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Conference: Foundational Concepts in Constitutional Theory

3:30 pm, 10 July 2019 to 6:00 pm, 12 July 2019

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Event Information

Open to

All

Organiser

Laws Events

Location

Gideon Schreier LT
Bentham House
4-8 Endsleigh Gardens
London
WC1H 0EG

About the Conference

Despite the field of constitutional theory coming of age recently, there are at least three problems evident in the scholarly discussion. First, legal scholars and political scientists have often approached the subjects differently and in isolation from one another.  Second, discussions often remain parochial, taking a familiar jurisdiction’s institutions as the central case.  And third, sophisticated scholarly work tends to be deep in respect of particular subjects, but rarely seeks to explore a modestly comprehensive set of foundational concepts, and the relationships between them.

The Bentham House Conference brings together world-leading philosophers, political scientists and legal theorists in an attempt to address these problems. It is the occasion for discussing the first set of papers to be included in a major forthcoming volume, The Cambridge Handbook of Constitutional Theory (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2021), co-edited by Richard Bellamy and Jeff King. The Handbook seeks to deepen and broaden our understanding of values, modalities, and institutions in constitutional thought and practice.  The values specify those attributes, conditions or states of affairs that are of inherent worth (e.g. dignity, liberty, well-being, self-government).  The modalities relate to arrangements, processes or principles that are of instrumental worth (e.g. the separation of powers, the rule of law, constituent power).  They are judged by how well they serve the deeper values. The category of institutions – which is not explored directly at the Bentham House conference – will offer theoretical reflection on concrete institutions and political arrangements considered in comparative light (e.g. electoral systems, administration, government, legislatures, referenda, central banking). 

The focus at this conference is on the values and modalities Parts of the Handbook.  The papers will present not so much an overview of the field of writing, but rather the author’s distinctive conception of a particular concept, with emphasis on its constitutional aspects. The full papers and short summaries of each paper will be made available to all conference participants on a OneDrive folder in advance. Each paper will be briefly presented and discussed in plenary for 40 minutes, half of which will be reserved for open-floor questions.

List of speakers and topics:

  • Matthew Adler (Duke) – Well-Being
  • Richard Bellamy (UCL) - Constitutionalism: An Introduction
  • Simone Chambers (University of California Irvine) – Deliberation
  • Thomas Christiano (University of Arizona) – Self Government
  • Rowan Cruft (University of Stirling) – Rights
  • Candice Delmas (Northeastern University) – Civil Disobedience
  • David Dyzenhaus (University of Toronto) – Sovereignty
  • Timothy Endicott (Oxford) – Constitutional Interpretation
  • Jon Elster (Columbia University) – Constitutional Conventions
  • Rainer Forst (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main) – Justice: Procedural and Substantive
  • Jeff King (UCL) – Rule of Law
  • Matthew Kramer (Cambridge) – Impartiality
  • Cécile Laborde (Oxford) – Secularism 
  • Nomi Claire Lazar (Yale/NUS College, Singapore) – Legitimacy
  • George Letsas (UCL) – Proportionality
  • Annabelle Lever (Sciences Po) - Equality
  • Jacob T. Levy (McGill University) – Separation of Powers
  • Martin Loughlin (LSE) – Constituent Power
  • Christoph Möllers (Humboldt University of Berlin) – Constitutional Review
  • Philip Pettit (Princeton) – Liberty
  • Helder de Schutter (Leuven University) – Recognition
  • Nadia Urbinati (Columbia University) – Representation
  • Jeremy Waldron (New York University) – Dignity
PROGRAMME (Subject to Change)

Wednesday 10 July 2019

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM        Registration
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM        Session 1
  • Richard Bellamy (UCL) - Constitutionalism: An Introduction
  • Jeremy Waldron (New York University) – Dignity
  • Annabelle Lever (Sciences Po) - Equality

