Past Events

December 2, 2013







November 29, 2013







November 22, 2013

Chaim Gans received his LL.B. from Hebrew University, B.A. and M.A. from TAU, and D. Phil. from University College, Oxford. He teaches legal, moral and political philosophy. His books are: Philosophical Anarchism and Political Disobedience(Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992); The Limits of Nationalism (Cambridge University Press, 2003); From Richard Wagner to the Right of Return: Philosophical Analysis of Israeli Public Affairs (forthcoming, in Hebrew); A Just Zionism: On the Morality of the Jewish State (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008); Three Zionisms and Post-Zionism: A Political Theory for the Jewish People (Forthcoming, Haifa University Press, Haifa, 2013) [The book won the 2011 Bahat Prize] (Hebrew).

November 22, 2013

Decolonization gave national governments newfound autonomy, generating an economic uncertainty that destroyed their terms of credit. This paper examines the sources of that uncertainty and how it manifested on international capital markets. Surprisingly, I find that former colonies' bond yields did not increase when they achieved full self-government, nor did their interest rates become exorbitant. In fact, decolonization's financial consequences were more severe than bond yields and interest rates suggest: investors refused to furnish new capital at any interest rate. Moreover, the reason for this credit rationing went beyond obvious fears of political instability and economic viability.

November 18, 2013

This paper examines how the adoption of the Australian ballot (AB), and ipso facto, the transition from the nominal to effective secret vote, shaped the nature of party politics in Brazil. Engaging the literature on political clientelism, the impact of the AB on three outcomes is studied: 1) the ideological leanings of voters at the ballot box; 2) the degree of electoral control enjoyed by local vote brokers; and 3) the capacity of citizens to effectively participate in the electoral process.

November 15, 2013





RJ Leland is a Ph.D candidate in the Philosophy Department at Stanford, specializing in ethics and political philosophy. His dissertation, Justifying Political Liberalism, argues that political liberalism is justified by an ideal of political community.

November 11, 2013

Throughout history there have been periodic clashes between scientific discoveries and religious doctrines, and even today such conflicts remain important in a number of countries. Scientific discovery is, in the long run, the ultimate driver of technological progress and therefore of economic growth. Religion is a mix of belief and institutions that confers valuable benefits to many agents, but not all. When they come into conflict the arbiter is often the state, which can allow and promote the diffusion of the new knowledge, or on the contrary try to repress and contain it in order to protect religious capital.

November 8, 2013



Johannes Urpelainen is a professor of political science at Columbia University.  His research focuses on international cooperation and institutions, especially in the field of global environmental governance. This website contains information on his academic and policy research, as well as a blog that focuses mostly on clean energy and climate change.