Yale Law School:”Montesquieu’s Shadow”

Event time: 
Friday, November 10, 2023 - 9:00am
Saturday, November 11, 2023 - 9:00am
Yale Law School See map New Haven, CT 06520
Event description: 

The Yale Law School presents a two day conference:

“Montesquieu’s Shadow.”

The conference will take place under the auspices of the Program in the Foundations of American Legal Thought at Yale Law School.

Montesquieu is regarded as the source of some of the most important ideas in law, such as the separation of powers and doux commerce. He is seen as one of the most important intellectual influences that shaped the writing of The Federalist Papers, a touchstone for originalist interpretations of the U.S. Constitution. 

This conference aims to rethink Montesquieu’s legacy in light of his engagement with non-Western regimes, by bringing together scholars at the cutting edge of Montesquieu scholarship. By reading Montesquieu in light of his engagements with the non-European world, we argue that it is possible to excavate the unquestioned assumptions at the heart of his well-known ideas, and how those assumptions continue to shape—and possibly limit—our thinking today.


  • Paul Cheney (Prof. of History, University of Chicago)
  • Alex Haskins (Asst. Prof. of Politics, Wheaton College)
  • Mateo Mauricio Montoya (PhD Cand., History of Science, Harvard University)
  • Michael Mosher (Prof. of Political Science, University of Tulsa)
  • Manjeet Ramgotra (Senior Lecturer in Political Theory, SOAS, University of London)
  • Teemu Ruskola (Prof. of Law & Chinese Law and Society, University of Pennsylvania)
  • Will Selinger (Asst. Prof. of Constitutional Studies, University of Oklahoma)
  • Hugo Toudic (PhD Cand., CNRS, University of Chicago/Sorbonne Université)


  • Annelien de Dijn (Prof. of History, Utrecht University)
  • Céline Spector (Prof. of Philosophy, Sorbonne Université)
  • Wan Ning Seah (PhD Cand., Duke University)


  • Kate Yoon (JD Cand., Yale Law School)
  • Mark Firmani (Asst. Prof. of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, Amherst College)
Open to: 
General Public