Thursday 11 July 2019

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM      Session 2
  • Philip Pettit (Princeton) – Liberty
  • Rowan Cruft (University of Stirling) – Rights
  • Matthew Adler (Duke) – Well-Being
11:30 AM – 12:50 PM    Session 3
  • Rainer Forst (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main) – Justice: Procedural and Substantive
  • Nomi Claire Lazar (Yale/NUS College, Singapore) – Legitimacy
13:50 PM – 2:00 PM      Lunch 
2:00 PM – 3:20 PM        Session 4
  • Matthew Kramer (Cambridge) – Impartiality
  • Helder de Schutter (Leuven University) – Recognition

3:50 PM – 5:50 PM        Session 5
  • Thomas Christiano (University of Arizona) – Self Government
  • Nadia Urbinati (Columbia University) – Representation
  • Simone Chambers (University of California Irvine) – Deliberation

Friday 12 July 2019

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM      Session 6
  • Jacob T. Levy (McGill University) – Separation of Powers
  • Jeff King (UCL) – Rule of Law
  • Candice Delmas (Northeastern University) – Civil Disobedience
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM      Session 7
  • David Dyzenhaus (University of Toronto) – Sovereignty
  • Martin Loughlin (LSE) – Constituent Power
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM        Lunch 
2:00 PM – 3:20 PM        Session 8
  • Cécile Laborde (Oxford) – Secularism
  • George Letsas (UCL) – Proportionality
3:50 PM – 5:50 PM        Session 9
  • Jon Elster (Columbia University) – Constitutional Conventions
  • Christoph Möllers (Humboldt University of Berlin) – Constitutional Review
  • Timothy Endicott (Oxford) – Constitutional Interpretation
FEES and BOOKING INFORMATION

Full Conference only
    Standard Fee: £175
    Academic: £145
    Student:  £50

One Day Conference only
    Standard Fee: £125
    Academic: £100
    Student: £30

Payment can be made using a credit or debit card

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Matthew Adler is the Richard A. Horvitz Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, Philosophy and Public Policy at Duke University; and, during 2017-2020, Ludwig M. Lachmann Professorial Research Fellow at the London School of Economics.  He writes about constitutional theory, the foundations of cost-benefit analysis, risk regulation, and other topics in public law and public policy.   His books includes New Foundations of Cost-Benefit Analysis (Harvard University Press 2006, with Eric Posner); Well-Being and Fair Distribution (OUP 2012); and the forthcoming Measuring Social Welfare (OUP 2019).   He is the editor, with Marc Fleurbaey, of the Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy (2016) and, with Ole Norheim, of the forthcoming Prioritarianism in Practice (Cambridge University Press).   With Ken Himma, he edited The Rule of Recognition and the U.S. Constitution (OUP 2009).  He is an editor of the journal Economics and Philosophy.

Richard Bellamy is Professor of Political Science at UCL and Director of the Max Weber Programme at the European University Institute in Florence. His main research interests are in the History of European Social and Political Theory post-1750 and Contemporary Analytical Legal and Political Philosophy. Richard's books include Modern Italian Social Theory: Ideology and Politics from Pareto to the Present; Liberalism and Modern Society: An Historical Argument; (with Darrow Schecter) Gramsci and the Italian State; Liberalism and Pluralism: Towards a Politics of Compromise; Rethinking LiberalismPolitical Constitutionalism; Citizenship: A Very Short Introduction; Croce, Gramsci, Bobbio and the Italian Political Tradition; and A Republican Europe of States: Cosmopolitanism, Intergovernmentalism and Democracy in the EU. His most recent book, co-authored with Dario Castiglione,  From Maastricht to Brexit: Democracy, Constitutionalism and Citizenship in the EU will be published in June 2019.

Simone Chambers is a Professor of Political Science at the University of California Irvine.  She has written and published on such topics as deliberative democracy, referendums, constitutional politics, the public sphere, secularism, rhetoric, civility, and the work of Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls. Her most recent publication is “Democracy and constitutional reform: Deliberative versus populist constitutionalism” will appear in Philosophy and Social Criticism.  She is working on a book of collected essays: Deliberation and the Future of Democracy: A realistic but not realist political theory. 

