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University College London (UCL), Law Faculty Events

UCL CLP: The dialogic model of constitutionalism and the system of checks and balances

UCL Faculty of Laws Events

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 6:00 PM (GMT)

UCL CLP: The dialogic model of constitutionalism and...

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Event Details

Current Legal Problems Lecture Series 2013-14 


The dialogic model of constitutionalism and the 
system of checks and balances 

Professor Roberto Gargarella
Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina & 
Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at UCL


Thursday 27th March 2014
from 6 - 7pm 




Numerous countries in the world have, in one way or another, incorporated social and economic rights (SER) in their Constitutions. However, while these Constitutions look modern and rights-rich, they also look old and regressive concerning the organization of governmental power  -particularly in what regards the organization of a system of checks and balances. As a consequence, a recurring problem affecting these Constitutions is the “mismatch” between their progressive, 21st century commitments concerning SER and the form of constitutional democracy inherited from the 18th century.  In my presentation I will examine both the promise of the bill-of-rights sections of these renewed Constitutions and the frustrations generated by the organization-of-powers-sections of the same documents. In particular, I will show how a deliberative conception of democracy and a dialogic understanding of the system of checks and balances can help us make the promise of SER – the achievement of a just society - a reality. 


Biography of the speaker

Professor Roberto Gargarella is a distinguished Argentine lawyer and sociologist. He has doctoral degrees from Universidad de Buenos Aires (1991) and University of Chicago (1993). He also holds Master Degrees from the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO, 1990) and University of Chicago (LLM, 1992). Professor Gargarella pursued his post-doctoral studies at Balliol College, Oxford, under the supervision of Professor Joseph Raz (1994). In Oxford he also worked with Professor G.A. Cohen, following collaborative research with a group of ‘Analytical Marxists’, which he had begun in the United States, together with Professors Jon Elster and Adam Przeworski. Professor Gargarella has also been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim scholarship (2000), and a Fulbright scholarship (2010). He has taught at numerous universities, including the New School for Social Research, Columbia University, Bergen University, and Southwestern University. In recent years, Professor Gargarella has specialised in comparative American Constitutionalism and published a number of articles and books that will provide the foundations for his visit at UCL, including The Legal Foundation of Inequality: Constitutionalism in the Americas, 1776-1860(Cambridge University Press, 2010), and 200 Years of Latin American Constitutionalism(forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2013).

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When & Where

UCL Faculty of Laws
Bentham House
Endsleigh Gardens
WC1H 0EG London
United Kingdom

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 6:00 PM (GMT)

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UCL Faculty of Laws Events

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UCL CLP: The dialogic model of constitutionalism and the system of checks and balances
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