Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Professor Ackerman ’67 to Deliver Lecture at American Academy in Berlin on January 29

Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science Bruce Ackerman ’67 will deliver a Daimler Lecture at the American Academy in Berlin on January 29, 2015, at 7:30 pm CET (1:30 pm EST). The talk is titled “A General Theory of World Constitutionalism and the Crisis of the European Union.”

The lecture will also be available for viewing on the academy’s livestream.

In his lecture, Professor Ackerman will ask how constitutions legitimize their claim to authority. Ackerman, who is a 2015 Daimler Fellow at the American Academy, identifies three sets of actors that play key roles in different forms of constitutional legitimation: 
revolutionary outsiders, established insiders, and a combination of established insiders and political elites previously excluded from the system. The revolutionary tradition is exemplified in the twentieth century by India, South Africa, and postwar France and Italy. Insider-constitutionalism can be seen in various nations of the British Commonwealth. Bargaining between insider and outsider elites played a role in Spain, Germany, Japan, and the European Union. These different pathways generate different legitimation problems—combining to create a distinctive crisis in the European Community as it confronts its future.

Bruce Ackerman is the author of fifteen books that have had a broad influence in political philosophy, constitutional law, and public policy. His major works include Social Justice in the Liberal State and his multivolume constitutional history, We the People. Professor Ackerman is a member of the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Commander of the French Order of Merit, and the recipient of the American Philosophical Society’s Henry Phillips Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Jurisprudence.