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Max Weber Occasional Lectures

occasional lectures page

The Max Weber Occasional Lectures are informal seminars by distinguished scholars invited by members of the Programme as the academic year develops.

The aim of this initiative is to enrich the academic life of the Programme and the EUI by taking advantage of scholars passing through Europe and Italy and inviting them to stop over in Florence and deliver a talk about their most recent research and upcoming books. Occasional Talks are also given by scholars who happen to be visiting the EUI for other purposes already, such as a thesis defense.

Occasional Talks may also be linked to a Multidisciplinary Workshop organized by Fellows, one of the Thematic Groups,  an ad hoc reading group, or some other activity. Fellows not listed in any of the Thematic Research Groups are particularly encouraged to put forward the names of suitable candidates for Occasional Talks.

Upcoming Max Weber Occasional Lecture

A joint lecture with the Legal and Political Theory Working Grouplu

Catherine Lu
(McGill University)

"Decolonizing Self-determination"

6 February 2019, 17:00-18:30
Badia, Emeroteca
Chair: Eniola Soyemi (SPS)



This talk examines what decolonization may entail with regard to formulating the concept and principle of self-determination as a component of global justice, and the implications for international and transnational order.

The 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) extends the decolonization process started in the 1960s to indigenous peoples, recognizing a right to indigenous self-determination. This extension is not as straightforward as it appears, and I argue that the self-determination claims of indigenous peoples force us to rethink the traditional prerogatives of a state’s jurisdictional authority and territorial rights, deriving from considerations of both justice and reconciliation.

First, if self-determination is constitutive of political justice, then the self-determination of indigenous peoples requires making international state boundaries more porous, in order to develop a states system that facilitates rather than hinders the legitimate self-determination claims of substate transnational and transboundary agents. An international order that facilitates indigenous self-determination in these respects is one that is more basically just than one that does not.

Second, if existential alienation is the legacy of acts and practices of genocide, dispossession, and cultural destruction that have marked the interaction of indigenous peoples with the modern interstate order, overcoming such existential alienation requires the states system to accommodate the self-determination claims of indigenous peoples in ways that do not reproduce conditions of alienated agency. The good of nonalienation is an essential supporting condition for indigenous peoples to engage meaningfully in struggles for justice and reconciliation in modern conditions.

Registrations are open

Occasional lectures 2018-2019

Read the abstract of past MWP Occasional Lectures


Page last updated on 19 March 2019