Transnational Law Signature Lectures
The Signature Lectures are delivered by world renowned scholars whose work tackles central challenges in global governance by cutting across disciplinary boundaries to develop new analytical and conceptual frameworks, which address today’s pressing problems of transnational legality and legitimacy with rigour and fresh eyes.
2018-19 Excluded Voices and Suppressed Narratives
Unblinding Justice for Social Change
We live in a hugely polarised world in which, for many, life has become longer and better than in any other time whereas, for many others, it is still “nasty, brutish and short.” Even those who would supposedly fall into the privileged side of the divide increasingly feel their lives and the world are getting worse, not better. They point to the rise in inequality experienced almost everywhere in the world in the past few decades, the growth of suffering and displacement in bloody conflicts, the migration and refugee crisis, the resilient brutality and corruption of authoritarian regimes, and the ever more visible effects of environmental destruction and climate change.
The 2018-2019 Signature Lectures at the Transnational Law Institute at King’s College London are dedicated to these broad topics of inclusion and exclusion and, in particular, to the longstanding contention that law is both complicit and instrumental in silencing critique and empowering resistance and change. Cloaked in transcendent principles of universality, law should be and often is able to help, but also often fails the most vulnerable, most marginalised and most disempowered people.
This failure is often of law’s implementation, but also of law’s blindness and deafness to the plight of vulnerable groups, whose stories are rarely told and heard.
Building on the approach of KTLS18 (www.transnationallawsummit.org) we are inviting not only legal scholars, but academics, thinkers and doers from all quarters to join the debate and help us uncover and publicise the suppressed stories that may lead to legal developments and social change.
The 2018-2019 lectures are made possible by the generous gift of Sir Dickson Poon in support of the Transnational Law Institute and are open to the interested public.
All events are followed by a reception.
Autumn Term 2018
Wednesday 24 October 2018, 18:00, SW1.17 Prof Ratna Kapur, Visiting Professor of Law at Queen Mary University of London Thursday 15 November 2018, 18:00, Council Room Prof Katerina Linos, UC Berkley Law Wednesday 5 December 2018, 18:00, SW1.18 Prof Leif Wenar, King’s College London
Spring Term 2019
Wednesday 30 January 2019, 18:00, SW1.18 Prof Emily Grabham, University of Kent Wednesday 6 February 2019, 18:00, SW1.18 Prof Walter Kaelin, University of Bern/Switzerland TBC March 2019, 18:00, TBCProf Kathryn Sikkink, Harvard Kennedy School TBC March 2019, 18:00, TBCProf Sabeel Rahman, Brooklyn Law School
Videos of our Signature Lectures can be found here on our YouTube and Soundcloud channels.
Signature Lectures archive - Past Events
2017-18 Democratic Politics in Global Crisis?
2016-17 Contesting Globalisation (Post-Brexit)
2017-18 Democratic Politics in Global Crisis?
Challenges, Approaches, Resistances
The election of Trump in the USA, the Brexit vote in the UK, the rise of extremist parties in France, Holland and elsewhere, impeachments (successful and failed) of presidents in South Korea, Brazil and South Africa following corruption scandals, authoritarian turns in Hungary, Poland and Russia… Wherever one turns to, there are worrying signs that democracy, or at least democratic politics, is in trouble around the world.
This is further corroborated by lower election turn out and repudiation of mainstream political parties and politicians, symptoms of a generalized sentiment of political disenchantment that leads to political disengagement.
How deep is this crisis? What are its causes? How can it be solved?
These are the themes and questions we will be debating in our Transnational Law Institute Signature Lectures, now in its third year, with experts from around the world. The lectures are organized around four broad sub-topics: Democracy and extremism; Democracy and inequality; Democracy and corruption and Democracy and authoritarianism.
The Signature Lectures are delivered by world renowned scholars whose work tackles central challenges in global governance by cutting across disciplinary boundaries to develop new analytical and conceptual frameworks, which address today’s pressing problems of transnational legality and legitimacy with rigour and fresh eyes. Previous speakers included: Saskia Sassen, Albie Sachs, Sally Engle Merry, Wolfgang Streeck, Joseph Weiler, Eve Darian-Smith, Guy Standing, Upendra Baxi and Boaventura Sousa Santos.
All events are followed by a reception.
Autumn Term 2017
Monday 16 October 2017, 18:00. K0.20
Katrin Kinzelbach, Authoritarianism in Global Ascendance?
