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Адрес: г. Москва, Б. Трехсвятительский пер., д. 3, 452

E-mail: theoryoflaw@hse.ru

Тел.: 8 495 772 95 90 доб.22051


Руководитель департамента Нагих Сергей Иванович
Заместитель руководителя департамента Быстров Андрей Сергеевич
Менеджер Сабинин Дмитрий Денисович

вн. тел. 22051

Менеджер Чернушина Вера Олеговна

вн. тел. 23159

Contemporary Issues in Legal Theory

Учебный год
Обучение ведется на английском языке
Когда читается:
1, 2 модуль


Course Syllabus


The law is not a hermetically sealed system of norms and regulations. It is primarily a system of ideas about the nature of man and society. As such it has always been and still remains a field of enquiry which reflects the breakthroughs in other disciplines: political philosophy and ontology, linguistics and psychology, even biochemistry and physics. At the same time the law is not only a collection of theoretical notions, but an active normative system, which affects all walks of life. It is impossible therefore to understand the social world without acquaintance with the main currents of legal thought and contemporary issues in legal theory. This course is based on reading and discussing the articles, preprints and book chapters, which deal with the most tricky questions in the field of theoretical jurisprudence: free will, personhood, sovereignty, AI, animal rights and other complicated phenomena. The exact structure of the course and the choice of specific texts for each academic year remain a lecturer's discretion. The students are expected to read the materials at home and engage in a class-room discussion of the topics raised in the texts.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The aim of this course is to get the graduate students acquainted with contemporary problems in the field of legal theory through reading and discussing the articles published in academic journals and open-access preliminary drafts in leading academic aggregators.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Understands the issues of free will and determinism in the legal context.
  • Understands the problematic nature of a collective subject, such as nation, corporation, ethnic groups, etc. and the legal issues surrounding it.
  • Understands the issues of popular rule, paradoxes of democracy and sovereignty
  • Understands the issues concerning the possible legal agency of AI
  • Understands the moral dilemmas which may have influence on legal norms and decisions
  • Understands the concept and the research programme of legal pluralism studies
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Free Will as a Matter of Law
  • Collective Identity
  • Paradoxes of Popular Rule
  • Artificial Intelligence and Legal Agency
  • Moral Dilemmas in Law
  • Legal Pluralism
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Classroom discussion activity
    The students are being assessed on the basis of their attendance of the classes and activity in the discussions in the classroom: they have to show their knowledge of the lecture material, recommended literature and their own analysis and research.
  • non-blocking Written exam
    A written exam during which the students share their knowledge and thoughts on one of the topics offered by the lecturer from among the topics discussed in class. They are not allowed to use any resources, texts, etc.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2022/2023 2nd module
    0.4 * Classroom discussion activity + 0.6 * Written exam


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Constituent power and the constitution. (2016). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198754527.003.0008
  • Foot, P. (2002). Moral Dilemmas : And Other Topics in Moral Philosophy. Clarendon Press.
  • Free will : a very short introduction, Pink, T., 2004
  • Free Will and Law: Toward a Pragmatic Approach. (2017). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.B6138A74
  • Genocide : a comprehensive introduction, Jones, A., 2017
  • Great philosophical objections to artificial intelligence : the history and legacy of the AI wars, , 2021
  • Research Handbook on the Law of Artificial Intelligence. Woodrow Barfield; Ugo Pagallo. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018.
  • Swenson, G. (2018). Legal Pluralism in Theory and Practice. International Studies Review, 20(3), 438–462. https://doi.org/10.1093/isr/vix060
  • The paradox of constitutionalism : constituent power and constitutional form, , 2008

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • A realistic theory of law, Tamanaha, B. Z., 2017
  • Alfred R. Mele. (2015). Surrounding Free Will : Philosophy, Psychology, Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.
  • Artificial intelligence, , 2019
  • Free will: a guide for the perplexed, Mawson, T. J., 2011
  • Genocide : a normative account, May, L., 2010
  • Genocide and crimes against humanity : misconceptions and confusion in French law and practice, Fournet, C., 2013
  • Genocide in international law : the crime of crimes, Schabas, W. A., 2009
  • Genocide, state crime and the law : in the name of the state, Balint, J., 2012
  • Globalization and popular sovereignty : democracy's transnational dilemma, Lupel, A., 2011
  • Human compatible : artificial intelligence and the problem of control, Russell, S., 2019
  • Inhuman power : artificial intelligence and the future of capitalism, Dyer-Witheford, N., 2019
  • Jasper, J. M., & McGarry, A. (2015). The Identity Dilemma : Social Movements and Collective Identity. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=987825
  • Legal pluralism in conflict : coping with cultural diversity in law, Shah, P., 2005
  • Legal pluralism in the Arab world, , 1999
  • McKenna, M., Pereboom, D., & Pereboom, D. (2016). Free Will : A Contemporary Introduction. New York, NY: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1271658
  • Merry, S. E. (1988). Legal Pluralism. Law & Society Review, 22(5), 869–896. https://doi.org/10.2307/3053638
  • Mind, brain, and free will, Swinburne, R., 2013
  • Moral dilemmas in medieval thought : from Gratian to Aquinas, Dougherty, M. V., 2011
  • Moral dilemmas of modern war : torture, assassination, and blackmail in an age of asymmetric conflict, Gross, M. L., 2010
  • Pereboom, D. (2001). Living Without Free Will. Cambridge University Press.
  • Realistic Socio-Legal Theory : Pragmatism and a Social Theory of Law, Tamanaha, B. Z., 1999
  • Rehman, S., & Dzionek, K. J. (2018). The Trolley Problem Revisited. An Exploratory Study. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.9EFCDCCA
  • Rescher, N. (2015). Free Will : A Philosophical Reappraisal (Vol. Revised paperback edition). New Brunswick: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=972488
  • Research handbook on legal pluralism and EU law, , 2018
  • Reyntjens, F. (2016). Legal Pluralism and Hybrid Governance: Bridging Two Research Lines. Development & Change, 47(2), 346–366. https://doi.org/10.1111/dech.12221
  • Sartori, P., & Shahar, I. (2012). Legal Pluralism in Muslim-Majority Colonies: Mapping the Terrain. Journal of the Economic & Social History of the Orient, 55(4/5), 637–663. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685209-12341274
  • The Oxford handbook of free will, , 2002
  • The philosophy of free will : essential readings from the contemporary debates, , 2013
  • Towards a truly common law : Europe as a laboratory for legal pluralism, Delmas-Marty, M., 2005