Universiteit Antwerpen

October 29-31, 2012 | 2nd LCV Lecture: M. Kumm (NYU / WZB Berlin): 'The Cosmopolitan State'

Second LCV Lecture

Monday 29th, Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st of October 2012

Room M002, De Meerminne, Sint-Jacobstraat 2; 16:00-17:30

Mattias Kumm (WZB Berlin and NYU Law School):

The Cosmopolitan State and Humanity's Law: An Integrative Conception of Global Public Law

There are two connected beliefs that are at the heart of contemporary debates about legitimate law in and beyond the state. First, the successful institutionalization of liberal constitutional democracy within the framework of the state is regarded as the paradigm of legitimate law. Second, if international law has increasingly disconnected itself from state consent, this is believed to raise legitimacy concerns, in part because such law lacks democratic credentials due to its divorce from the legitimating procedures established by the states. Both beliefs are fundamentally mistaken. Instead, the legitimacy of any state constitution depends in part on the structure of the global legal world that it is part of as well as on the way it relates to that structure. Only a cosmopolitan state that is embedded in a global order that exhibits a certain structure can make legitimate claims to sovereignty. There is no plausible freestanding conception of legitimate state authority. Second, the problem with international law is not its divorce from state consent, but the capture of its jurisgenerative procedures by the executive branches of governments of powerful states, due to the veto power they effectively wield. This undermines the realization of global public goods and denies adequate participatory opportunities to those whose lives are affected by policies of those states. This year's LCV Lecture will develop these claims, and sketch the basic contours of an integrative conception of global public law, with a plurality of cosmopolitan states and a humanity-based global legal order as its key components.

A Lecture Panorama


The Second Law and Cosmopolitan Values Lecture will be given in three consecutive sessions of 90 minutes each from 16.00 to 17.30. On Monday there will be a wine reception from 17.30 to 19.00.