Participant, ‘The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations’, 2017 APSA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 31-September 3 (I)

Topics include:

  • New Perspectives on Montesquieu
  • The Crisis of Constitutional Democracy
  • American Public Philosophy in the Age of Trump
  • On the Compatibility of Natural Law and Natural Rights
  • Author Meets Critics: Alexander Tsesis’s “Constitutional Ethos”
  • Liberalism in Crisis
  • Challenges to the Rule of Law
  • The Future of Conservatism
  • Constitution Making in Religiously Divided Societies

See for more information about the program:

See also:

Press Release: ‘Twelve ILS seed money grants for frontier research at Leiden Law School’

Participant, ‘Great Transformations: Political Science and the Big Questions of Our Time’, 2016 APSA Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, September 1-4

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Symposium The Federalist Papers, Brussel, 20 april 2017


De Debatten is een initiatief van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel met de Universiteit Leiden en als Nederlandstalig forum een vaste waarde onder rechtsfilosofen en rechtshistorici uit de Lage Landen en een groeiende waarde binnen de wereld van de politieke filosofie. Na succesvolle formules omtrent Tocqueville (2011), Rousseau (2012), Benjamin Constant (2014), Montesquieu (2015) en Edmund Burke (2016) met bijbehorende boeken bij Lemniscaat, Pelckmans, Vrijdag en ASP organiseert De Debatten een symposium over de Federalist Papers. Het symposium vindt plaats te Brussel op donderdag 20 april 2017.

10u00 Ontvangst met koffie
10u10 Inleiding ochtendgedeelte door Prof. Dr. Paul De Hert (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
10u20 ‘We the people’. De constitutie van een Amerikaans politiek subject tussen ‘federalisme’ en ‘anti-federalisme’ door Prof. Dr. Jean-Marc Piret (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Universiteit Rotterdam)
10u50 Republikanisme versus democratie in de Federalist Papers door Drs. Allard Altena (Universiteit Leiden)
11u20 Vragenronde en koffiepauze
11u40, De Senaat als anker van de regering door Dr. Emma Cohen de Lara (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
12u10 De federale rechterlijke macht en anti-federalisme door Prof. Dr. Matthias Storme (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
12u40 Vragenronde
13u00 Lunchpauze
14u00 Inleiding namiddaggedeelte door Em. Prof. Michel Magits (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
14u10 Het Corsicaanse precedent door Prof. Dr. Michel Huysseune (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
14u40 Frankrijk en Amerika als tweeling door Prof. Dr. Andreas Kinneging (Universiteit Leiden)
15u10 Vragenronde en koffiepauze
15u20 De academische receptie van de Federalist Papers in België, Nederland en Duitsland door Drs. Niels Graaf (Universiteit Utrecht)
15u50 Tussen populisme en technocratie: over Sanford Levinson door Prof. Dr. Hans-Martien ten Napel (Universiteit Leiden)

16u20 Vragenronde
16u30 Afronding en conclusies

Meer dan ooit hebben oude en nieuwe media een grote impact op het politieke en sociale debat. Door de continue toestroom van informatie worden maatschappelijke vooroordelen steeds sneller bevestigd dan wel ontkracht. Maar hoe zit het precies met dat vooroordeel, en kunnen we die vooroordelen ten sociale nutte aanwenden? Volgens de Britse politicus Edmund Burke (1730-1797) zijn ze mooi en ridderlijk. Wat kunnen wij leren van deze filosoof in het Europa anno 2017? Met Bart De Wever, Paul Scheffer, Anton Jaeger en Annelies Beck. Situering door Andreas Kinneging.
deBuren, Leopoldstraat 6, 1000 Brussel. Gratis toegang, reserveren: of +32 (0)2 212 19 30. Organisatie: deBuren en VUB (De Debatten)

