The Ends of Europe

We are excited to invite you to the “Ends of Europe” workshop, to be held in Sciences Po Law School, Paris, June 23-24, 2017. The two-day workshop will include group and individual presentations and plenty of opportunity for discussions on the path toward a long-term collaborative critical project. Over the past year, we reached out to scholars from a wide range of countries, critical traditions, and research interests. We envision a long-term project involving conferences, workshops, joint research papers, and, eventually, joint publications.

Current political crises call out for a reorientation of legal critique. For years in the West, critical legal thinkers inhabited a universe whose stability was a target. A technocratic, liberally oriented center held, and seemed poised to continue to hold, marginalizing radicalism and confining the horizons of politics within narrow and converging limits. The idea that radical intellectuals would exercise significant power through democratic institutions seemed like a fantasy, so much so that direct engagement with national level politics appeared to many as wasteful or inherently coopted. With few exceptions, critical discourse aimed at supporting resistance, rather than at mobilizing state power for transformation.

Perhaps these were simply mistaken assumptions; perhaps conditions have fundamentally changed. Either way, the background for critical legal thought is significantly different from even a decade ago. In a wide range of countries with little coordination among them, a language of politics with repeating motifs has emerged: anti-elitism; anti-cosmopolitanism; against bureaucracy; fearful of immigration; against globalization – a series of motifs whose very nature is still unclear. While these themes have long histories as positions, their rhetorical valence has shifted, claiming (and perhaps garnering) popular support and a broad mandate for refiguring (if not dismantling) the institutions that dominated domestic and international politics since WWII. The law plays a crucial role in these transformations. One strand of the critical legal tradition challenged institutions that insulated decision making from direct, high visibility politics. Those institutions are now under threat, though not only from the direction anticipated by the critics. These developments raise foundational questions about democracy, about rights, about the institutional structures that undergird cooperation as well as conflict.

The workshop is an opportunity to discuss some of these themes, as well as to develop avenues for future collaboration. Given the diversity of scholars who will attend, we hope to discuss a range of points of departure and trajectories. To that end, we’ve arranged a program with various genres of presentation construct the program around various genres of presentations: some will introduce prior work, some will showcase group projects already underway, one session will be devoted to reading a text together, another to speculative beginnings of new projects.

We look forward to seeing you.

 Obs: Attendance on invitation only, please send request to Alberto Rinaldi at

Workshop schedule

Friday, June 23rd

2 pm—4 pm:        Short presentations – prospective work

  • Guy Mundlak (Tel Aviv University), The Ends of Work
  • Aeyal Gross (Tel Aviv University), The End of the End(s)
  • Maria Rosaria Marella and Giovanni Marini (University of Perugia), The Ends of Law (or Lawyers?)
  • Bianca Gardella Tedeschi (Università del Piemonte), The Harmonization of EU Private Law
  • Chantal Thomas (Cornell Law School), Irregular Migration and Europe

4:30 pm—6:30 pm:            Existing group projects & more

    • Clara Belen Garcia Fernandez-Muro, Rafael Fernandez Sanchez (Universidad Complutense de Madrid): The Ends of Liberalism and Austerity


  • Simon Sovilla (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), European Integration


  • Vincent Forray, Richard Janda (McGill University), Jurists at the Present Time: Discerning, Preparing for, and Resisting the Worst

Cocktail: 6:30 pm

Saturday, June 24:

9:30 am—11:00 am:               Reading together

Etienne Balibar, “Europe at the Limits,” Interventions 18:2, 165-171 (2016).

11:30 am—1:30 pm:                 Short presentations – prospective work

    • Helena Maria Alviar Garcia (Universidad de Los Andes), Literature in Latin America as a mean to explore the ends of Europe


  • Walter Rech (University of Helsinki), Hungary, Poland and the Challenges to the European Project


  • Loic Azoulai, Julie Saada (Sciences Po Law School), Europe’s otherness
  • Outi Korhonen (University of Turku), Migrations and New Militarism
  • Yishai Blank (TAU), Roy Kreitner (TAU), Mikhail Xifaras (Sciences Po), The Ends of Europe


3:00 pm—5:00 pm:                   What’s next?



The Conference will be held at Sciences Po, 13 rue de l’Université 75007 Paris.

Amphithéâtre Erignac, Third floor.

For those who will present, let us know if you need any support (power point, etc.).

Please make sure you have already secured travel and accommodation. If it isn’t the case, please hurry, the nearby hotels are already full.  Airbnb is a nice second-best option.