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Max Weber Events by MW Fellows abstracts 2014-2015

Poverty Research Workshop

povertyworkshopOrganizer: Julia McClure (HEC MW Fellow

5 December 2014, 9:15-17:00
MWP Common Room


The “Poverty Research Workshop” aims to establish an inter-disciplinary discussion on poverty research, the future directions and uses of a poverty research network, and ways in which academic practice can be linked to society today.

A number of speakers from a range of disciplines from inside and outside the EUI, and a roundtable discussing setting up a poverty research network focused on poverty and its many facets.


European Security: A Talk with Baroness Pauline Neville Jones



Organizers: Damien Gerard (LAW), Thomas Raineau (HEC), Garvan Walshe (SPS)

 10 February 2015, 17:00-19:00
Sala Europa, Villa Schifanoia




Baroness Neville Jones of Hutton Roof has been National Security Adviser to David Cameron, and Security Minister in Her Majesty’s Government.

Formerly Chairman of the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee, Lady Neville Jones has also been Political Director at the Foreign Office and a governor of the BBC. She was Britain’s chief negotiator at the Dayton Accords which brought an end to the Bosnian War. Earlier in her career she was deputy chef de cabinet to Commissioner Christopher Tugendhat and served the Foreign Office in Singapore and Bonn.

She will deliver her address at a time when dangers to European security are particularly acute. In particular: 

  • The recent terrorist attacks in France have raised again the question of a more ambitious anti-terrorist policy at EU level.
  • Russia’s actions in Ukraine present the EU with a further set of serious security challenges.
  • Some European states, and the EU itself, are engaged militarily on different fronts beyond the EU, from Mali to ISIS.

Diversities and Inequalities: Multiculturalism vs Interculturalism Debate



Organizer: Julija Sardelic (SPS)

11 February 2015, 16:00-19:00
Badia, MWP Common Room




According to many scholars contemporary society is becoming increasingly diverse, especially in the age of global migration. People with different (often externally ascribed) identities, backgrounds and statuses are living in a common space co-creating the pluralistic society with their own experience as well as engagement. However, at the same time, many academics have argued that diversities are necessarily interrelated with certain societal hierarchies, which go hand-in-hand with the production of an individual’s social inequalities. Throughout history as well as in the present, members of pluralistic societies have developed various measures to ‘manage’ their diversities and hence also address inequalities (even in cases where this produced even deeper exclusion of certain populations, such as migrants and minorities). The question of managing diversity and addressing inequalities is also currently in the spotlight because of the on-going economic crisis and, to certain extent, the decline of the welfare state as well as growing intolerance towards marginalized populations. This workshop will compare and critically evaluate two theoretical approaches (as well as their implementation in practice) that address these challenges: multiculturalism and interculturalism. 

The keynote speaker will be Professor Will Kymlicka (Queens University at Kingston), who will present his view on the multiculturalism versus interculturalism debate. His presentation will be followed by a round table with Max Weber Fellows and open discussion.

Law and War: An Uneasy Relationship 



Organizers: Or Bassok (LAW Fellow), Pablo Kalmanovitz (LAW Fellow), Michal Onderco (SPS Fellow)

12 March 2015, 11:00-13:00
Sala del Capitolo



  • Are so-called killer robots – machines that can decide autonomously on the use of lethal force – inherently unlawful?
  • Labeling states as “rogue” does not lead to change of their behavior. But what if there is a different point in such labeling?
  • If combatants follow orders approved by military lawyers, can they still refuse to obey these orders if they find them manifestly unlawful?  
  • Are crimes against humanity an extension of war crimes or is it a distinct moral and legal category in the context of international criminal law?

These and other questions will be discussed in the "Law and War"  workshop.

Programme (pdf)

Mapping Mutual Trust



Organizers: Megan Andrew (SPS Fellow), Franz L. Fillafer (HEC Fellow), Damien Gerard (LAW Fellow)

13 March 2015, 9:00-18:00
MWP Common Room



While mutual trust has been brought up with increased frequency in the European political/legal debate over recent years, the literature has repeatedly pointed to a lack of conceptualization of mutual trust as a significant lacuna.

That lacuna reflects a difficulty, that of circumscribing a notion that appears to defy easy categorization. As a result, discussions of mutual trust in the current EU context tend to refrain from defining trust and rather focus on its apparent manifestations.  

The lack of conceptualization of mutual trust is problematic because it prevents a systematic discussion of the significance and limits of that notion, whereas the Union is keen to incorporate within its regulatory mechanisms a conclusive presumption of mutual trust between Member States and mutual trust has been hailed by the EU Court of Justice as nothing else than a “raison d’être of the European Union” (Case C-411/10, N.S., para. 83).

The workshop intends to engage in a process of “mapping mutual trust” in order to inform ultimately a possible rationalization of that notion in the current EU context.   

Programme (pdf)

Parliaments and Parliamentary Elections in Europe



MWP-RSCAS joint conference

Organized by 
Cristina Fasone (LAW Fellow), Diane Fromage (LAW Fellow), 
Zoe Lefkofridi (MW-JM Fellow and University of Salzburg)

Tuesday 24 March 2015, 9:00-18:00

Villa La Fonte, Sala delle Conference




How has the role of Parliaments - the European Parliament (EP) and the national parliaments- evolved since the beginning of the European integration process? What is the current state of the art in terms of functions performed and powers and of their democratic elections? In pursuit of these questions, this Joint MWP/RSCAS Conference brings together scholars from different disciplines – history, law, and political science.

