New York 2016

Atlantic Transfers: Responses to Totalitarianism in Legal Thought and the Dilemma of Liberty in the Post-War Atlantic

November 4, 2016
Workshop at NYU, School of Law, 245 Sullivan St, New York, NY (Room 324)

Organizers Bill Nelson (NYU), Kaius Tuori (Helsinki)

The rise of Nazism and Fascism in Europe led to an intellectual reaction not only in Britain, but in the US. This reaction was in part strengthened by the exodus of scholars from Germany and Italy from the fields of law, politics and history, who would begin to address the challenge of totalitarianism. The aim of this workshop is to tackle two intertwined issues that would define the post-war transatlantic agreement: the idea of freedom and the focus on rights. The idea of freedom was not simply limited to political freedoms; it encompassed equally that of individualism and property and thus the ethos of anticommunism that would unite the conservatives and liberals on both sides of the Atlantic. Likewise the focus on rights was not restricted that of the rule of law and the protection of the individual, it also brought the human rights movement to the mainstream.

Conference report: Atlantic transfers: responses to totalitarianism in legal thought and the dilemma of liberty in the post-War Atlantic.

09.30–10.15 James Whitman (Yale Law School): The American Influence on Nazi Race Law
10.15–11.00 Douglas Morris: Accommodating Nazi Tyranny? The Wrong Turn of the Social Democratic Legal Philosopher Gustav Radbruch after the War

11.00–11.30 Coffee Break

11.30–12.15 Ville Erkkilä (University of Helsinki): Kieler schule – cultivating totalitarianism?
12.15–1.00 Warren Breckman (University of Pennsylvania): The Death of Immortality: Claude Lefort’s Argument with Hannah Arendt

1.00–2.00 Lunch

2.00–2.45 Jacob Giltaij (University of Helsinki): Reinventing principles: Roscoe Pound (1870-1964) and Fritz Schulz (1879-1957) at Harvard
2.45–3.30 Noah Rosenblum (Yale Law School, Columbia University): Illiberal Democracy: The Executive Reorganization Act of 1937 in Interwar Thought

3.30–4.00 Coffee Break

4.00–4.45 Samuel Moyn (Harvard University): The Spirit of Social Rights
4.45–5.30 Kaius Tuori (University of Helsinki): A Heritage of Liberty: Transatlantic Influences and the Totalitarian State