Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory – Spring 2022

Law 210.2 – Spring Semester 2022

All sessions for Spring 2022 will be held in person and online via Zoom. Students enrolled in the course will be attending the seminar in person in room 141 Law Building. (unless otherwise noted*), Fridays from 12:15 pm-2:00 pm. Papers for upcoming talks are available to download in the table below.  Alternatively, copies of papers may be requested by contacting Rawan Mohsen at

For non-enrolled students, faculty, and visitors from Berkeley Law attendance is either in person or via Zoom. If attending in person, consider bringing your laptop, phone, or tablet in order to be able to log on to Zoom and use the chat.
Outside visitors may join via Zoom at this time. Please note that to attend the meeting on Zoom you must be signed into a Zoom account. For instructions on how to use Zoom follow the link here

The full Spring 2022 workshop schedule is available for download here.

Course description:

This course is a workshop for discussing works in progress in moral, political, and legal theory. The workshop creates a space for students to engage directly with philosophers, political theorists, and legal scholars working on normative questions toward the goal of fostering critical thinking about concepts of value and developing analytical thinking and writing skills. Another aim is to bring together people from different disciplines and perspectives who have strong normative interests or who speak to issues philosophers and theorists should know something about.

For Spring 2022, the workshop will focus on the theme of “law and politics.” The broad question is whether and how we can understand law as political. Arguments may concern the relative autonomy of law from politics, law’s relation to organized political power (as well as other forms of power), law and partisanship, and the question of law’s possible rationality (‘legal reason,’ ‘legality’) and how it is to be distinguished from conventional forms of political will-formation. In the United States (as in many other jurisdictions) these questions are often entangled with questions about the nature and justification of judicial review of legislation, and the basis of political legitimacy in a constitutional democracy.


Jan. 14


(Enrolled Students Only)

Professor Joshua Cohen

Professor David Grewal 

Jan. 21 Jonathan Gould, Law, Berkeley Law 

Puzzles of Progressive Constitutionalism

Jan. 28 Cary Franklin, Law, UCLA Law

Living Textualism

Feb. 4 Lea Ypi, Political Theory, LSE Government

On Dominated Dominators

Feb. 11 Keith E. Whittington, Politics, Princeton University 

When Does Abuse of Power Justify Impeachment?

Feb. 18 Martin Loughlin, Public Law, LSE Law School

On the Law/Politics Relationship

Feb. 25 Duncan Kennedy, Jurisprudence, Harvard Law 

Authoritarian Constitutionalism in Liberal Democracies

Mar. 4 Madhav Khosla, Law, Columbia Law 

Is a Science of Comparative Constitutionalism Possible?

Mar. 11 Paul Gowder, Law, Northwestern Law School

Wigs for the Whigs: An Apology for E.P. Thompson on the Social Epistemology of the Non-Mystified Legal Subject

Mar. 18 Justin Desautels-Stein, Law, Colorado Law 

The Critique of Legal Ideology

Mar. 25 Spring Break
Apr. 1 Melissa Ann Schwartzberg, Politics, NYU

The Scope of Legislative Bargaining

Apr. 8 Amanda Greene, Philosophy, University College London

Democratic Legitimacy for Skeptics

Apr. 15 Johann Frick, Philosophy, UC Berkeley 

Risk, Responsibility, and Aggregate Effects or, How Injustice Aggregates

Apr. 22 Sophia Moreau, Law and Philosophy, University of Toronto

Morality and Institutional Role Obligations