Such an interdisciplinary reflection is particularly necessary now given the tensions to which Parliaments in Europe are currently subject: more and more complex decision-making processes between the European and the national level; increasing rule-making powers of the executives and administrations; the powers of national parliaments under the Treaty of Lisbon; the judicialization of politics; the populist challenge and the role of media; channels of direct and of participatory democracy; low voter turnout and political disaffection. Issues that will be addressed during the conference will be:

  • Parliamentary accountability and its crisis in Europe
  • Democratic elections: making sense of the parliamentary mandate
  • Parliamentary functions
  • The inter-institutional balance in trouble
  • Political constitutionalism in the EU 
  • Parliaments and the control of compliance with the principle of subsidiarity

Programme (pdf)


Urban Politics, Migration, Diversity


Friday 24 April 2015, 9:30-17:30
MWP Common Room
MPI-MMG, Göttingen – MWP, Florence 
joint Multidisciplinary Researcher Workshop



Cities are hubs in global migration patterns and arguable the place where the most mobile populations meet the least mobile ones.

This graduate workshop aims to bring together researchers who are working on issues linked to the city, migration or both.

The focus of the workshop will be on issues related to urban diversity. Understanding urban migration driven diversity calls for dynamic analysis of the issues involved. While some headway has been made with a recent diversity turn in the migration literature there is ample room to further our understanding of the migration-city nexus.

Particularly we face some conceptual and empirical hurdles in starting to think urban politics in more complex ways. 

Keynote speaker: Fran Tonkiss (London School of Economics, Director of the Cities Programme)

Organizer: Fran Meissner (SPS)

Programme (PDF)

Poster (PDF)

Constitutions: How They Change and Evolve through Institutional Practice


8 May 2015, 14:00-16:00

Seminar Room 2









What role do Constitutions play in national and supranational polities? How do they evolve over time? This workshop aims to discuss issues like the legitimacy of constitutional amendments and their limits, the actors who drive constitutional change, the constitutional nature of conventions, the relationship between politics and Constitutions and the actual functioning of institutions despite formal rules, within a comparative and EU perspective.

Speakers: Richard Albert (Boston College Law School) and former MW Fellow Thomas Beukers (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and EUI Law Department) 

Organizer: Cristina Fasone (LAW)

Programme (PDF)

The Politics of Law and Behavioural Sciences. Historical Contexts and Conceptual Sources

May 13 Jurisprudence-final-state-1907-206x300



13 May 2015, 9:00-18:00

Badia, Sala del Capitolo







The aim of this workshop is to study the relationship between legal norms and the laws of nature. Intellectual historians, lawyers, legal historians, philosophers and political theorists will look at the historical and contemporary dimensions of this relationship.

Today 'behavioural regularities', mainly based on the 'discoveries' of the cognitive sciences, loom large in both policy- and lawmaking. They lend legitimacy to legislation and serve as a conceptual resource that permits governments to fine-tune their policing of society by adjusting it to citizens' ostensible behavioural patterns and routines. 

The contributions to our workshop will retrieve the recurrent tropes, schemes, and modes employed in the modeling of the relationship between law and the study of nature since the early modern times. This historical reconstruction of the ties between legal norms and the laws of nature will enable us to view afresh the contemporary dilemmas caused by the reliance on cognitive and behavioral studies.

Organizers: MW Fellows Magdalena Malecka (LAW) and Franz Leander Fillafer (HEC)

Programme (PDF)


The Aesthetics of Academic Practice

Aesthetics Workshop


May 27th, 10:00 - 13:00

MWP Common Room, Badia





Image by Wang Qingsong, courtesy of Marco Musillo:


In this workshop we will investigate the many ways in which aesthetics are important to us in our work and in the way we fashion ourselves as academics, both at the individual and institutional levels. The goal of the workshop is to use the idea of aesthetics as a means to question what it is we do in society as academics and academic institutions. We also want to historicize the aesthetic norms that have become entrenched in our practice and question their validity. 

Programme (PDF)

Organizer: Meha Pryiadarshini (HEC)

The Future of Basic Income Research

Basic income

26-27 June 2015
Badia Fiesolana







The past three decades have seen the elaboration of a vast body of literature on universal basic income – a policy proposal Philippe Van Parijs referred to as a “disarmingly simple idea”. It consists of a monthly cash allowance given to all citizens, regardless of personal desert and without means-test. Basic income studies are an example of successful interdisciplinary research, involving philosophers, political scientists, economists and sociologists, among many others. Basic income proponents have identified, evaluated and deconstructed many potential and actual objections against this radical proposal.

The one day conference on 26th June is the result of a competitive call for abstracts that yielded twenty-two new contributions to discuss the philosophical, economic and political aspects of the basic income proposals. By pulling together academics, activists and critics, we aim to identify what should be on the agenda for the future of Basic Income research.

On 27th June the conference will be complemented by a workshop discussing the new book on basic income by Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght (under contract with Harvard University Press).

The event is generously sponsored by a Young Scholar Event Grant of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), as well as by the Max Weber Programme at the EUI, The Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and Prof. Rainer Bauböck (SPS), Prof. Arpad Abraham (ECO), Prof. Fabrizio Bernardi (SPS), Prof. Hans W. Micklitz (LAW) and Prof. Robert Hoekman (RSC).

Organizers: Juliana Bidadanure (SPS), Robert Lepenies (LAW)

Link to the Programme 

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