recent interview with the UCL Law Society’s Silk v. Brief, highlights of which are condensed in the blog post below, he discusses the evolving role of human rights in Europe, and explores the complicated relationship between the UK and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Dean Spielmann
23 March 2015 More...

Starts: Mar 23, 2015 12:00:00 AM

In Defence of Rights

Philippe Sands, Professor of Law at UCL and practising barrister in international law, and Helena Kennedy, a leading barrister and academic in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issues, were members of the 2011 Commission on a Bill of Rights. In highlights from a recent article in the London Review of Books, they discuss how human rights intersect with politics, examine the UK’s strained relationship with the European Convention on Human Rights, and question the possible motivations lying behind the proposed Bill.
Prof. Philippe Sands 
Helena Kennedy
1 April 2015 More...

Starts: May 2, 2015 12:00:00 AM

Exploring ‘Exploratory Governance': the Hertie Governance Report 2015

With the Eurozone crisis not yet over, Albert Weale, Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at UCL, reviews the Hertie Governance Report 2015 as it analyses the key issues facing the European Institutions in terms of economic governance. As ad hoc solutions are found to deal with urgent matters, what does this mean for political accountability and reform in the EU, and what lessons have been learnt?
Prof. Albert Weale
14 April 2015 More...

Starts: May 2, 2015 12:00:00 AM

Research Grant awarded: Passionate Politics

6 August 2014

24 July 2014
The UCL European Institute, the UCL Centre for Transnational History and UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies have been awarded £10,000 seed funding for a new interdisciplinary research project on “Passionate Politics” from CHIRP.


Passions play a fundamental role in shaping political movements and ideologies, providing the emotional basis of individual and social identities. Our historical understanding of key moments of social change remains impoverished if we fail to take into account the importance of grief, for example, as a response to social upheaval, the role of love and empathy in the creation of political and social solidarities, or the roots of political dissent in anger. The tradition of thinking about politics, stretching from the Stoics to Kant and Rawls, has tended to view the passionate nature of human beings with suspicion if not outright hostility. The passions sit uncomfortably with the idea of a social contract, for example, that is meant to be the product of reason. Until recently, the passions drew the attention of political theorists and philosophers above all because of their capacity to wreak havoc in the social order. Interdisciplinary approaches to conceptualizing affects have recently opened up a new way of understanding the human. Our project will draw on the unique opportunity that this ‘affective turn’ has brought to other fields by returning the passions to the study of politics.

The core group of the project consists of Tim Beasley-Murray (SSEES), Dina Gusejnova (CTH), Axel Körner (CTH) and Uta Staiger (EI). Over the next three years, the group will run a number of workshops, a reading group and an international conference. To support its research as well as public engagement with the project, the team will create a digital archive “Collecting Emotions”, featuring text, images, music, film and interviews.

We are grateful to the UCL Centre for Humanities Interdisciplinary Research Projects (CHIRP) for its support.