Friday 17 November 2017, 17:00. SW1.18
Martin Krygier, Institutionalisation and its Discontents. The Rule of Law versus (Anti-) Constitutional Populism in East Central Europe
Tuesday 21 November 2017, 17:00. SW1.18
Leonardo Avritzer, The new prerogatives of the judicial system and the political crisis in Brazil
Wednesday 29 November 2017, 17:00. SW1.17
Matthew Goodwin, The Rise of National Populism and its Impact on Western Democracies
Spring Term 2018
Wednesday 24 January 2018, 18:00. SW1.18
Eva Pils, Re-politicising human rights in China
Wednesday 31 January 2018, 16:30. SW1.17
Nic Cheeseman, Is African democracy in crisis?
Wednesday 7 February 2018, 17:00. SW1.17
Antje Wiener, Global International Relations Theory: Contestation Repertoires and Normative Change
Wednesday 14 February 2018, 17:00. SW1.18
Claus Offe, The 'democracy cube' under the onslaught of populist politics
Monday 5 March 2018, 18:00. SW1.18 *Cancelled*
Sabeel Rahman, Progressive Populism and the Third Reconstruction? Addressing The Crisis of Democratic Inclusion in 21st Century Capitalism
Friday 16 March 2018, 18:00. SW1.18 *Cancelled*Branko Milanovic - 'Recent trends in global income distribution and their political implications'
2015-16 Signature Lecture Series
Contesting Globalsation (Post-Brexit)
Examining Transnationalisation, Capitalism and Democracy in a Global Age
The Brexit vote on 23 June 2016 and the spectre of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union have been labelled as one of the most momentous historical events in centuries. Its constitutional dimension is being debated far beyond the country’s borders, but so are the vote’s even deeper causes and origins. While some point to the growing frustration of UK citizens over an alleged loss of sovereignty, which is said to manifest itself in immigration numbers and herewith associated fiscal and economic burdens, others argue for a wider view. From that perspective, Brexit has to be seen as an outcry against conditions of economic and political marginalization, and a state of precariousness in which the 99% finds itself today – in the UK and well beyond. Brexit, then, becomes an illustration of ‘globalisation and its discontents’, a long-overdue and, looking at the manifestations of public outcry in Greece, Spain, and elsewhere, an event less surprising than the post-vote news had made it out to be.
The 2016-2017 Signature Lectures at the Transnational Law Institute at King’s College London are delivered by some of the most renowned, critical minds in law and political science today.
All lectures are public, but spaces are limited. Some of the Signature Lectures coincide with the Transnational Law Reading Laboratory, a monthly book seminar, featuring a concentrated discussion of new as well as seminal legal-theoretical and political scholarship.
For dates and to RSVP, please see below.
Spring Term 2017
Wednesday 15 March 2017, 18:00. SW1.18
Takis Tridimas, (King's College London)
Process and substance in the Brexit bargain: what does it mean to belong?
Wednesday 1 March 2017, 18:00. SW1.18
Antoine Vauchez, (Université Paris 1, Panthéon Sorbonne)
The Appeal of Independence: The EU’s Way of Political Authority (from genesis to crisis)
Wednesday 8 February 2017, 16:30. SW1.18
Cathryn Costello, (University of Oxford)
Refugee status as a transnational status: Refugee mobility as envisaged in the 1951 Refugee Convention
Tuesday 24 January 2017, 18:15. SW1.17
Michele Everson, (Birkbeck, University of London)
Post Brexit: Escape from the Economised Society
Wednesday 25 January 2017, 18:00. SW1.17
Vivien Schmidt, (Boston University)
Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Numbers in the Eurozone
Autumn Term 2016
Wednesday 12 October 2016, 18:00. SW1.18
Guy Standing, (SOAS)
The Corruption of Capitalism
Wednesday 26 October 2016, 16:30. SW 1.17
Daniel Drache, (York University, CA)
Post-Brexit and the Crisis of Trade Multilateralism: Heartbreak or Mess?
Listen to a ten minute interview with Daniel Drache here on the School's Soundcloud account
Wednesday 9 Nov. 2016, 16:30. Room 1.71, Franklin Wilkins Building, Waterloo
Wolfgang Streeck, (Max Planck Institute)
How Will Capitalism End?
[Book Launch & Signing]
Watch an interview with Wolfgang Streeck here on the School's YouTube channel
Wednesday 23 November 2016, 16:30. SW 1.17
Kenneth Armstrong, (University of Cambridge)
Brexit and Free Trades: Causes and Effects
Listen to an interview with Kenneth Armstrong here on the School's Soundcloud account.
Thursday 1 December 2016, 18:15. SW1.17
Joseph Weiler, (European University Institute)
Europe As A Spiritual Crisis