Interdisciplinary Conference: Kelsen in America

hans kelsen

Forced from his university post in Germany because of his Jewish ancestry, Hans Kelsen fled to Geneva in 1933 and to the United States in 1940. By that time, Kelsen’s reputation was already well-established in the United States. In 1934, Roscoe Pound lauded Kelsen as “undoubtedly the leading jurist of the time.” But Kelsen’s academic stature transcended law. His influence was also felt in the fields of philosophy, sociology, political theory and international relations. Nevertheless, to this day, Kelsen and his ideas are rarely considered in the U.S. academy. The conference has the two-fold aim of exploring the reasons for Kelsen’s lack of influence in the United States and proposing ways in which Kelsen’s approach to legal, political and international relations theory could be relevant to current debates in the U.S. academy in those areas

June 27 – 28, 2014
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Schedule of Events

Made possible by a grant from the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies

June 27, 2014 – The Firehouse, (401 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL) (Click here for map)

5:00 p.m. – Keynote Address

Clemens Jabloner, Hans-Kelsen-InstitutIn Defense of Modern Times
Jeremy Telman, Valparaiso University, Response

6:30 p.m. – Reception and Dinner at the Firehouse


June 28, 2014 – Lutheran School of Theology (1100 E. 55th St., Chicago, IL) (Click here for map)

8:30 a.m. – Breakfast buffet

Panel 1: 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. – Kelsen in Conversation with Others

Elisabeth LeFort, Université du Luxembourg,The Question of Justice: Hans Kelsen & Leo Strauss
Bettina Rentsch, University of Freiburg,Hans Kelsen, Albert Ehrenzweig, and their Common Roots in Sigmund Freud: Psychoanalytical Jurisprudence as an Underpinning for Normativist Legal Positivism
Lars Vinx, Bilkent University, The Kelsen/Hart Exchange

Panel 2: 10:30-11:45 a.m. – Kelsen and International Law

Jochen von Bernstorff, University of Tübingen, Hans Kelsen and Hans Morgenthau on Nuremberg and the Genesis of International Criminal Law
Jörg Kammerhofer, University of Freiburg, Kelsen on International Law and International Legal Theory
Joshua Felix, State University of New York, Binghamton, Kelsen on Justice: Against Constructivism

Luncheon Speaker: 12:00-1:15 p.m.

William Scheuerman, Indiana University, Professor Kelsen’s Incredible Disappearing Act, or: Hans Kelsen and American Political Science
Peter C. Caldwell, Rice University, Response

Panel 3: 1:15-2:05 p.m. – Kelsen in America

Nicoletta Ladavac, Thémis, Philosophy of Law and Theory of Law: The Continuity of Kelsen’s Years in America
Thomas Olechowski,Hans-Kelsen-Institut, Kelsen, the Second World War and the US Government

Panel 4: 2:15-3:30 p.m. – Ignoring Kelsen

Brian Bix, University of Minnesota, Kelsen in the U.S.: Still Misunderstood
Michael Steven Green, College of William & Mary, Kelsen and Legal Philosophy in the United States
Frieder Günther, University of California, Davis, “Inadequate Scholarship.” West-German Scholars of Public Law’s Disregard for Kelsen, 1945-1980

Coffee Break: 3:30-4:00 p.m.

Panel 5: 4:00-5:15 p.m. – Kelsenian Interventions in the Theoretical Realm

Christoph Bezemek, Vienna University of Economics and Business,Pure Formalism? Kelsenian Interpretive Theory Beyond Textualism and Originalism
Jeffrey M. Lipshaw, Suffolk University, Cognition and Reason:  Rethinking Kelsen in the Context of Contract and Business Law
Dru Stevenson, South Texas College of Law, Kelsen’s View of the Address of the Law: Primary and Secondary Norms

5:30-6:30 p.m. – Closing Roundtable

6:30-7:00 p.m. – Reception

For more information contact:
Jeremy Telman