£32.14 – £185.12

Conference: Foundational Concepts in Constitutional Theory

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Bentham House

4 - 8 Endsleigh Gardens

London

WC1H 0EG

United Kingdom

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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.

Programme

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 1
  • Philip Pettit (Princeton) – Liberty
  • Rowan Cruft (University of Stirling) – Rights
  • Matthew Adler (Duke) – Well-Being
11:30 AM – 12:50 PM Session 2
  • 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 3
  • Matthew Kramer (Cambridge) – Impartiality
  • Helder de Schutter (Leuven University) – Recognition
3:50 PM – 5:50 PM Session 4
  • 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 1
  • 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 2
  • 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 3
  • Cécile Laborde (Oxford) – Secularism
  • George Letsas (UCL) – Proportionality
3:50 PM – 5:50 PM Session 4
  • Jon Elster (Columbia University) – Constitutional Conventions
  • Christoph Möllers (Humboldt University of Berlin) – Constitutional Review
  • Timothy Endicott (Oxford) – Constitutional Interpretation
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Date and Time

Location

Bentham House

4 - 8 Endsleigh Gardens

London

WC1H 0EG

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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