OZSW Summer Seminar 2016 – ‘Coming to terms with power’

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and Radboud University Nijmegen (RUN) invite PhD students in philosophy to register for the Summer Seminar “Coming to terms with power” to take place August 25-26, 2016.

Organizing university

Radboud University Nijmegen


Thursday 25 August 2016, 14h00 – Friday 26 August 2016, 13h00



Type of activity

2-day summer school

Primary target group

PhD students

If places available, also open to

2nd year ReMa students

Application/registration deadline

August 1st, 2016

About the topic

Key words: the nature of (the state’s) power: its legitimacy, its application and its manifestation, from the analytical and continental perspectives respectively.

The concept of ‘power’ is a central topic in contemporary political philosophy. The concept is used and interpreted in vastly different, possibly incompatible, ways. For starters, we will focus on the reception of Spinoza’s philosophy of potentia (and potestas) in French philosophy in the sixties and seventies, which had a huge impact in other countries (e.g. Italy, Germany and the English speaking countries). In this seminar, we will explore this particular history of an idea with special attention to the difference between continental and analytical approaches.


Program Thursday, August 25
13h00-14h00: Welcome
14h00-14h15 Introduction to the program (organizers)
14h15-15h45 Marin Terpstra: Reception of Spinoza’s concept of power in contemporary political philosophy (paper and discussion)
15h45-16h00 Break
16h00-18h00 David Owen: Continental and analytical approaches of the concept of power (paper and discussion)
18h00-20h00 Break and Dinner
20h00-21h30 Evert van der Zweerde: Power and democracy in contemporary democratic theory (paper and discussion)

Program Friday, August 26
10h00-11h30 Marcel Wissenburg: Five Theses On Power And The Anglo-Saxon Tradition
11h30-12h00 Break
12h00-13h00 Response and Conclusion by David Owen
13h00 Lunch

Certificate / credit points

Participants can get a certificate of participation.


Admission is free.

Location / accommodation details

For Thursday August 25 : Erasmusplein 1, , Erasmusgebouw, room 15.41 (15.39)
For Friday August 26 : Erasmusplein 1, , Erasmusgebouw, room 3.18


How to apply / register

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2016.

Registration/application form


Sections of Political Theory and Social and Political Philosophy of Radboud University, Nijmegen: dr. Marin Terpstra, dr. Anya Topolski, prof. dr. Marcel Wissenburg, prof. dr. Evert van der Zweerde.

Contact info

For further information related to the contents of this course, admission and questions concerning accommodation, please contact Marin Terpstra (m.terpstra@ftr.ru.nl). For practical inquiries, please contact secretariaat@ozsw.nl.