Joint Straus/Senior Emile Noël Fellow
Academic Year 2011-2012

 

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Damian Chalmers is Professor and Jean Monnet Chair in EU law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Until August 2010 he was Head of the European Institute as well as of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was formerly editor of the European Law Review and EU Jurist. He has held visiting appointments at, inter alia, the College of Europe, Fundacao Getulio Vargas and the Instituto de Empresa. To view Damien Chalmers' page on the London School of Economics and Politcal Science website look here.

Research Project:

To Thy Transnational Self Be True?

Across the world human beings are confronted by a proliferation of transnational public policies, laws and technical norms which make claims over them and about them but also invariably assertions that they are for their benefits. The forms, subject-matter and language of these policies and laws is extremely diverse. However, if we are to talk of 'transnational', 'international' or 'regional' law in anything other than the most formalistic and empty terms, we have to consider the Public Reason that might inform it. For it is this Public Reason which is central to modern acceptance of legal authority.

Looking in particular at EU law as a particular intense form of transnational law, this research project considers whether there is a distinctive 'transnational' Public Reason which underpins transnational legal authority, and serves to identify and distinguish it from domestic law. It wonders whether much transnational law appeals perhaps more strongly than other forms of law to a particular vision of the Human Condition in which law is predominantly a vessel for a form of secular self-realisation. Individuals are expected to have ever greater choices to exercise an ever greater number of entitlements and take on ever greater responsibilities. If so, this begs the question as to what limits can be put on such a form of Public Reason, and the possibilities other forms of belief and reason offer for contouring and containing it.