Category: Seminars

Grounding Wars

A Workshop in the Pufendorf Series, 22 May 2013

  • Max Liljefors (Art History and Visual Studies, Lund): Vision and War: Limits of Anthropomorphism
  • Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (Law, Westminster): Atmosphere
  • Daniel Steuer (English, Brighton): Readings of the Natural History of Destruction
  • Gregor Noll (Law, Lund): Future Wars and Law’s Language
War is a way to relate the human mind to the world. In doing that, it provides a form of grounding. This gives the sensory and experiential dimension a central role. The playing of war games, the conditioning of soldiers in mission-specific training environments, the ways militaries seek to address post-traumatic stress, psychological operations and the winning of hearts and minds are all pertinent examples. In crafting this relationship, warfare is pitched against limits that are imagined as absolute in some form. Time, terrain, physics, psychology, the capacity of the human body, the laws of war are but a few examples. These limits are an inextricable part of the grounding in the world provided by war.

In this workshop, the normative dimensions of this grounding process will be explored. The limits present themselves as a ground for a minimalist international community that gathers friend and foe, state actors and non-state actors, combatants and civilians. Such limits are embattled in their own right, precisely because the grounding process has a double legitimatory function – that of legalizing acts of war as much as that of legalizing a particular image of historical destiny and international community.

Date: 22 May 2013, 13.00-17.00 hrs

Venue: Althin room, Tryckeriet building, Faculty of Law, Lund University

As the number of places is limited, please register with at your earliest convenience.

Most welcome!

29 May IL Research Seminar with Ida Elisabeth Koch: The Rule of Law According to the ECtHR

In the course of this seminar, Professor Ida Elisabeth Koch will present and discuss an article on the notion of the rule of law as understood by the European Court of Human Rights. An abstract is included below.

Please send a mail to for a copy of the full text.

Date: 29 May, 10.15-12.00

Venue: Röda tornrummet, 4th floor, Faculty of Law, Lund.


The article deals with the way in which the European Court of Human Rights understands the notion of the rule of law, and examines how this perception is reflected in the case law of the Court. This exercise is approached from a discourse analytic perspective.

The article includes references to other discourses concerning the notion of the rule of law. However, it has not been my driving force to go deep down into the numerous ways in which judicial bodies and/or legal scholars talk about the notion of the rule of law. I have no interest in taking sides and enjoy the privilege not having to give my support to a particular perception of the rule of law. It is not the hegemony that interests me but the discourses as such.

Despite the many discourses about the rule of law, there is a general agreement that the rule of law is a fundamental principle. The Court must of course define which elements should be included in the notion the rule of law. However, the Court would appear more trustworthy if it were to consider its application of the rule of law term more carefully.

10 April Pufendorf Research Seminar: Wouter Werner on “Showing Trials”

On 10 April 2013 at 13.15-15.00 hrs, Professor Wouter Werner (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) will hold a Pufendorf Research Seminar. The topic of his talk will be

Showing Trials- Documentaries in International Criminal Law.

Venue: Styrelserummet, 4th floor, Faculty of Law.

Prospective participants may request a draft chapter of Wouter Werner’s forthcoming book by mailing


28 February Pufendorf Research Seminar: Ingo Venzke on Interpretation

On 28 February 2013 at 14.15-16.00 hrs, Dr. Ingo Venzke (Universiteit van Amsterdam) will hold a Pufendorf Research Seminar. The topic of his talk is

Constraints of the International Legal Discourse and the Creativity of Interpretation
Venue: Styrelserummet, 4th floor, Faculty of Law. The seminar will be chaired by Professor Ulf Linderfalk. Please be in touch with Simret Goitom for a copy of the seminar material.
Dr. Venzke’s bionote can be accessed here.

21 November Pufendorf Research Seminar: Elspeth Guild on European Military Engagements Abroad

On 21 November at 13.15, the next Pufendorf seminar will be held by Elspeth Guild, currently Jean Monnet Professor ad personam at Queen Mary, whose extensive oeuvre comprises texts on European human rights law, refugee law, the Common European Asylum System and the securitization of law. Elspeth Guild was awarded the degree of doctor honoris causa by our faculty in 2008.