Rowan Cruft has taught philosophy at the University of Stirling since 2002.  He focuses on the nature and justification of rights and duties, including especially human rights, rights of democratic participation and property. His work has been published in journals including Ethics, Law & Philosophy, and The Philosophical Quarterly. He is co-editor of Crime, Punishment and Responsibility: the Jurisprudence of Antony Duff (OUP 2011), and of Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights (OUP 2015). His forthcoming monograph - Human Rights, Ownership, and the Individual (OUP, 2019) - starts from a new account of the nature of rights as formally bringing together duty-bearer and right-holder first-personally. Work on this book was supported by a British Academy mid-career fellowship.

Candice Delmas is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at Northeastern University, and the Associate Director of the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Program. During 2016-17, she was a Dworkin-Balzan Fellow at the New York University School of Law Center for Law and Philosophy. She works in moral, legal, social and political philosophy and bioethics. The overarching theme of her work is a concern with citizens’ responsibilities in the face of injustice. Her research has appeared in such venues as Ethics, Law and Philosophy, the Journal of Political Philosophy, Res Publica, Analysis, Philosophy Compass, and Social Theory and Practice. She is the author of A Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil (Oxford University Press, 2018). 

David Dyzenhaus is a University Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Toronto, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.  He is the author of:  Hard Cases in Wicked Legal Systems: South African Law in the Perspective of Legal Philosophy (now in its second edition); The Constitution of Law: Legality in a Time of Emergency; Legality and Legitimacy: Carl Schmitt, Hans Kelsen, and Hermann Heller in Weimar; and Judging the Judges, Judging Ourselves: Truth, Reconciliation and the Apartheid Legal Order.

Timothy Endicott has been Professor of Legal Philosophy in the University of Oxford since 2006, and a Fellow in Law at Balliol College since 1999. He writes on Jurisprudence and Constitutional and Administrative Law, with special interests in law and language and interpretation. He served as the Dean of the Faculty of Law for two terms, from October 2007 to September 2015.  He is the author of Vagueness in Law (OUP 2000), and Administrative Law, 3rd ed (OUP 2015). After graduating with the AB in Classics and English from Harvard, he took the MPhil in Comparative Philology in Oxford, studied Law at the University of Toronto, and practised as a litigation lawyer in Toronto. He completed the DPhil in Law in Oxford in 1998. He was appointed by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid to a Cátedra de Excelencia during 2016, and was a Distinguished Visitor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, in 2017. He has been General Editor of the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies since 2015. 

Rainer Forst is Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at Goethe University Frankfurt and Co-Director of the Research Cluster ‘Normative Orders,’ of the Centre for Advanced Studies ‘Justitia Amplificata’ as well as Director of the Leibniz Research Group ‘Transnational Justice.’ His major publications are Contexts of Justice (Suhrkamp 1994, Univ. of California Press 2002), Toleration in Conflict (Suhrkamp 2003, Cambridge UP 2013), The Right to Justification (Suhrkamp 2007, Columbia UP 2012), Justification and Critique (Suhrkamp 2011, Polity Press, 2013), The Power of Tolerance (with W. Brown, Columbia UP 2014), Justice, Democracy and the Right to Justification (with Replies by Critics; Bloomsbury 2014) and Normativity and Power (Suhrkamp 2015, Oxford UP 2017). In 2012, he received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Price of the German Research Foundation. He is a Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and was an Associate Editor of Ethics for the past ten years, is Member of the Executive Editorial Committee of Political Theory and on the board of numerous international journals in his field. He is co-editor of the series Theorie und Gesellschaft as well as Normative Orders with Campus Publishers (Frankfurt).

