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Theory Talks

Contact: Silvia Steininger

Theory Talks provides a forum for research fellows and visiting scholars of the Max Planck Institute to discuss questions relating to legal, political, and moral theory. The seminars normally take place once a month, and will include a short introductory talk (10-15 minutes) followed by a general discussion. Each seminar will focus on a new publication, a classic text, or a current development. All are welcome to participate in the discussions.

For previous sessions, please check the Archive.

From 2021-2023, Francesca Iurlaro was part of the organizing team.

Fellows or visitors wishing to present in or to suggest a theme for a future edition of Theory Talks are warmly invited to contact .


19th January - 15.30-17.30

In Memoriam Karen Knop​​​​​​​

Please join us to honour the work and legacy of Professor Karen Knop (1960-2022).  Karen’s scholarship has made an indelible contribution to the study of international law in numerous fields, but above all on self-determination and sovereignty, foreign relations law, public/private international law, and feminist approaches to international law.  We’re delighted to be joined by four speakers, Prof. Anne Peters, Prof. Jutta Brunnée, Prof. Aoife O’Donoghue, and Prof. Martti Koskenniemi, each of whom will briefly reflect on Karen’s contribution to international legal academia, followed by a general discussion.


  • ‘Here and There: International Law in Domestic Courts’, (2000) 32 New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 501;
  • ‘Re/Statements: Feminism and State Sovereignty in International Law’, (1993) 3 Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems 293;
  • ‘Gender and the Lost Private Side of International law’ in Brett, Donaldson & Koskenniemi, History, Politics, Law: Thinking through the International (CUP 2021), 357;
  • ‘Eunomia is a Woman: Philip Allott and Feminism’ (2005) 16 European Journal of International Law 315;
  • Diversity and Self-Determination in International Law (CUP 2002), Chapter 8 & Conclusions (pp. 358-381).