School of Law


'Recognition, Denial, and Human Rights: Theoretical Approaches'

24 May

This event considers how human rights affect and are affected by recognitions and denials of historical atrocities. Do recognitions of past crimes ensure the protection of human rights among perpetrator states? Do denials of such crimes undermine these rights? What kinds of rights must be in place to promote recognitions of difficult pasts?

Speakers include: Professor Eric Heinze (Queen Mary), Professor Wayne Morrison (Queen Mary), Professor Eva Pils (King’s College), Dr Ioanna Tourkochoriti (NUI Galway), Dr Ceren Özgül (NYU), Dr Félix Krawatzek (Oxford), Dr Elizabeth Nolte (Warwick), Eldad Ben-Aharon (Royal Holloway).

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'Hobbes, Weber, and Modern Public Law and Administration' by Professor Morten Kinander (BI Norwegian Business School)

11 October 2017

Max Weber’s main contributions to the hall of fame of social and democratic theory lie in his model of bureaucracy.  He insists on the importance of rules and principles of legality, which produce predictability and security for members of the state. Weber also marks a turning point with his focus on the role of institutions for social development and stability, in addition to his thesis of the monopoly of violence and his definitions of the state. The alternatives to his theoretical approach are more expressly normative theories of the intrinsic good of democracy and rights. This talk suggests that what Weber described, Hobbes had prescribed 250 years earlier. Hobbes’ ideas were modern not only in content, but also in method. Many of the ideas that we normally take to stem from the ‘Enlightenment’ or liberal democracy, are already present in Hobbes, especially as to the mode and form of argument, as well as material administrative principles at the very core of modern rule of law states. As I shall argue, there is not much in Weber’s model of bureaucracy that Hobbes did not already take to be crucial to a stable state. We can perhaps say, then, that one of the principal aims of the Leviathan is to present a distinct theory of administrative law, a still neglected field of political theory. The aim of this talk is to look a bit closer at how Hobbes is a deep seated Weberian, and what that can tell us about both the importance and the philosophical pedigree of all the mundane details of administrative law.

Morten Kinander is Professor of Law at the Norwegian Business School, where he currently serves as Director for the Centre of Financial Regulation. In addition to his background as a finance lawyer in a large Norwegian law firm, Kinander holds a doctoral degree in legal philosophy. He has published extensively, and his works in English include The View from Within: An analysis and critique of legal realism and descriptive jurisprudence; The Hermeneutics of Practical Perspectivism; and Comparing Courts: The Accountability Function of the Constitutional Courts of Poland and Hungary.