Chair of Political Science Paul Passavant has recently returned from the University of Minnesota where his paper, “Torture and Whatever,” was discussed in the concluding meeting of this year’s Minnesota Colloquium in Political Theory.
The Colloquium was organized around the theme of “Violence and Politics,” and Passavant’s paper came at the topic by focusing on former member of the Bush administration and current law professor John Yoo’s infamous torture memos and his understanding of presidential power, which informed the legal advice he gave the Bush administration.
While visiting the University of Minnesota, Passavant met with faculty and graduate students in the fields of political theory, law, American politics, international relations and the Department of Geography. He also discussed with graduate students a work in progress on the recently disclosed report from the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility that recommended referring the cases of John Yoo and former administration official (and current federal judge) Jay Bybee to state bar associations for further review and possible disciplinary action for their poor legal work on the “torture memos,” and the decision of Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis to reject that finding.
Passavant is the author of the book “No Escape: Freedom of Speech and the Paradox of Rights” (NYU Press, 2002), the editor (with Professor of Political Science Jodi Dean) of “Empire’s New Clothes: Reading Hardt and Negri” (Routledge, 2004), and the author of numerous articles in law and political theory. His most recent article, “Policing Protest in the Post-Fordist City,” was published in the December, 2009 issue of the Amsterdam Law Forum.