PRIJS DAGPROGRAMMA 25 euro, PhD studenten en studenten gratis
DATUM Donderdag 20 april 2017 van 10u tot 21u
LOCATIE Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Maarten Colette (; Vrije Universiteit Brussel) en Gerard Versluis ( ; Universiteit Leiden)’


Zie voorts:

Participant, ‘Great Transformations: Political Science and the Big Questions of Our Time’, 2016 APSA Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, September 1-4

APSA Federalist

Among the panels I attended were:

‘Is The Federalist Relevant to 21st Century Concerns’, a roundtable inspired by Sanford Levinson’s book An Argument Open to All: Reading the Federalist in the 21st Century (2015), with Ran Hirschl, Sanford Levinson, Kim Lane Scheppele a.o.;

‘1996: A Good Year for Deliberative Theory, 20 Years Later’, with Amy Gutmann a.o.; and

‘Carrese’s “Democracy in Moderation: Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Liberalism”‘, with Paul O. Carrese, Aurelian Craiutu, a.o.

For more information on the program, see:

Paper presentation, ‘Multiple Sovereignties and the Principle of Separation of Powers’, IXth World Congress of Constitutional Law, University of Oslo (2014)


About the Congress:

‘The IACL holds a World Congress every 3-4 years. The IXth Congress will take place in Oslo from 16 to 20 June 2014 and is organised by the Department of Public Law at the University of Oslo in collaboration with the Executive Committee of the IACL. The venue for the Congress is the historic Main Building of the University of Oslo, which is in the centre of the city.
The Congress will take place just one month after the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution which today stands as the second-oldest written Constitution in the world. It is expected that between 300 and 500 participants will attend the Congress, from all regions of the world.
The working languages of the Congress are French and English and simultaneous translation will be provided in plenary sessions.
The IACL uses two principal formats for the scholarly programme of a World Congress: plenary sessions and workshops. Plenary sessions are open to all participants while workshops are smaller and discussion-based. There will be four plenary sessions in this Congress, each of which lasts for 3½ hours.’

About the workshop during which the paper was presented (‘The mutations and transformation of division of powers: the constitutional organization’):

‘The classical characteristics of the Legislative and Executive Powers, which have scarcely changed since the origins of liberal constitutionalism (XVIIIXIX), are no longer adequate concepts or theoretical devices for explaining constitutional reality.

Every division of powers rests on the willingness of a constitutional assembly to divide the power with the purpose of avoiding the abuse of power and tyranny. The search for a system of checks and balances is then based on a liberal conception of political power. Therefore the main instrument to realize this balanced frame is to organize a moderate and representative government as was defended by Montesquieu and other authors; a limited power – they thought – should exclude arbitrariness and despotism.

But it becomes necessary to maintain two essential ingredients of the spirit of division of powers: the efficiency of this frame of government and the limitation of powers itself. The first ensures the supreme and general interest of a community; the second guarantees the fundamental rights and private interests of individuals. Thus both requirements must condition the development of the political society that every Constitution leads.

The issue of division of powers is however, nowadays, clearly renewed, because not only do the Executive and the Legislative powers play a main role within constitutional organization, but also those two classical powers have been submitted to strong transformations. Besides, modern constitutional provisions have created many new organs and powers, taking into account new circumstances and techniques.

On one hand, the judiciary power has affirmed itself step by step as a counter power of political and representative power. On the other hand, there are other powers with a diverse nature and quite different from those organized by the constitution:

the economic and financial powers,
international organizations which can be founded on different bedrocks,
lobbies which represent the interest of different groups in a society or even
collective and minority interests (religions, languages, costumes, regional or national identities), or
media powers.
These entities do not belong to the democratic and representative circuit provided inside constitutions. Those new realities and scenarios should probably be present in the philosophy of the contemporary constitutional organization. We must also underline the existence of supranational organizations, in particular in Europe and Latin America, as well as their intense impact on the transformation of the domestic division of power within the States.’

For sources and additional information, see:;

[At my request, my own paper was removed from the list of ‘accepted papers’ for copyright purposes.]