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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Who are “We the People”? Community beyond the state


Summary

“The people” are sovereign; “the people’s will” must prevail; but who are “the people”? Who gets to belong to this group, and who decides? How do individuals coalesce into a collective “people”, and what other communities are formed in the same way?

This project, drawing on Durham’s strengths in Classics, Law, Human Geography, Politics, and History, investigates how individuals come together to form communities which are legal or social entities in themselves.

One strand, led primarily by Classics and CNCS (who will be holding a parallel lecture series on popular sovereignty) will consider definitions of “the people” from antiquity to today, from the populus Romanus to ‘real Americans’. The second, led primarily by colleagues in Law and SGIA, will explore contemporary communities larger or smaller than the state, from the Cham people in Southeast Asia to Scottish nationalists, and from identity groups looking to find their place within a state to groups seeking recognition as part of the international community.

The project seeks to draw prestigious visiting fellows to the project, and will feed into multiple departments’ strategic plans for internationalisation. The primary outputs will be a seven-figure grant application led by Dr Amy Russell, but an equally important goal will be developing new research areas and collaborations, and methodologies.

Term: Epiphany 2019

Principal Investigator: Dr Amy Russell, Department of Classics and Ancient History, amy.russell@durham.ac.uk


IAS Fellows

PROJECT EVENTS 2018/19

Workshops

Workshop A: “We the People”
Co-organized by Dr Amy Russell (Classics) and Dr Richard Huzzey (History)

31 January – 1 February 2019, Birley Room, Hatfield College

Participants include

  • Dr Christopher Bonner (History, University of Maryland);
  • Dr Sarah Campbell (History, Newcastle University);
  • Dr Mike Finn (History, University of Exeter);
  • Dr Emily Jones (History, University of Manchester);
  • Professor Daniel Kapust (Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison);
  • Professor Michèle Lowrie (Classics, University of Chicago and IAS Fellows);
  • Dr Diego Palacios Cerezales (History, University of Stirling);
  • Dr Dinyar Patel (History, University of South Carolina);
  • Dr Mark Somos (Law, Heidelberg);
  • Professor Justin Willis (History, Durham University).

How have the “people” who are the official holders of popular sovereignty been defined and understood across time and space? Who controls access to this group, and who is excluded? What internal divisions exist within the unitary entity of “the people”? How does individual identity relate to belonging to this group?

This informal, international, and interdisciplinary workshop will explore a range of questions relating to the people and peoplehood, as part of the IAS Major Project ‘Who are “We the People”? Community Beyond the State’. For more information on the project, see https://www.dur.ac.uk/ias/201819projects/russell/.

Papers will be short and informal, and discussion is encouraged.

All welcome, but registration required. Registration is free and includes tea/coffee and snacks during the workshop. To register, please email amy.russell@dur.ac.uk by 21 January 2019.

For the full agenda and timings please see: www.dur.ac.uk/ias/events/events_listings/?eventno=40588

Workshop B: “Community Beyond the (Nation) State”

7-8 March 2019, Birley Room, Hatfield College

A workshop co-organized by Dr Amy Russell (Classics) and Dr Henry Jones (History).

What other forms of legally or culturally defined community exist, and how do they relate to the legal entities defined by the state? How should we understand communities larger or smaller than the state, or not defined by state boundaries? What is the range of possibilities for citizenship, community, and belonging?

This informal, international, and interdisciplinary workshop will explore a range of questions relating to the people and peoplehood, as part of the IAS Major Project ‘Who are “We the People”? Community Beyond the State’.

Papers will be short and informal, and discussion is encouraged.

All welcome, but registration required. Registration is free and includes tea/coffee and snacks during the workshop. To register, please email h.r.g.jones@dur.ac.uk by 25 February 2019.

Participants include:

  • Dr Rosa Andújar (Classics, King’s College London);
  • Dr Grietje Baars (Law, City, University of London);
  • Dr Erin Johnson-Williams (Music, Durham University);
  • Dr Cherry Leonardi (History, Durham University);
  • Dr Devyani Prabhat (Law, University of Bristol);
  • Jake Richards (History, University of Cambridge);
  • Tom Sparks (Law, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public and International Law);
  • Professor LyndseyStonebridge (English Literature, University of Birmingham);
  • Craig Whittall (SGIA, Durham University)

Tuesdays commencing 15 January – 19 March, 4pm, 2019, Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Study

15 January 2019
Dr Amy Russell (Classics, Durham) and Dr Henry Jones (Law, Durham)
Who are We the People?

22 January 2019
Dr Claire Sutherland (SGIA, Durham)
Cham in Southeast Asia: Between Community and Fluidity

29 January 2019
Dr Alan Greene (Law, Birmingham)
People have the Power? Constituent Power and the Paradox of Constitutionalism

5 February 2019
Professor Gert van der Wilt (Healthcare, Radboud/IAS)
Saying no to health care technology: strictly private choices, or forging communities?

12 February 2019
Dr Ruth Houghton (Law, Newcastle): Professor Aoife O’Donoghue (Law, Durham)
Weaving Communities: Reading Feminist Science Fiction for Global Constitutionalisation

19 February 2019
Professor Michèle Lowrie (Classics, IAS/Chicago) and Dr Ioannis Ziogas (Classics, Durham)
The bonds of affection

26 February 2019
Dr Richard Huzzey (History, Durham) and Dr Henry Miller (History, Durham)
Colonial Subjects and Petitions to Parliament, c. 1780-1918

5 March 2019
Professor Paul Pickering (History, IAS/ANU)
Who decides who are the People?

12 March 2019
Dr Michael Sevel (Law, Sydney) and Dr Henry Jones(Law, Durham)
Reflections on beyond the (nation) state

19 March 2019
Dr Helen Roche (History, Durham):
Back to the Ancient Future! Classicising National Imaginaries inFascist Italy and Nazi Germany

Any further questions or interest in this project should be addressed to Dr Amy Russell (amy.russell@durham.ac.uk).

Please review IAS Events listing for any changes of date or venue.