Contract Theory and Law Colloquium

Richard R. W. Brooks

Spring 2020

The overarching aim of the Contract Theory and Law Colloquium is to bring together scholars from law, the social sciences, and the humanities to explore ideas of contracts, broadly conceived, from specific forms of legally enforceable private exchange to more expansive notions of social contracts. While always seeking to maintain this broad perspective, in each term the Colloquium will be organized around a specific topic or question of inquiry.

For spring 2020 our focus is “private and public law & organization.” To structure the inquiry, the Colloquium will concentrate on four discrete areas of contractual thought—contracting over property, contracting between states, contracting through coercion and power, and finally contracting for punishment—each of which will be the focus of a monthly conversation between two to four speakers. As the Colloquium’s format is a somewhat unconventional, a few words about its structure may be warranted. For each individual session, invited speakers are to submit a 15 to 30-page document (which may be a working paper or something previously published by the speaker or someone else).  Rather than limiting discussion to these specific documents, the objective here is to give the audience some background on the speaker’s thoughts and likely comments on the topic. At the beginning of each meeting the session coordinator will summarize and relate the submitted documents and then lead off with questions and open up a discussion between the speakers.  Following that exchange, the session coordinator will invite questions and comments from the audience.

Monthly Seminars

The open sessions of the colloquium take place on Thursdays, from 4 to 6.30 pm, in the Lester Pollack Colloquium Room on the 9th Floor of Furman Hall, 245 Sullivan St (visible on the campus map)

Private and Public Law & Organization of Property, Jan. 30

  • Andrew Caplin, Economics, NYU
  • Thomas Merrill, Law, Columbia
  • Carol Rose, Law, Yale and ASU 

Private and Public Law & Organization of Agreements between States, Feb. 27

  • Julian Arato, Law, Brooklyn Law School
  • David Dyzenhaus, Law and Philosophy, Univ. of Toronto
  • Michael Waibel, Law, Univ. of Vienna

Private and Public Law & Organization of Coercion and Power, Mar. 26

  • TBA

Private and Public Law & Organization of Punishment, Apr. 30

  • TBA