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The INFAR-program of the Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Paul Scholten Centre for Jurisprudence of the University of Amsterdam cordially invite you to a workshop with Prof. Brian Z. Tamanaha. Prof. Tamanaha will discuss his new book on Social Legal Theory with Prof. Martijn Hesselink (University of Amsterdam) and Prof. Jan Klabbers (University of Helsinki

Detail Summary
Date 13 June 2016
Time 14:00 - 17:00
Location Bijzondere Collecties
Room Nina van Leerzaal, Bijzondere Collecties UvA, Oude Turfmarkt 129, Amsterdam
Bijzondere Collecties
Bijzondere Collecties

Room Nina van Leerzaal, Bijzondere Collecties UvA, Oude Turfmarkt 129, Amsterdam

Oude Turfmarkt 129
1012 GC Amsterdam



Introduction by Prof. Tamanaha 
Comments on chapter 5 ‘Law in the Modern Age’ by Prof. Hesselink 

15.30-15.45h Coffee break


Comments by on chapter 6 ‘What is International Law?’ by Prof. Klabbers 
Questions and discussion with the audience

17.00h Drinks

About the book

The basic idea of the book is an effort to redraw the lines of contemporary jurisprudence, away from the dominance of analytical jurisprudence (and natural law), toward a social-historical theory of law. The Introduction and first chapter pave the way for this reconstruction by articulating the perspective of social legal theory and the place it occupies in jurisprudence.  Chapters 2 and 3 are analytical chapters that cast doubt on prevailing assumptions within analytical jurisprudence about the concept of law and necessary, universal truths about law.  Chapter 4 begins to construct an alternative theory of law by tracing the development of law over time in connection with growing social complexity, and the spread of law as a social construction.  Chapter 5 highlights how law has transformed in the modern age of organizations.  Chapter 6 moves the analysis to the international realm, describing the historical development of international law, and how that relates to interaction between and across polities in relation to transnational organizations and regulation.


Professor Tamanaha (PhD, Harvard) is a renowned jurisprudence and law and society scholar, and the author of eight books and numerous scholarly articles. His books, including A General Jurisprudence of Law and Society (Oxford UP, 2001) and On the Rule of Law (Cambridge UP, 2004), have been translated into many languages. Prof. Tamanaha has delivered public lectures in a dozen countries, and spent a year in residence as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where he completed Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide (Princeton UP, 2010). In 2013, a National Jurist poll of 300 law deans and professors voted Professor Tamanaha #1 Most Influential Legal Educator, owing to his critical examination of the legal academy in Failing Law Schools (Chicago UP 2012). Before becoming a law professor, Prof. Tamanaha clerked for the Hon. Walter E. Hoffman, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, was an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Hawaii, was an Assistant Attorney General for Yap State in Micronesia, and was Legal Counsel for the 1990 Micronesian Constitutional Convention. 

This colloquium is open to all, no registration required. To receive the relevant chapters or for more information, please contact Roland Pierik via 

For an overview of upcoming PSC Colloquia: see

Rob Schwitters & Roland Pierik

Paul Scholten Centre for Jurisprudence

University of Amsterdam   |  |