Research Group on Constitutional Studies events

Upcoming events

See more information at

2015-16 RGCS Lecture Series

Laurel Weldon, Purdue University, October 29 (Leacock 232)
Richard Boyd, Georgetown University, November 12 (Leacock 232)
Phillip Lagassé, University of Ottawa, November 26 (Thomson House Ballroom)
Jenna Bednar, University of Michigan, February 4 (Leacock 232)
Cecile Fabre, Oxford, and Eric Mack, Tulane (debate), March 31 (MGill Faculty Club, main dining room)

All sessions are 4:30- 6 pm and open to the public, with reception to follow.

Other RGCS events

December 15, 2015: GRIPP manuscript workshop, cosponsored by RGCS and CRÉ: Arash Abizadeh, Hobbes and the Two Dimensions of Normativity

see also the GRIPP calendar of events at


Past RGCS events


RGCS Lecture Series and Debates

Many events in this series can be seen online at

Jennifer Rubenstein, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Virginia: "Between Samaritans and States: The Political Ethics of Humanitarian INGOs."  March 19, 2015, 4-5:30 pm, Moot Court Room, Chancellor Day Hall, 3644 Peel.

Erin Delaney, Assistant Professor of Law and Political Science, Northwestern University: "Precarious Power: Judicial Legitimacy in Comparative Perspective."  November 6, 2014, 5-6:30 pm, Leacock 232.

Donald L. Horowitz, "Federalism for Severely Divided Societies: Possibilities and Pathologies."  Thursday September 18, 4:30-6 pm, McGill University Faculty Club Ballroom.

Debate: Chandran Kukathas, Political Theory, London School of Economics, and Kit Wellman, Philosophy, Washington University in St. Louis.  Debate: "Should Borders Be Open?" Thursday April 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm, Thomson House

Ilya Somin, Law, George Mason University: “Democracy and Political Ignorance.” Thursday January 9, 2014 at 4:30 pm, Leacock 232

Naomi Lamoreaux, Economics and History, Yale University:  “Civil Society and Organizational History.” Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 4:30pm, Leacock 232.

Gerald Gaus, Philosophy, University of Arizona: "Liberalism's Unsuccessful Attempt to Insulate the Religious from the Secular." Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 4:30pm, Thomson House.

Debra Satz, Marta Sutton Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society, Stanford University, and Matt Zwolinski, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of San Diego. Debate: "Where are the Moral Limits of Markets?" April 11, 2013, Thomson House Ballroom.  Video available here.

James Gardner, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Joseph W. Belluck and Laura L. Aswad SUNY Distinguished Professor of Civil Justice, SUNY-Buffalo Law School: "“Subnational Constitutions and the Struggle over Constitutional Meaning."  November 15, 2012, Rutherford Physics Building room 118.

RGCS Lecture: John Tomasi, Professor of Political Science, Brown University: "Free Market Fairness."  November 1, 2012, 5 pm, Thomson House Ballroom

Marrett Lecture/ RGCS Lecture: Leif Wenar, Chair of Ethics, King's College London:  "Oil, Dictators & Civil Wars: Our Contributions, Our Solutions."  October 11, 2012, 4:30 pm, Ferrier 456.

Inaugural RGCS Lecture:  Jeremy Waldron, Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, All Souls College, Oxford University: "Constitutionalism: A Skeptical View."  October 4, 2012, 4:30 pm, Leacock 232.


Other past RGCS Events

October 26, 2015: RGCS and the Yan P. Lin Centre present: John Dunn, Cambridge: "Democracy and Good Government: Geographical and Historical Disparities in Perspective and the Quality of Political Judgment", 3-4:30 pm, Arts 160

"PPE as a method and as a research agenda." August 12, 2015.  David Schmidtz (Arizona), Mark Pennington (King's College London), Carmen Pavel (King's College London), and Michael Munger (Duke).

Daniel Kapust (Wisconsin).  May 29, 2015.

"Une éducation affective, morale et politique."  May 20-22, 2015.

Conference: Spinoza's Political Treatise: New Assessments.  April 24-25, 2015.

Book Launch for The Structure of Pluralism by Víctor M. Muñiz-Fraticell, Tuesday September 30, 2014, Librairie Paragraphe Bookstore, 2220 McGill College Avenue

GRIPP Annual Montreal Political Theory Manuscript Workshop, Paul Gowder, A Commitment to Equality: The Rule of Law in the Real World. May 19, 2014.

Conference: "Global Justice After Colonialism."  May 9-10, 2014, McGill.

Annual meeting of the Foucault Circle.  April 18-20, 2013.

Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago: "Rights in Constitutions: Origins and Spread." Legal Theory Workshop, cosponsored by RGCS.  March 1 2013, 12:30 - 2:00 pm, room 202, New Chancellor Day Hall.

History Department Graduate Student Speakers' Initiative: Karuna Mantena, Associate Professor of Political Science, Yale University: 'Gandhi and the Means-Ends Question in Politics', November 20, 2012, 5:30-7:00 pm, Arts W215, cosponsored by RGCS.

RGCS workshop, Detlef von Daniels, University of Witten: "How Plato Overcame the Cosmopolitans."  September 20, 2012, noon-1:30 pm, Ferrier 422.

Book launch, Hasana Sharp, Spinoza and the Politics of Renaturalization; Robert Sparling, Johann Georg Hamann and the Enlightenment Project.  April 19, 2012.

Conference in honour of Charles Taylor '52, Professor Emeritus.  Video podcasts available hereMarch 29-31, 2012.

International Studies Association workshop: isa-ethics-2012.pdf

Conference:Spatiality and Justice: Interdisciplinary Investigations on the Political Philosophy of the City, May 5-7, 2011

Workshop: Security, Federalism, Democracy and the European Alternative [.pdf], March 18, 2011

Workshop: Health Inequalities and Global Justice [in association with the Montreal meeting of the International Studies Association], March 15, 2011

Conference: Aristotle's Politics, March 11-12, 2011

Workshop on judicial review and democracy. December 3, 2010

Workshop with Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley: "Why Historical Distance Is Not A Problem." December 1 2010.

Dissertation-writing workshop, led by the RGCS' three winners of APSA's Leo Strauss Award for best dissertation in political philosophy: Arash Abizadeh, Christina Tarnopolsky, and Robert Sparling. November 26, 2010.

Workshop on Non-ideal and institutional theory [.pdf], within the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, June 1-3, 2010

Book launch for Christina Tarnopolsky, Prudes, Perverts, and Tyrants: Plato's Gorgias and the Politics of Shame, with remarks by Jill Frank, June 1, 2010

Hegel After Spinoza: A Symposium, April 15-15, 2010

Basic Income Group conference, March 15-16 2010

"Governance by the Principle of Subsidiarity: Successes and Challenges over 14 Years," Roberto Formigoni, President, Lombardy Region, Italy, May 15th, 2009

Alan Tarr, "Federalism and Subnational Constitutional Space," with commentaries by Erin Crandall and Filippo Sabetti, November 7, 2008