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Transnational Law Institute hosts conference on 'Sovereignty'

Posted on 05/04/2016

Hosted by the Transnational Law Institute, the Transnational Sovereignties: Constellations, Processes, Contestations conference on 17-18 March 2016 featured cutting edge research on developments in sovereignty in a time of manifold global interconnections. Convened by Peer Zumbansen, Institute Director, with Stephen Minas, Research Fellow, the conference shed new light on challenges to, pooling of and novel forms of sovereignty in diverse issue areas.

The conference began with a wide-ranging panel discussion on ‘Foundations & Questions’ regarding sovereigntiy, featuring presentations by William Scheuerman, Dieter Grimm and Nico Krisch. Having identified key questions of sovereignty in the European Union and globally, the panel was followed by a keynote address by Alexander Somek on the theme of ‘Any further bids on popular sovereignty?’.

Subsequent sessions spanned a broad spectrum from theoretical to applied contributions. Developments in legal and political theory and domestic legal processes were canvassed by Neil Walker (‘Living with the Legacy of Sovereignty’), Maria Rosaria Ferrarese (‘Transnational Shadow Sovereignties’), Judith Resnik (‘Aspiring States: Constitutional Identities of Sovereignty’s Officialdom’) and Günter Frankenberg (‘Order from Inclusion/Exclusion: The Juridical Discourse on Muslim Veiling’). Questions concerning the environment and natural resources were examined by Sara Seck (‘Transnational Sovereignties in the Anthropocene’), Isabel Feichtner (‘Sovereignty over Natural Resources’) and Amaya Alvez Marin (‘Sovereignty over Natural Resources in Chile’). 

Geopolitics and security were addressed in talks by Stephen Minas (‘Sovereignty, Geopolitics & Conservation in the High Seas’), Cindy Wittke (‘Contested Sovereignty in the Post-Soviet Space’) and Gavin Sullivan (‘Sovereign Power in the Security Council: Governing global terrorism through the List’). Developments in the Global South (and the role of lawyering in the North) were examined by Morag Goodwin (‘A View from the South’) and Sara Dezalay (‘Lawyers in Africa: Brokers of Sovereignty’). 

Participants made presentations and engaged with one another’s work in a collegiate and critical spirit. The conference benefited from outstanding preparatory work by Helen Bhandari, Institute Coordinator, and Laura Lazaro Cabrera. King’s LLM students made important contributions by assisting on the two days and conducting a series of very thoughtful interviews with conference presenters. The conference was well-attended by faculty and students from King’s and other institutions and by legal practitioners.

You can watch the keynote by Professor Alexander Somek here on the School of Law YouTube channel.

Photos from the event can be found here on the Law School Flickr album.

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