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Max Weber Lectures

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The monthly Max Weber Lectures are given by distinguished scholars from the four disciplines of the EUI. The Programme aims at inviting scholars who address topical issues from an interdisciplinary perspective that will appeal to the EUI academic community as a whole.

At least one of the Lecturers will be related to each of the Thematic Research Groups (TRG), and every Group will have an opportunity to organize a master class on the following day with the relevant Lecturer. All Lecturers will also be available to discuss the work of Fellows on an informal basis.

The lectures are usually at 17.00, the 3rd Wednesday of the month in the Refettorio, the Badia Fiesolana, and are followed by a cocktail. 

Please note that dates are subject to change.

For further information about individual Max Weber Lectures, please contact Karin Tilmans.   

Upcoming Max Weber Lecturers 2018-2019

walker picture

Neil Walker (University of Edinburgh)

'When Sovereigns Stir'

5 December 2018, 17:00-18:30
Badia, Refettorio
Chair: Emily Hancox (MWF-LAW)
Introduction: tbc



Richard Tuck’s recent  study of Thomas Hobbes’ famous depiction of the ‘Sleeping Sovereign’ offers a reminder  of the 17th century philosopher’s contribution to the political imaginary within which our modern conception of constitutional democracy would later emerge. Central to that imaginary is Hobbes’ distinction between sovereignty and government – anticipating the division between the constitutional ‘rules of the game’ established by the ‘people’ or popular sovereign,  and the day-to-day conduct of government under these rules.  In these terms, the ‘people’ remain ‘asleep’ except in the event of revolutionary renewal, or, more often, under  strict conditions of constitutional amendment.

The Hobbesian metaphor, extended to cover the ‘stirring’ of new forms of sovereigntist consciousness and practice, continues to offer a powerful perspective on the strengths and the limitations of a sovereignty-centred approach to the contemporary global political condition. We can illustrate these new stirrings, and how they are related, through the four ‘R’s.

The Reassembling of sovereignty refers to how increasingly elaborate and inclusive procedures  going beyond the normal menu of amendment techniques are being used today to achieve constitutional settlement or galvanize constitutional change.

The Raising of sovereignty refers to new claims or the resurrection of old claims by sub-state or trans-state populations  who dispute the present pattern of sovereign authority.

The Rationing of sovereignty refers to the process by which certain supra-state entities, such as the EU, seek to split the sovereignty atom amongst overlapping and interacting and so no longer omnicompetent states. Finally, 

The Reassertion of sovereignty involves the reaffirmation of existing sovereign claims, often in response to and reaction against the challenges associated with reassembling, raising and rationing; and often, too, articulated in populist terms,  downplaying many of the protections of political pluralism and individual rights that mark the modern constitutional condition. 

About the speaker: 

Neil Walker holds the Regius Chair of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the University of Edinburgh. His main area of expertise is constitutional theory. He has published extensively on the constitutional dimension of legal order at sub-state, state, supranational and global levels. He has also published at length on the relationship between security, legal order and political community. He maintains a more general interest in broader questions of legal theory as well as in various substantive dimensions of UK and EU public law. Previously he was Professor of Legal and Constitutional Theory at the University of Aberdeen (1996-2000), and Professor of European Law at the European University Institute in Florence (2000-8), where he was also the first Dean of Studies (2002-5). He has also held various visiting appointments - including Eugene Einaudi Chair of European Studies, University of Cornell (2007); Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, University of Toronto (2007), Global Professor of Law, New York University (2011-12), Sidley Austin-Robert D. McLean Visiting Professor of Law, Yale University (2014-5), International  Francqui  Chair, University of Leuven, (2017).He has an LLD (Honoris Causa) from the University of Uppsala, is a fellow of the British Academy, and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His most recent books are the monograph,  Intimations of Global Law (Cambridge, 2015) and the edited collection,  The Scottish Independence Referendum: Constitutional and Political Implications (co-editor, Oxford, 2016). He is presently completing a study of the EU as an ‘experimental project’.


annelien_de_dijn16 January 2019 

Annelien De Dijn – Utrecht University

Professor of Modern Political History

About the speaker: Annelien de Dijn is the author of French Political Thought from Montesquieu to Tocqueville: Liberty in a Levelled Society (Cambridge University Press, 2008, paperback edition October 2011). She currently holds the position of Professor of Modern Political History at Utrecht University. Her research focuses on the history of political thought in Europe and in the United States from 1700 to the present.  She has a particular interest in the fraught and contested history of freedom and in Enlightenment political thought.

