Recent Submissions

  • The Fall of the Arab Spring

    Feldman, Noah (2013-01-01)
    The topic I would like to address is the trajectory of events in what has come to be known as the Arab Spring. My title—The Fall of the Arab Spring—is deliberately ambiguous as between two di≠erent meanings. In one sense, the optimism of spring has turned to the realism, and perhaps pessimism, of autumn. In another sense, the Arab Spring is in danger of having fallen, and thus my title self-consciously parallels the title of a book I wrote called The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State (2008).
  • Milton's Areopagitica and the Modern First Amendment

    Blasi, Vincent (1995-03-01)
    Vincent Blasi is Corliss Lamont Professor of Civil Liberties at Columbia Law School. He delivered this lecture at Yale Law School in March 1995, as the third annual Ralph Gregory Elliot First Amendment Lecture. The Elliot Lectureship is the gift of Ralph Gregory Elliot, a 1961 graduate of Yale Law School and a distinguished practitioner and teacher in the field of First Amendment law.
  • Encounters with Modernity in the Arab World

    Rabbat, Nasser (2014-01-01)
    My aim is to identify three stages of the encounter with modernity as they unfolded in the Arab World over the last two centuries, with the hope of understanding the driving forces that helped define and redefine Arab concep­tions of the modern. The narrative begins with the intensi­fying interaction with Europe in the early nineteenth cen­tury, which spurred the start of the cosmopolitan phase—a period illustrated primarily by the Levantine culture of the coastal cities of Egypt and the Levant. Conceptions of modernity then largely transitioned to a nationalist phase with its powerful dream of a supranational identity. This Pan-Arabism spread across the Arab World from Morocco to Bahrain, setting the stage for the present day’s phase: a reli­giously-imbued and at the same time a neoliberal capitalism best represented by the rich oil countries of the Arabian Gulf.
  • The Rise of World Constitutionalism

    Ackerman, Bruce (1996-09-01)
    Bruce Ackerman is the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. This essay is adapted, by permission, from an article by the same name, published in the Virginia Law Review, volume 83, number 4. An earlier version was delivered to the constitutional court justices from fifteen countries who assembled for the first Global Constitutionalism Seminar held at Yale Law School in September 1996.
  • Globalization and the Rule of Law

    Sachs, Jeffrey (1998-10-16)
    Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade at Harvard University, and Director of the Harvard Institute for International Development. These remarks were delivered at Yale Law School on October 16, 1998, during the 1998 Alumni Weekend.
  • Human Sacrifice and Human Experimentation: Reflections at Nuremberg

    Katz, Jay (1996-10-25)
    Jay Katz is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor Emeritus of Law, Medicine, and Psychiatry and Harvey L. Karp Professorial Lecturer in Law and Psychoanalysis at Yale Law School. An internationally recognized scholar of medical ethics, with particular expertise in the ethics of human experimentation and in the doctor-patient relationship, Professor Katz is currently working on a book-length study of the issues raised in the address presented here. This address was originally given at the final plenary session of a conference commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Nazi doctors’ trial at Nuremberg, October 25-27, 1996. The conference was convened by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and the Physicians for Social Responsibility.
  • The Physics of Persuasion: Arguing the New Deal

    Waxman, Seth (1999-10-08)
    Seth Waxman was the 41st Solicitor General of the United States, serving from November 1997 through January 2001. This is a somewhat expanded version of a lecture delivered at Yale Law School on October 8, 1999. The author expresses his deep gratitude to Jeffrey A. Lamken, an Assistant to the Solicitor General, for his exceptional assistance.
  • Reading the Qur’an as a Law Book

    Lowry, Joseph E. (2015-01-01)
    Scholarship on the Qur’an as a source of legislation and legal tradition has taken many forms, ranging from the nineteenth-century search for origins to contemporary per­spectives that are substantially influenced by later develop­ments in the history of Islamic law. This lecture takes a step back and endeavors to examine the Qur’an in its original context as a law book. I begin by identifying three features of the Qur’an that ought to complicate the reading of Qur’anic legislation: its literary form; its recurring ideas about law that, cumulatively, and perhaps surprisingly, exhibit ambiv­alence toward the imposition of legal obligations; and its variation in legal form and vocabulary across different suras (or chapters). I then draw on those features to reevaluate particular legislative provisions of the Qur’an and identify different modes of Qur’anic law-making.
  • The Political Failure of Islamic Law

    Haykel, Bernard (2014-01-01)
    The title chosen for this lecture is deliberately provocative and somewhat misleading. It is not meant to suggest that Islam, or Islamic law, has failed in some general or normative sense. Rather, the lecture will argue that the effort by modern Sunni Muslim Reformers, and their Islamist followers, to generate Islamic legal rulings has failed to achieve the political vision of a powerful and confident Islamic order. The Reformers’ political program has failed both because their interpretation of the law has proven inadequate to deliver on its promises and because the instrument through which they chose to impose this interpretation—the institution of the modern state—has proven inappropriate for the purpose. I hope to show here that this failure is due to the fact that the program of the modern Sunni Reformers represents a double rupture with the past: first, the Reformers deliberately chose to sweep away the teachings of the established schools of law; second, they opted for the state rather than society as the means by which to impose their program. These two ruptures have proven to be a source of weakness rather than strength.
  • Constitutional Reform in the Arab Spring: A New Beginning or an Unhappy Ending?

    Brown, Nathan (2013-01-01)
    Some years ago, when I was considering various paths my scholarly agenda could take, I asked a colleague of mine who worked on international law regarding Antarctica how he had selected his specialization. He responded that the obscurity of the subject was its own reward: even if he produced bad scholarship, he would still be one of the top people in his field. It was in this spirit that I decided to focus on constitu­tionalism in the Arab world. What little attention the topic had attracted was negative. For centuries, Middle Eastern political systems have been held up by Western students of constitutionalism to be negative models: helping us understand who we are by showing us what we are not.
  • Culture in the Time of Tolerance: Al-Andalus as a Model for Our Time

    Menocal, Maria (2000-05-09)
    María Rosa Menocal is the R. Selden Rose Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and director of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University. This is the text of a lecture given at the closing dinner of the Middle East Legal Studies Seminar (MELSS), Istanbul, Turkey, May 9, 2000. These remarks are all adapted from material in the author's forthcoming book, The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain to be published by Little, Brown and Company in the spring of 2002.