Jeff King is a Professor of Law at the Faculty of Laws, UCL, and presently a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Oxford. He was formerly the Co-Editor of Current Legal Problems, the Co-Editor of the UK Constitutional Law Blog, and sits on the Editorial Committee of Public Law as well as the General Council of the International Society of Public Law (ICON Society).  Prior to coming to UCL, he was a Fellow and Tutor in law at Balliol College, University of Oxford (2008-2011), and an attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York City (2003-04). He has held visiting posts at the University of Toronto, Renmin University (Beijing), the University of New South Wales, and in 2014-15 was an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation visiting fellow at the Humboldt University of Berlin.  He is the author of Judging Social Rights (CUP, 2012, winner of the 2014 Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship) and The Doctrine of Odious Debt in International Law: A Restatement (CUP 2016) and is co-editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism (CUP 2018) and of The Foundations and Future of Public Law: Essays in Honour of Paul Craig (OUP 2020).  He was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Law in 2017.

Matthew H. Kramer is Professor of Legal and Political Philosophy at the  University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.  He  is Director of the Cambridge Forum for Legal & Political Philosophy, and  he has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 2014.  He is the author  of sixteen books (two of which were co-authored), and he is the co-editor  of four further books.  His writings cover many areas of political, moral, and legal philosophy.  Among his most recent books are OBJECTIVITY AND THE   RULE OF LAW (Cambridge University Press, 2007); MORAL REALISM AS A MORAL  DOCTRINE (Blackwell, 2009); THE ETHICS OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT (Oxford   University Press, 2011); TORTURE AND MORAL INTEGRITY (Oxford University   Press, 2014); LIBERALISM WITH EXCELLENCE (Oxford University Press, 2017);   and H.L.A. HART: THE NATURE OF LAW (Polity Press, 2018). 

Cécile Laborde holds the Nuffield Chair of Political Theory at the University of Oxford. She was the Founding Director of UCL’s Religion and Political Theory Centre. In 2013 she was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy.  She has published widely on theories of law and the state, pluralism, syndicalism, and on contemporary theories of nationalism, toleration, republicanism, multiculturalism, secularism and global justice. Her work has appeared in major journals of political and legal theory. She is notably the author of Pluralist Thought and the State (2000) and Critical Republicanism (2008). Edited volumes include Republicanism and Political Theory (2007) and Religion in Liberal Political Philosophy (2017). Her last monograph, Liberalism's Religion, was published by Harvard UP in 2017. 

Nomi Claire Lazar is Associate Professor of Politics and Associate Dean of Faculty at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. Professor Lazar's work addresses tensions between institutions and agency as they emerge in crisis politics. Specifically, she writes about states of emergency, crisis rhetoric, political legitimacy, and the politics of time and temporality. Her books include Out of Joint: Power, Crisis and the Rhetoric of Time (Yale, 2019) and States of Emergency in Liberal Democracies (Cambridge, 2009). Professor Lazar holds degrees in philosophy (Toronto), legal and political thought (UCL) and a PhD in politics (Yale) and has taught at the University of Chicago, Yale, and in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs in her hometown of Ottawa, Canada. In addition to her academic work, Lazar served on the Criminal Law Policy team that developed Canada's youth justice strategy. 

George Letsas holds a chair in the Philosophy of Law at UCL since 2014. His main research interests are in jurisprudence and human rights with particular emphasis on the philosophy of rights, human rights theory, constitutional theory, theory of European law, theory of private law and the European Convention on Human Rights. He has written extensively on issues surrounding the interpretation of human rights (margin of appreciation, living instrument, proportionality) and the bearing of moral and political philosophy on legal theory (law and conventions, the normativity of law, pluralism, law and polity). He is the author of A Theory of Interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights (OUP) and co-editor of Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law (OUP).

Annabelle Lever is a professor of political theory at IEP, Paris (SciencesPo) and co-editor of the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. She is the author of On Privacy and A Democratic Conception of Privacy as well as articles on sexual and racial equality, intellectual property, security, the ethics of voting and democratic theory.  She co-edited The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy with Andrei Poama and a collection of essays in honour of Joshua Cohen, Ideas that Matter: Justice Democracy and Rights, with Debra Satz and is the editor of New Frontiers in the Philosophy of Intellectual Property. She is working on a monograph, A Democratic Conception of Ethics and a short book on the ethics of voting. 

