Research Seminar with Professor Panu Minkkinen (Helsinki)

On Thursday 7 November at 13.00-15.00, Professor Panu Minkkinen, University of Helsinki, will hold a seminar, open to both researchers and students, on his current research project which touches on sovereignty, constitutional theory, and a radicalization of the idea of law as a human science. The seminar will be based on the following introduction:

The Coldest of All Cold Monsters’: Nietzsche as a Constitutional Theorist

Despite the strong political implications of his philosophy, Nietzsche is seldom regarded as a political philosopher per se, let alone as a constitutional theorist. My presentation will, however, attempt to reconstruct a Nietzschean constitutional theory drawing both from Nietzsche’s main published works as well as unpublished fragments. The argument that the presentation wishes to make is that Nietzsche’s understanding of the state is a critique of mechanism and, as such, theoretically speaking organic, and that Nietzsche’s organic state is animated by a life force that is not wholly unlike the vitalism of Herbert Spencer. Despite Nietzsche’s scornful criticism of Spencer, the critical engagement betrays an academic kinship which, more importantly, brings Nietzsche into a lineage of political theorists ranging from Carl Schmitt to Gilles Deleuze. The lineage will hopefully allow us to consider a critical perspective into the state that is neither traditionally Marxist nor confusedly postmodern, a perspective that I have elsewhere called political constitutional theory.

For a fuller introduction, see

The seminar will be held in Styrelserummet, 4th floor at Juridicum.