A Unique Collaboration between Leading International Scholars and MPL Directors

Max Planck Law is pleased to welcome the first group of five distinguished scholars who have been awarded Max Planck Law Fellowships.

Karen Knop (University of Toronto), Dan Nagin (Carnegie Mellon University), Valérie Rosoux (University of Louvain), René Ureña (Universidad de los Andes) and Antoine Vauchez (Université Sorbonne Paris 1) will pursue innovative interdisciplinary research projects that enhance and enrich the collaboration between the law-related Max Planck Institutes and, at the same time, expand and deepen those Institutes’ international corporations. The multi-year projects permit each Fellow to form and lead a research group that will break new ground while connecting different fields of law and related disciplines.

Karen Knop, one of the world’s leading public international law scholars, has been jointly nominated by Ralf Michaels (Director MPI-Hamburg) and Anne Peters (Director MPI-Heidelberg). Prof. Knop’s project “The State of/on International Relations — New Foreign Relations Law between Public International Law, ‘External Public Law’, and Conflict of Laws” is an ideal opportunity to rekindle and strengthen the traditional connections between the Hamburg and Heidelberg Institutes on a topic of mutual interest and great academic and political importance.

Dan Nagin is one of the world’s most celebrated criminologists. He has a keen interest in rational choice theory and behavioural economics approaches to understanding and combatting crime. During his Max Planck Law Fellowship, Prof. Nagin will study “Criminal Law as Tool for Governing Society.” His project will provide the framework for joint investigations together with Jean-Lois van Gelder (Director MPI-Freiburg) and Christoph Engel (Director MPI-Bonn). Prof. Nagin’s Fellowship agenda will stimulate research on legal questions such as developmental criminology and criminal sanctions. It is expected to have a direct societal impact and spur manifold inspirations for new research methods across the entire Max Planck Law network.

Valérie Rosoux is the leading European authority on the subject of post-conflict reconciliation. For decades, Prof. Rosoux has worked on theoretical and applied challenges related to reconciliation, including activity as a lawyer, a political scientist, and a philosopher. Moreover, Prof. Rosoux’s work involves cooperation with, and insight drawn from, sociologists, psychologists, and historians.  Her aim has been to address questions of post-conflict justice and peacebuilding efforts. Not surprisingly, Prof. Rosoux’s project “The Intergenerational Memory of Mass Atrocities: The Missing Piece of Transitional Justice and Alternative Dispute Resolution” is a multidisciplinary exploration. She was nominated for the MPL Fellowship by Marie-Claire Foblets (Director MPI- Halle) and Hélène Ruiz Fabri (Director MPI-Luxembourg). There is a prevailing sense that a gap exists between the insights obtained through anthropological study and the post-conflict norms and institutions that are formalized in law. This Fellowship project can be one more step towards filling that gap and facilitating cross-fertilization of disciplinary methods.

Rene Fernando Urueña Hernandez is a well-known expert of international law far beyond Latin America and a key academic and advocate in developing a Latin American brand of transformative constitutionalism. His Fellowship project “Communities of Practice and the Transnational Production of Human Rights Knowledge in Latin America” connects with and deepens the collaborative research of Thomas Duve (Director MPI-Frankfurt) and Armin von Bogdandy (Director MPI-Heidelberg). With the help of Prof. Urueña, these Max Planck Law Directors will advance their research on the concept of “Communities of Practice,” not least, to jointly explore the most promising streams of contemporary socio-legal studies.

Antoine Vauchez is Europe’s leading scholar and commentator at the intersection of historical, political, and critical sociology of law. The Max Planck Law Directors who nominated Prof. Vauchez, Armin von Bogdandy and Stefan Vogenauer (Director MPI-Frankfurt) have emphasized the importance of Prof. Vauchez’s work for their respective research on sociological insights as a way of explaining European (legal) integration. At the heart of the Fellowship is the concept of independence that will be explored historically, in a first research strand, and socio-legally, in a second research strand. Prof. Vauchez’s in-depth expertise in social sciences other than the law will add a new and particularly valuable dimension to the work of both Institutes and to research across Max Planck Law more generally.

All Max Planck Law Fellows plan activities in relation to their research programmes, such as lectures, workshops, seminars, and publications.  The aim of their work will not only be to link their nominating Max Planck Institutes, but also to enrich Max Planck Law by connecting the work of the network with other scholars from top research institutions.