She has kindly agreed to return to Lund in the context of a Pufendorf Research Seminar, for which she has chosen the topic of

“European Military Engagements abroad, the Legitimate Use of Violence and European Human Rights Law”.

Elspeth comments that “I am returning to some work I did in 2005 around extraterritorial reach of European human rights law in the context of military occupation. The issue has been the subject of three important ECtHR judgments over the past few years which I am trying to unpick.”

Venue: Faculty of Law, 4th floor, Röda Tornrummet

Elspeth Guild’s text for the seminar is available by registering with Simret Goitom at

31 October Pufendorf Research Seminar: Hans T. Lindahl (Tilburg)

Professor Hans T. Lindahl (Dept of Philosophy, Tilburg School of Humanities) has kindly agreed to present a draft chapter from his forthcoming OUP monograph on the “Fault Lines of Globalisation: Legal Order and a Politics of A-Legality” on the occasion of a Pufendorf Research Seminar on 31 October 2012 at 13.15-15.00 hrs (Styrelserummet, Level 4, Juridicum).

On Lindahl’s work:

Here is an abstract:

“The emergence of transnational legal orders has profoundly influenced how contemporary legal and political theory approaches the concept of law. If the spatial boundaries of nation-states had been largely taken for granted as constituent features of legal order during the acme of the municipal/international law paradigm, transnational legal orders retrospectively expose those boundaries as a contingent feature of law. Building on this insight, political and legal theories have sought to articulate a general concept of legal order that need not rely on spatial boundaries as one of its constituent features, and to think through the normative implications of this epochal transformation for law and politics. Even though this conceptual and normative reorientation understands itself as introducing a drastic shift away from the paradigm that has dominated Western legal and political theory during the past centuries, one may wonder whether it does not inadvertently continue and perhaps even entrench the state-centred thinking about boundaries it claims to leave behind. Indeed, to claim that spatial boundaries are no longer a constituent feature of post-state legal orders is effectively to hold that the boundaries of the territorial state, or of earlier spatially bounded communities, exhaust the manner in which legal orders close themselves into an inside vis-à-vis an outside. This assumption has been so overwhelmingly obvious that, to the best of my knowledge, there is not a single contribution to legal or political theory that directly and systematically poses the question whether the kind of closure afforded by the boundaries of state territories exhausts the spatial closure of law, let alone whether it is its primordial manifestation. Moreover, I know of no legal or political theory that integrates the question about spatial boundaries within the more general question about the kinds of boundaries that might be ingredient to law as a normative order. I will argue that no legal order–not even a global legal order that is putatively erga omnes–is possible that is not bounded spatially, temporally, materially and subjectively; legal orders are, by definition, bounded legal orders. I will then go ahead to discuss the normative implications of the account of legal order I will sketch out, contrasting these to both cosmopolitanism and communitarianism.”

Linderfalk/Noll: Two Takes at Proportionality. Research Seminar on 20 August 2012

Please be invited to a research seminar on proportionality on 20 August 2012 at Röda Tornrummet, 4th floor, Juridicum, starting at 13.15 hrs, in the course of which Ulf Linderfalk and I shall discuss two approaches to proportionality.

I am currently preparing a draft article entitled “Analogy at War: Equality, Proportionality and the Law of Targeting”, and I intend to focus on the role proportionality does (or does not) play in the norms of international humanitarian law (IHL) on targeting.  On the important question how one is to perform a proportionality assessment in which civilian loss is pitched against military advantage, the IHL literature is either silent or somewhat trivial. Scholars beyond the discipline of law have thought quite much about proportionality and analogy. By bringing in some of this thought, I hope to better understand what IHL proportionality is really about. Basically, I am asking for your help to improve the draft article during the maddening period when referees have a look at it. Please let me know per email if you want the draft text mailed to you a couple of days in advance of the seminar.

Ulf Linderfalk is the main investigator of a project on Proportionality in the Application of International Law ( He has kindly agreed to co-host this seminar and to present his own approach to proportionality, drawing on his current work on legal concepts.

Most welcome!