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Past CSPT Events

Hume and Montesquieu: Method, Moeurs, and Republican Monarchy

December 6, 2014, Luce Hall, Yale University
(co-hosted by the Yale Center for the Study of Representative Institutions)


T​his one-day ​conference brought together scholars of Hume and Montesquieu to discuss points of commonality and divergence across multiple dimensions: questions of method and intellectual approach; issues of marriage and sexual morality, in their relation to law and politics; and both thinkers’ distinctive, ambivalent approach to republican and monarchical traditions of thought, and to the particular question of English politics.

Comparative Ancient and Medieval Political Thought

May 1, 2014, Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University
(co-hosted by the Whitney Humanities Center)

This workshop brought together experts on the Chinese, Indian, Islamic, and Greek traditions to discuss the theme of universalism and particularism, and the benefits and pitfalls of cross-cultural comparison.

Free Speech, Identity, and Claims to Dignity
March 31, 2014, Yale Law School Faculty Lounge
(co-hosted by the Yale Law School)

Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President of the Centre for Policy Research based in New Delhi, India, and currently Visiting Professor of Social Studies at Harvard University. He has previously taught at Harvard, Jawaharlal Nehru University and New York University Law School. His areas of research include political theory, society and politics in India, governance, political economy and international affairs. Mehta has a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University (St. John’s College), and a PhD in Politics from Princeton University. Recent publications include The Burden of Democracy, and three co-edited volumes: India’s Public InstitutionsThe Oxford Companion to Politics in India and Shaping the World: India and Multilateralism. His forthcoming work includes The Oxford Companion to Constitutional Law in India (ed.), Public Reason and Democracy in India and Rethinking Indian Intellectual History. Prof. Mehta is also actively involved in public policy debates. He was a member of India’s National Security Advisory Board, Member-Convenor of the Prime Minister of India’s National Knowledge Commission and is a regular contributor to a number of national and international newspapers including the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, and the Indian Express.

Revisiting Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A conversation with Partha Chatterjee

November 20, 2013, Luce Hall Auditorium, Yale University
(co-hosted by the Yale Political Theory Workshop)

Partha Chatterjee’s Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World, published in 1986, was a pathbreaking analysis of the contradictory character of anticolonial nationalism. The work was seminal to the critique of nationalism emerging in the work of the Subaltern Studies Collective and the cornerstone of Chatterjee’s own long and influential engagement with the dilemmas of postcolonial politics and their conceptualization. Almost three decades after the publication of Nationalist Thought, we are delighted to revisit this classic work and raise new questions about the history of anticolonial nationalism and its contested legacies today.

  • How should we understand the relationship of anticolonial nationalism and internationalism? How and why did anticolonial nationalism become a statist project?

  • In what ways are the developmental and democratic elements of the postcolonial state compatible or coherent projects?

  • To what extent has nationalism as an analytical and normative category been exhausted or overtaken (i.e. by struggles over democracy)? What new conceptual vocabularies might be draw upon to examine the specific trajectory of politics in the postcolonial world?

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