Quentin Skinner

Regno Unito

Premio Balzan 2006 per la storia e la teoria del pensiero politico

Progetto di ricerca

Balzan-Skinner Lectures and International Conferences

Quentin Skinner is Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London. The second half of his Balzan Prize was used for a lecture series, a two-volume publication and a cycle of international conferences.

The Balzan-Skinner Lectures, University of Cambridge
This series of annual lectures with accompanying one-day conferences on themes in modern intellectual history was delivered for seven years at the University of Cambridge under the joint auspices of the Faculty of History and the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). Each lecturer was made a Fellow at CRASSH during the academic term in which the lecture and accompanying conference took place, thereby providing the lecturer with a period of residence at Cambridge and the opportunity to make use of the full range of its outstanding facilities for research. The regulations specified that the lectureship be restricted to younger researchers (lecturers could be no further advanced in their careers than 10 years since the completion of their PhD); that each lecture should be delivered on a topic in Modern Intellectual History (1500 to the present day); and that a one-day conference be associated with each lecture, to which other younger researchers in the relevant field were invited. The Appointments Committee ensured that the lectureship was equally open and hospitable to researchers working in all idioms and traditions of intellectual history.

The original intention of the Balzan Foundation was that this series should run for five years. Due, however, to the exceptional care with which the endowment was managed by the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge, it proved possible to appoint seven lecturers, the last of whom delivered the final Balzan-Skinner Lecture in April 2016. The complete list of lectures is as follows:
Dr. Hannah Dawson, University of Edinburgh, The Normativity of Nature, September 2010.
Dr. Joel Isaac, Queen Mary, University of London, Radical Translation: Analytic Philosophy in America, May 2011.
Dr. Timothy Stanton, University of York, John Locke and the Fable of Liberalism, October 2012.
Dr. Gabriel Paquette, Johns Hopkins University, Romantic Liberalism in Southern Europe, c. 1820-1850, April 2013.
Dr. Karuna Mantena, Yale University, Gandhi’s Realism: Means and Ends in Politics, May 2014.
Dr. Anna Becker, University of Basel, Gender in the History of Early Modern Political Thought, May 2015.
Dr. Teresa Bejan, University of Oxford, Acknowledging Equality: respect and contempt in seventeenth-century English political thought, April 2016.

Dr. Bejan’s was the last lecture funded by the Balzan Foundation. However, the series was such a success that the University of Cambridge agreed to continue to fund an annual lecture and Fellowship along similar lines. The main change is that, whereas the funding provided by the Balzan Foundation enabled the University employing the Balzan-Skinner Fellow to be reimbursed for the Fellow’s release from teaching and other duties, this practice can no longer be sustained. However, there will still be an annual Fellowship and accompanying lecture, which in future will be called The Quentin Skinner Fellowship.

The Balzan Conferences, European University Institute
A series of four international conferences under the general title Freedom and the Construction of Europe took place (July 2008-September 2009) at the Conference Centre of the European University Institute (EUI) at San Domenico di Fiesole (Florence). An international advertisement resulted in over one hundred applications from young scholars wishing to join the core group; twenty-two names were finally selected. The titles of the conferences were as follows: Religious Freedom and Civil Liberty (3-5 July 2008), Liberty and Liberties in Legal and Constitutional Thought (24-28 September 2008), The Freedom of Individuals (1-5 July 2009) and European Freedom and its Boundaries (23-27 September 2009). The proceedings of the EUI conferences were published as a book in 2013. (For full details see below.)

Skinner, Quentin and Martin van Gelderen, eds. Freedom and the Construction of Europe: Volume I: Religious and constitutional liberties, xv+411pp., Cambridge University Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-107-03306-1; Volume II: Free Persons and Free States, xv+405pp., Cambridge University Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-107- 03307-8.

Excerpt from the: The Balzan Prizewinners’ Research Projects: An Overview 2018