Legal and Political Theory Forum

Bringing together scholars in the fields of politics and law.

The Legal & Political Theory Forum was set up in September 2007 in order to provide an umbrella for seminars and colloquia on topics of common interest to scholars and graduate students working in various disciplinary areas, but particularly in the fields of politics and law. The Forum holds a series of seminars during term-time, at which papers are presented by academics who are based either at LSE or more commonly elsewhere.

The Forum has an excellent track record for holding international conferences. In addition to our regular seminars, our practice has been to hold a major event each Spring. Themes have included Alan Brudner’s constitutional theory (which resulted in a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence), ‘The Rule of Law and Political Emergencies’, ‘Hobbes and the Law’ (which led to an edited volume of essays from Cambridge University Press), David Hume, Adam Smith, and ‘Hayek, Oakeshott and Schmitt on Law, Liberty and State’ (which also produced an edited volume for CUP).

Scholars who have presented a paper at the Forum include: Brian Barry, Nehal Bhuta, Alan Brudner, Clare Chambers, Costas Douzinas, David Dyzenhaus, Katrin Flikschuh, Fonna Forman, Frank Furedi, Ross Harrison, Duncan Kelly, Nico Krisch, Martin Krygier, Jacob Levy, John McCormick, David Miller, Jan-Werner Müller, Liam Murphy, Sankar Muthu, Gerald Postema, Alice Ristroph, John Tomasi, Adrian Vermeule, Lars Vinx, Jeremy Waldron, Leif Wenar and Lea Ypi.

Our policy is to make Forum events as inclusive as possible. All Forum events are open to staff and students from all departments and all academic institutions. The Forum is run by Thomas Poole (LSE Law) and Chandran Kukathas (LSE Government). 

Events 2019

5 June 2019   |   All-day workshop  |   Moot Court Room, 7th floor, New Academic Building, LSE
Workshop on "Early-Modern Absolutism" (in association with the School of Law, Edinburgh University, and Law Faculty, University of Toronto)
Speakers: Sarah Mortimer (Oxford); Emile Simpson (Harvard); Nehal Bhuta (Edinburgh); David Dyzenhaus (Toronto); Justin Steinberg (CUNY Brooklyn); Thomas Poole (LSE)

27 February 2019   |   5pm-7pm   |    Moot Court Room, 7th floor, New Academic Building, LSE
'Comparing Law'
Catherine Valcke (University of Toronto, Faculty of Law)   

Catherine Valcke’s new book Comparing Law: Comparative Law as Reconstruction of Collective Commitments (Cambridge, 2018) reconstructs comparative law scholarship into a systematic account of comparative law as an autonomous academic discipline. The point of that discipline, Valcke argues, is neither to harmonize world law, nor to emphasize its cultural diversity, but rather to understand each legal system ‘on its own terms’. Drawing as much on contemporary legal theory as on comparative law scholarship, Valcke notably develops careful accounts of ‘law’ and of the idea of a ‘legal system’ that should be of particular interest to a legal- and political theory audience. Click here to read the prologue to Collective Commitments

Events 2018

28 November 2017  |   5.30pm-7.30pm  |   Moot Court Room, 7th floor, New Academic Building, LSE
‘The Distinction between the State and the Patrimonial Kingdom in Grotius’s Law of War and Peace’ 
Emile Simpson (Harvard) 

21 November 2018  |  5pm-7pm  |   Moot Court Room, 7th floor, New Academic Building, LSE
'Reflections on Legislation' 
Denis Baranger (Paris II)  



Thomas Poole (Law)

Chandran Kukathas (Government)

Forum Affiliates

Nehal Bhuta (Law, EUI)

Philip Cook (Forum co-founder, Politics, Edinburgh)

David Dyzenhaus (Law & Philosophy, Toronto)

Paul Kelly (LSE Government)

Martin Loughlin (LSE Law)

Laura Valentini (LSE Government)

Adrian Vermeule (Harvard Law)

Lea Ypi (LSE Government)