Skip to content
Home » Postdoctoral Max Weber Programme » Conferences » Past Conferences » Max Weber Programme Conference on Hobbes

Max Weber Programme Conference on Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes and the Modern State: A 21st Century Interdisciplinary Perspective

5th Classics Revisited Conference, Villa la Fonte, 30 March 2011

Thomas Hobbes is one of the most important intellectual founding fathers of the modern state. "Leviathan" (1651), his greatest work, is one of the founding texts of modern political thought, and has had a profound influence in the social sciences, law, philosophy, and history. In an age of European integration and globalization, his views about what a state is, what is its proper point or purpose, and his arguments for the impossibility of international regime, remain as relevant and instructive as ever. 

This one day conference will include a program of internationally distinguished scholars exploring the ways in which Hobbes’s views on the law, rights, freedom, sovereignty, authority, rational choice and contractarianism, and knowledge influence our thinking about the state today


Please register at the following email address:

[email protected]  


Conference Programme:

08:45 – 09:00 Welcome by Ramon Marimon, Director, MWP
09:00 – 10:15  Session1: "Theorising Rights in the 21st Century: Neo-Hobbesian Possibilities" by Eleanor Curran
10:15 – 11:30 Session 2: "An Autocratic or Liberal Leviathan?: The Schmitt-Strauss Debate over the Hobbesian State" by John McCormick 
11:30 – 11:45 Coffee break
11:45 – 13:00 Session 3: ""Hobbesian Legal Reasoning and the Problem of Wicked Laws" by Claire Finkelstein
13:00 - 14:30 Lunch 
14:30 – 15:45 Session 4: "The Modern State Through the Hobbesian Lense" by Sharon Lloyd 
15:45 – 16:00 Concluding remarks 


Download the Conference Programme in pdf
Download all abstracts (pdf)



Eleanor Curran, Law, University of Kent (Abstract)

Claire Finkelstein, Law and Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania (Abstract)

Sharon Lloyd, Philosophy, Law, and Political Science, University of Southern California (Abstract)

John McCormick, Political Science, University of Chicago (Abstract


Turkuler Isiksel (Jean Monnet Fellow)

Martin Van Gelderen (Professor of European Intellectual History, HEC)

Michael Sevel (MWF)

Christian Reus-Smit (Professor of International Relations, SPS)


Conference Organizers: 

Michael Sevel, MW Fellow 
Ronen Shnayderman, MW Fellow
Giulia Andrighetto, MW Fellow

Page last updated on 18 August 2017

Go back to top of the page