Teaching Exchange at LSE 2011

The Teaching Exchange at LSE in London will take place 7-11 March 2011.

Below follows an overview of the lectures, including a brief abstract, that the Max Weber Fellows will give at LSE:


Magdalena Forowicz (Law)

The reception of international law in the European Court of Human Rights: To harmonise or not to harmonise?

Date: Thursday 10th March 2011  
Time:  19.00-20.00
Venue: New Academic Building NAB 2.06 

The growing number of international courts and tribunals and their burgeoning case law have fuelled concerns about the fragmentation of international law. This arises as a consequence of both the specialized regimes these courts create and the multiple ways in which they may interpret international law emanating from other sources. This question is especially interesting when examined from the perspective of the busiest and arguably most successful international court, the European Court of Human Rights. This lecture is based on my doctoral thesis, recently published as a book by OUP in the International Tribunal and Courts Series (http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Law/?view=usa&ci=9780199592678). In this study, I considered on the jurisprudence of the Court and its predecessor, the European Commission of Human Rights, covering a range of special human rights regimes, treaty law, and the case law of the International Court of Justice. As part this lecture, I will discuss the issue of whether the Strasbourg Court has been able to adopt a coherent, comprehensive approach to the interpretation and evaluation of international law and the extent to which it has been able to contribute to the development and coherence of international law. 


Gaetano Gaballo (Economics)

(Ir)Rational Exuberance? 

Date: Wednesday 9th March 2011  
Time: 19.00-20.00 
Venue: New Academic Building NAB 1.14 

The term “irrational exuberance” refers to a state of speculative fervor driven by opinions on others' opinions, disregarding the objective conditions of the economy. But this behaviour has nothing irrational in itself. To beat the market what really matters is to forecast the forecasts of others. Starting from Keynes' metaphor of the financial market as a “beauty contest”, we will review some ideas concerning asset pricing. The focus will be on the concepts of rational bubbles, financial sunspots and learning dynamics. We will enlighten what are the economic incentives underlying excess market volatility and the conditions that trigger financial turmoils.


Aneta Jurska-Gawrysiak (Law)

Effective implementation of EU law in old and new Member States: 
the English and the Polish Experience 

Date: Wednesday 9th March 2011
Time: 18.00-19.00 
Venue: New Academic Building NAB 1.14  

Effective and timely implementation is essential to ensure that EU law is enforced uniformly at the domestic level and that Member States fulfil their obligations under EU Treaties. In fact, the EU Commission can institute infringement proceedings against a Member State for failing to transpose a directive. The main burden of implementation however rests inevitably with Member States which are required to adjust their institutional set up. 

This lecture will address the challenges of effective EU law implementation and will answer a number of questions on the application of EU law at the domestic level, drawing upon a comparative study of the implementation process in the UK and Poland. I will argue that, despite the different legal cultures and internal administrative structures across Member States, national authorities are facing similar challenges in the application of EU law, and I will explore how national authorities respond to the common challenges of implementation.  


David Koussens (Political and Social Sciences)

Unveiling Marianne: Hijab, Burqa and the New Face of French Secularism

Date: Monday 7th March 2011   
Time: 17.00-18.00 
Venue: New Academic Building NAB 1.14 

In this lecture, I propose a sociological analysis of the legal ruling of religious diversity contained in the recent law banning the wearing of the integral veil in public spaces in France. I argue that this French policy display a hardening of “narrative secularism”, an attitude devolving from the adoption of the Stasi Commission Report in 2003, and subsequently voted into law on March 15, 2004, prohibiting the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols in public schools. In this way determining a sort of republican orthopraxis, even more than juridically confirming a political conception of secularism, the French policy becomes a rather accurate echo of the dominant narrative of secularism that is sensitive to a perceived threat, whether this threat is external (i.e. Muslim terrorists) or internal (i.e. Muslim communitarianisms). The treatment of the wearing of religious symbols in public spaces is therefore revealing of the contemporary deployment of regulation of religious diversity that involves a political conception that upholds a representation of secularism as a sort of founding myth of French modernity. 


Dunja Larise (Law)

State and civil society as defined by the Muslim Brothers in Europe

Date: Monday 7th March 2011 
Time: 18.00-19.00 
Venue: New Academic Building NAB 1.14 

In the last ten years political Islam, as well as its aims and strategies, has developed into one of the most discussed political issues in Europe. Nevertheless scant intention has been paid to the concrete theoretical concepts lying behind the different political strategies of Islamist groups in Europe. This lecture intends to offer an insight into the different concepts of state and society defined by the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the most influential organizations of political Islam in Europe. The focus of the analysis is on those concepts that have been developed in and for Europe, as well as their relationship to different European discourses concerning the ideas of accommodation of religious practices and identities within the frame of the European secular states. In short, it offers an analysis of state-theoretical concepts of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe as developed in the last ten years and their relationhip with the dominant European discourses over state, civil society and democracy.


