Conference: Law and coercion

10th –11th December 2015, Amsterdam Centre for Law and Economics, University of Amsterdam, NL

Deadline for abstracts: 25 September 2015

Law and coercion: the role of public and private enforcement in law

The Amsterdam Centre for Law and Economics and the Paul Scholten Centre for Jurisprudence at the University of Amsterdam, in cooperation with the interdisciplinary academic network MetaLawEcon, organise a workshop on Law and coercion: the role of public and private enforcement in law.

The workshop will focus on the role of coercion in law and the meaning and relevance of public/private enforcement. Questions to be discussed include the following:
• Is there any merit to the conventional and arguably naive view of law as set of rules enforced by a state? If so, what? If not, is there any relevance, moral, historical or economic, of coercion in law? How would such a conventional view of coercive law account for the fact that in social interactions the “shadow of the law” is often distant and bleak? How should coercion be operationalised in economic analysis, theoretical or empirical?
• How – if at all – does law’s capacity to authorize coercion and enforcement shape the discursive and epistemic qualities of law? Can the possibility of coercion on the basis of law explain some features of legal reasoning and legal categories, such as methods of interpretation, presumptions, burden of proof, etc.? Does the possibility of coercion and enforcement foster a particular form of practical reasoning distinct from other disciplines and social practices?
• What distinguishes public and private enforcement of law? How is the distinction related to moral, historical or economic considerations about the role of law in society? Does the private/public distinction express or track substantive morally relevant differences in how law gets involved in individuals’ lives and business?  How can this distinction map onto doctrinal categories and boundaries such as public and private law; torts and crimes; hard and soft law?

This will be a small scale advanced workshop, with 2 invited speakers, about 20 participants from various disciplines, including law, economics, philosophy, and social sciences.

We are very pleased to have as our keynote speakers:
Fernando Gómez (Universidad Pompeu Fabra School of Law)
Alon Harel (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law)

If you want to present a paper please send an abstract of no more than 500 words for consideration to Peter Cserne (p.cserne[at] and Bas Schotel (b.schotel1[at] by 25 September. Papers on the topics above are especially welcome but submissions on any aspect of the general theme of the workshop will be considered. Decisions will be communicated early October. If your abstract is selected you will be asked to provide a complete paper (full draft) by 30 November to be circulated in advance among participants.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s