Revolutionary Constitutionalism Conference

Conference is convened by Bruce Ackerman and Richard Albert

August 24‐25, 2018, Event will be held in the Faculty Lounge, Yale Law School (127 Wall Street)

Over two hundred years ago, revolutionary democrats led the world onto a new stage. The American and French Revolutions, followed by those in Greece, Haiti and elsewhere, ushered in an age of revolution that set the foundation for modern democratic constitutionalism. Today, the world has entered a new age of revolution.

There are important differences between revolutions then and now. But what remains unchanged is that revolution had often been in the past and continues to be today the result of substantial years-long, even decades-long, mobilizations of people, resources and ideas oriented toward the normative aspirations of constitutionalism. Revolutionary democrats deploy extraordinary means and seek self-consciously to transform the basis of the state’s legal or political authority with the consent of their fellow citizens. What ultimately validates the revolution is its successful culmination, the consolidation of its values in text or ceremony, the sustainability of the new constitutional order, and the consent of citizens, given by affirmation or acquiescence.

This conference will convene over two dozen of the world’s leading scholars in public law to explore the theme of "Revolutionary Constitutionalism" in comparative, doctrinal, historical, philosophical and theoretical perspectives. Held over two days, the proceedings for this first-of-its-kind conference will be structured around a keynote lecture and seven panels featuring wide diversity in scholars representing many countries and constitutional traditions across the globe.


8:00‐8:55amLight breakfast
8:55‐9:00amWelcoming Remarks
Dean Heather Gerken, Yale Law School

Panel 1: The Legitimating Foundations of Revolutionary Constitutionalism

A Defense of Non‐Representational Constitutionalism
Alon Harel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Debating the Source Theory of Constitutional Legitimacy
Stephen Holmes, NYU School of Law

Constitutionalism and the Predicament of Postcolonial Independence
Aziz Rana, Cornell Law School

Chair: Jack Balkin, Yale Law School


Panel II: Revolutionary Constitutionalism as Liberal Revolution?

Revolution on a Human Scale: Liberal Values, Populist Theory?
Andrew Arato, The New School for Social Research

Constitutionalism and Society: Ackerman on Worldwide Constitution‐Making and the
Role of Social Forces
Denis Baranger, L’Université Paris II Panthéon‐Assas

Bruce Ackerman’s Theory of History
Roberto Gargarella, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella

Chair: Cristina Rodríguez, Yale Law School


Luncheon Keynote Address
Yale Law School Dining Hall

Dieter Grimm, Humboldt University Berlin

Chair: Paul Kahn, Yale Law School


Panel III: Constitutional Evolutions and Transformations

Unconventional Adaptation, the Constitution and Authenticity
Alessandro Ferrara, Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”

Charismatic Fictions and Constitutional Politics
Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago Law School

The Traditions of Constitutional Change
Richard Albert, The University of Texas Law School

Chair: Jed Rubenfeld, Yale Law School


Panel IV: Constitutional Revolution and Revolutionary Constitutionalism

Demos Creation and Federalism in the G‐20 Constitutional Democracies
Stephen Calabresi, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Two Types of Revolutionary Constitutionalism
Stephen Gardbaum, UCLA School of Law

Constitutional Revolution, Legal Positivism, and the Constituent Power
Yasuo Hasebe, Waseda Law School

Chair: Daniel Markovits, Yale Law School

8:00amContinental Breakfast

Panel V: The Future of Europe

Constitutional Law as (Domestic) Politics by Other Means?
Daniel Halberstam, University of Michigan Law School

Constituting the Judiciary, Constituting Europe
Mitchel Lasser, Cornell Law School

Constitutional Crossroads
Neil Walker, Edinburgh Law School

Chair: James Whitman, Yale Law School


Panel VI: Revolutionary Constitutions and Courts

Revolution as a Human Tale: Lessons from South Africa’s Undecided Constitutionalism
James Fowkes, Westfälische Wilhelms‐Universität

Constitutionalizing Revolutions: The Apex Courts of India and South Africa
Menaka Guruswamy, Columbia Law School

Chair: Samuel Moyn, Yale Law School

Yale Law School Dining Hall

Panel VII: Law and Politics after the Revolution

A Legal Reading of Italian Revolutionary Constitutionalism
Marta Cartabia, Constitutional Court of Italy

Constitutional Strategy for a Polarized Society: Learning from Poland’s Post‐Revolutionary Misfortunes
Maciej Kisilowski, Central European University

The Islamic Republic of Iran: Gaullist Legacies and Hegemonic Preservation
Mirjam Künkler, Georg‐August‐Universität Göttingen

Chair: Mirjan Damaška, Yale Law School


Keynote Response

Bruce Ackerman, Yale Law School

Chair: Richard Albert, The University of Texas Law School