Anne-Isabelle Richard (History)

Africa and the Decline of Europe. Eurafrican Discourses in Interwar Europe

Date: Tuesday 8th March 2011  
Time: 19.00-20.00   
Venue: Tower Two V301 

After World War I the feeling of European decline was widespread amongst European activists. This feeling led many to argue for greater cooperation amongst the European states. This cooperation extended to the colonial sphere. While the sun seemed to be setting on the Asian colonial empires, the future of the African empires seemed bright. There were claims of riches and raw materials to be found as well as land to settle and natives to civilise. Thus Africa could provide Europe with the means to halt its decline: by providing raw materials to fuel its economy, emigration opportunities to appease political and social tensions and a civilising mission to reassure and reinvigorate its own civilisation. Moreover, by cooperating in Africa the former European enemies could be reconciled in Europe as well. These interwar ideas fed on older discourses which saw Europe and Africa as two interdependent and complementary continents, united in ‘Eurafrica’. 
Tracing the development of these discourses during the interwar period, I will examine Africa’s ‘role’ in halting European decline.  


Daniel Ritter (Political and Social Sciences)

Iran’s Nonviolent Revolutions: Past Successes and Current Failures

Date: Monday 7th March 2011
Time: 19.00-20.00
Venue: New Academic Building NAB 1.14

In January 1979, the shah of Iran was ousted in a massive, largely nonviolent revolution that put an end to 2,500 years of Persian/Iranian monarchic rule. The revolutionaries employed tactics such as demonstrations, strikes, and boycotts to weaken the regime and to put pressure on its supporters. This talk explores the factors and dynamics that allowed the nonviolent challenge to succeed in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. Specifically, the lecture addresses the roles played by, and the links between, the international context and the revolutionaries’ strategic choices. Finally, comparisons are made between the Islamic Revolution of 1977-79 and the ongoing Green Revolution that was launched in the aftermath of the 2009 presidential election. What does the success of the former tell us about the failure of the latter? Why have some of the same tactics that were employed with great effectiveness in 1977-79 proved to be of little use in 2009-10? 


Heng Wang (Law)

China, Free Trade Agreements and WTO Law: A Perspective from Services Trade

Date: Wednesday 9th March 2011
Time: 17.00-18.00
Venue: New Academic Building NAB 2.04

Services trade is playing an increasingly important role and contributing to the recovery of world trade. The impasse on negotiation of WTO agreement on services — the GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) — seemingly facilitates the mushrooming of FTAs (free trade agreements). There is tension between the WTO law and FTAs. The former has set the non-discrimination as one of its fundamental principles. But the latter grant preferential treatment to their participants, which is not extended to outside parties. Therefore GATS Article V imposes disciplines on economic integration. In recent years, China has signed a number of services FTAs domestically and with other developing or developed countries. In the lecture, a number of issues will be discussed: What is the relationship between China’s FTAs and WTO law? Are these FTAs stumbling or building blocks for multilateral liberalization? How will potential challenges, if any, be possibly addressed?


Rebecca Lisa Zahn (Law)

British trade unions and their relationship with the European Union – difficulties and opportunities

Date: Thursday 10th March 2011
Time: 19.00-20.00
Venue: New Academic Building NAB 2.06

The relationship between British trade unions and the European Union has not always been an easy one since the UK decided to enter into the European Economic Community in the 1970s. Overall, however, trade unions decided to adopt a positive attitude towards the European Union and European integration. Following the recent European enlargements in 2004 and 2007, trade unions have been faced with large numbers of workers from the new Member States who entered the UK by taking avail of their rights to free movement under the European Treaties. More recently, therefore, trade unions have adopted a more critical position on EU matters. These developments also come at a time when trade unions are already struggling to react to changing economic and labour market conditions in the UK. This talk proposes to examine the relationship between British trade unions and the European Union and to discuss whether mechanisms developed at a European level could help trade unions in responding to the effects of the recent European enlargements in the UK. 


Uditi Sen (History) (extra Max Weber Fellow Lecture)

The Nation and its Exclusions: The 'Disposal' of European refugees from Independent India

Date: Tuesday 8th March 2011
Time: 18.00-19.00
Venue: Tower Two V301

Speaking in the House of Lords on 11 November 1942, the Secretary of State of the Colonies, Lord Cecil, declared that ‘I do not think it is generally realized that India alone is maintaining over 40,000 evacuees at the present time.’ Not much has changed, since then, in terms of the perception of India’s involvement in the refugee crisis born of World War II. The fact that British India played host to a large number and a diverse body of European refugees in addition to British settlers and administrators fleeing Malaya and Singapore has largely been forgotten. Between 1939 and 1945, India emerged as a safe haven for displaced Europeans fleeing Poland, Malta, the Balkan states, Turkey and even Japan. However, after the war, as Indian independence became an inevitability, the treatment of European refugees in India changed radically. National leaders hastened to secure the speedy ‘disposal’ of all European refugees from India, who were now treated as ‘foreigners’. In practice, this became a lengthy process, with the Government of India negotiating with the International Refugee Organisation well into 1949 over the fate of European refugees. This lecture will explore this largely forgotten sojourn of European refugees in India, with a special focus on Polish refugees. It will argue that the ability to exclude Europeans from national space constituted a crucial aspect of post-colonial nation-building in India. Through the Indian Government’s policies regarding European refugees, I will investigate the nature and texture of discourses of belonging in independent India.

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