Professor de Dijn has held visiting appointments at Columbia University, Cambridge University, the Remarque Institute at NYU, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of California at Berkeley. A past recipient of Fulbright and B.A.E.F. fellowships, she was educated at the University of Leuven in Belgium and at Columbia University.

schmidt20 February 2019

Vivien Schmidt – Boston University

Jean Monnet Chair of European Integration and Professor of International Relations

About the speaker: Schmidt received her Bachelor of Arts from Bryn Mawr College, and both her Masters and PhD from the University of Chicago.

She taught at the Sciences Po in Paris, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, European University Institutein Florence, Max Planck Institute in Cologne, the University of Paris and Lille, and is visiting scholar at Nuffield College, Oxford University and at Harvard University, where she is an affiliate of the Center for European Studies. She headed the European Union Studies Association in the United States. She was the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Europe at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. Her research has focused on political economy, democracy and discourse.[2] In 2017 she was awarded the Society of Women in International Political Economy (SWIPE) Award for mentoring women in international relations 

soskice20 March 2019

David Soskice – London School of Economics

Professor of Political Science and Economics and Fellow of the British Academy

About the speaker: David Soskice has been School Professor of Political Science and Economics at the LSE since 2012. He taught macroeconomics at Oxford (Mynors Fellow emeritus, University College) from 1967 to 1990, was then research director/professor at the Wissenschaftzentrum Berlin (1990-2005), and subsequently Research Professor of Comparative Political Economy at Oxford and senior research fellow at Nuffield College, and Research Professor of Political Science at Duke.  He has been visiting professor in the economics department at Berkeley, the government department at Harvard, the Industrial Relations School at Cornell, and the Scuola Superiore St Anna, Pisa, and held the Mars Visiting professorship at Yale and the Semans Distinguished Visiting professorship at Duke. He is currently working with Wendy Carlin (UCL) on tractable macroeconomic models; with Nicola Lacey on the comparative political economy of crime and punishment; with Torben Iversen on advanced capitalist democracies; and he gave the 2013 Federico Caffѐ lectures in Rome on Knowledge Economies: Winners and Losers. He was President of the European Political Science Association from 2011 to 2013; he is a Fellow of the British Academy (Politics and Economics groups); and he is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford.

green17 April 2019

Nancy L. Green - École des hautes études en sciences sociales

Director of Studies, CRH, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales

About the speaker: Nancy L. Green is professor (directrice d’études) of history at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, where she is a member of the Centre de Recherches Historiques.  She received her doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1980 and a doctorat d’état from the Université de Paris VII in 1996.  A specialist of migration history, comparative methods, and French and American social history, her major publications include: Ready-to-Wear and Ready-to-Work: A Century of Industry and Immigrants in Paris and New York (Duke University Press, 1997); Repenser les migrations (Presses Universitaires de France, 2002); Citizenship and Those Who Leave (co-ed. with François Weil) (University of Illinois Press, 2007); Histoire de l’immigration et question coloniale en France (co-ed. with Marie Poinsot) (La documentation française, 2008); The Other Americans in Paris: Businessmen, Countesses, Wayward Youth, 1880-1941, 2014 (University of Chicago Press, 2014); and A Century of Transnationalism: Immigrants and their Homeland Connections (co-ed. with Roger Waldinger (University of Illinois Press, 2016).

milner15 May 2019

Helen Milner – Princeton University

B.C. Forbes Professor of Politics and International Affairs

About the speaker: Helen V. Milner is the B. C. Forbes Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and the director of the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. She was the chair of the Department of Politics from 2005 to 2011. She was president of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) from 2012-14. She has written extensively on issues related to international and comparative political economy, the connections between domestic politics and foreign policy, and the impact of globalization on domestic politics. She is currently working on issues related to globalization and development, such as the political economy of foreign aid, the "digital divide" and the global diffusion of the internet, the resource curse and non-tax revenues, and the relationship between globalization and democracy, in Africa and the Middle East.



Max Weber Lectures 2018-2019 at a glance

TRG: Ideas, Concepts and Theory

TRG: Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa

  • 5 December 2018 
    Neil Walker – The University of Edinburgh

TRG: Governance, Democracy and Constitutionalism

  • 16 January 2019 
    Annelien De Dijn – Utrecht University

TRG: Ideas, Concepts and Theory

  • 20 February 2019 
    Vivien Schmidt – Boston University

TRG: Governance, Democracy and Constitutionalism 

  • 20 March 2019 
    David Soskice – London School of Economics

TRG tba

  • 17 April 2019 
    Nancy L. Green - École des hautes études en sciences sociales

TRG: Citizenship and Migration 

  • 15 May 2019 
    Helen Milner – Princeton University

TRG: Europe in the World


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Page last updated on 15 November 2018