Jacob  T.  Levy is Tomlinson Professor of Political Theory, Professor of Political Science, associated faculty in the Department of Philosophy, coordinator of the Research Group on Constitutional Studies, and founding director of the Yan P. Lin Centre for the Study of Freedom and Global Orders in the Ancient and Modern Worlds at McGill University. He is the author of The Multiculturalism of Fear (OUP 2000) and Rationalism, Pluralism, and Freedom (OUP 2015), and editor or coeditor of Colonialism and Its Legacies, Nomos LV: Federalism and Subsidiarity, and the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Classics in Contemporary Political Theory.  He is the field editor for political theory of The Journal of Politics. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Brown University, an M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University, and an LL.M. from the University of Chicago Law School. His current book project is entitled Justice in Babylon and it draws on recent work including "Contra Politanism," European Journal of Political Theory, and "There Is No Such Thing As Ideal Theory," Social Philosophy and Policy. 

Martin Loughlin is Professor of Public Law at the London School of Economics & Political Science. His publications include Local Government in the Modern State (1986), Public Law and Political Theory (1992), Legality and Locality (1996), Sword and Scales (2000), The Idea of Public Law (2003), Foundations of Public Law (2010), The British Constitution: A Very Short Introduction (2013) and Political Jurisprudence (2017).

Christoph Möllers is a Professor of Public Law and Jurisprudence, Faculty of Law, Humboldt-University Berlin and a Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin. His main research interests include German, European and comparative constitutional law, regulated industries, democratic theory in public law, and the theory of normativity. He was a Fellow at NYU School of Law and at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and visiting Professor at CEU, Princeton University, LSE and Universités Paris I and II. He is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, and was a judge at the Superior Administrative Court in Berlin. Möllers has represented the Federal Government and Parliament as well as other parties in the German Federal Constitutional Court. In 2016, he was awarded the Gotthold-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Prize of the German Research Council. His works have been translated into English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. His last English publications include The Three Branches (OUP 2013) and The Court without Limits (co-author, forthcom. OUP 2019). A monograph on social norms is currently in translation into English.

Philip Pettit is L.S.Rockefeller University Professor of Human Values at Princeton University and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Australian National University. He has worked in a range of areas, including ethical and political theory; the theory of collective and corporate agency; and the philosophy of mind. He has published a number of books in those areas, most recently Just Freedom (Norton 2014), The Robust Demands of the Good (OUP 2014), and The Birth of Ethics (OUP 2018). He gave the Tanner Lectures in Human Values in Berkeley in 2015 and the John Locke Lectures in Philosophy in Oxford 2019. Common Minds: Themes from the Philosophy of Philip Pettit appeared from OUP in 2007, edited by Geoffrey Brennan et al.  

Helder  De  Schutter is Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at KU Leuven. He works on normative issues of language policy, federalism in multinational states, migration, and on the role of territoriality in justice. He also has a strong interest in 18th century philosophy of language. He has held visiting research positions at Princeton University (in 2006, and as a Fung Global Fellow in 2013-2014) and at the University of Oxford, Nuffield College (2008-2009), and was a  part-time guest professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain from 2010 until 2016 to teach 'Political Philosophy and the European Union' (with Philippe Van Parijs). He currently coordinates KU Leuven’s Centre for Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy and supervises (together with Leuven colleagues Eszter Kollar and Johan Olsthoorn) a research project involving 5 researchers addressing the normative grounds of differentiated rights for immigrants and citizens. 

Nadia Urbinati, Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Political Science, Columbia University.  Her most recent books are The Tyranny of the Moderns (Yale University Press 2016), Democracy Disfigured: Opinion, Truth and the People (Harvard University Press 2014) and Me The People: How Populism Transforms Democracy (Harvard University Press 2019). 

QUERIES

Please send queries to the UCL Laws Events team at laws-events@ucl.ac.ukInquiries about the conference may be sent to jeff.king@ucl.ac.uk  or r.bellamy@ucl.ac.uk 

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