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Associate Professor; Secretary of Degree Committee


Lars Vinx works in legal and political philosophy as well as in constitutional theory. His research aims to offer a defence of the view that the rule of law and constitutionalism are indispensable to the legitimation of political power. Vinx currently investigates the question whether robust forms of constitutional control of legislative and executive power are justifiable by appeal to the notion of popular sovereignty. He also has a strong interest in the history of political and constitutional thought - with a focus on the constitutional theory of the Weimar Republic - and has published on the legal-theoretical and political-theoretical writings of Hans Kelsen and Carl Schmitt. Before coming to Cambridge, Vinx was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and then taught in the Department of Philosophy at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. He received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto and holds an MA in history, philosophy and political science from the University of Heidelberg.


Carl Schmitt's Early Legal Theoretical Writings: 'Statute and Judgment' and 'The Value of the State and the Significance of the Individual', edited and translated by Lars Vinx and Samuel Garrett Zeitlin, with an introduction by Lars Vinx and Samuel Garrett Zeitlin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021). 

The Guardian of the Constitution: Hans Kelsen and Carl Schmitt on the Limits of Constitutional Law, edited and translated by Lars Vinx, with an introduction by Lars Vinx (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Hans Kelsen’s Pure Theory of Law: Legality and Legitimacy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).


'Pauer-Studer and Radbruch's Second Thesis', Jurisprudence 14 (2023) 282-290.

'Personality, Authority and Self-Esteem in Hobbes's Leviathan', Intellectual History Review 32 (2022) 135-155.

'Kletzer on Permissions', American Journal of Jurisprudence 66 (2021) 309-320.

'Hans Kelsen and the Material Constitution of Democracy', Jurisprudence 12 (2021) 466-490.

'Carl Schmitt on the Limits of Direct Democracy', History of Political Thought 42 (2021) 157-183.

'Democratic Equality and Militant Democracy', Constellations 27 (2020) 685-701.

‘Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde and the Politics of Constituent Power’, Jurisprudence 10 (2019) 15-38.

‘Santi Romano Against the State?’, Ethics and Global Politics 11 (2018) 25-36.

‘The Political Theology of the Secular State in Hobbes and Böckenförde’, Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 7 (2018) 51-73.

‘The Hegemonic Preservation Thesis Revisited – The Example of Turkey’, Hague Journal on the Rule of Law 9 (2017) 45-82. (co-authored with Gülşen Seven)

‘Kelsen ve Hukuk ve Devletin Özdeşliği’, Çankaya Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi Dergisi 1 (2016) 99-122 (translated by Mehmet Turhan).

‘Does Freedom of Association Justify Restrictions on Immigration?’, Res Cogitans 10 (2015) 61-78.

‘The Incoherence of (Strong) Popular Sovereignty’, ICON. International Journal of Constitutional Law 11 (2013) 101-124.

‘Carl Schmitt and the Analogy Between Constitutional and International Law: Are Constitutional and International Law Inherently Political?’, Global Constitutionalism 2 (2013) 91-124.

‘Austin, Kelsen, and the Model of Sovereignty’, Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 24 (2011) 473-490.

‘Constitutional Indifferentism and Republican Freedom’, Political Theory 38 (2010) 809-837.

‘Institutionalizing the Just War? A Critical Comment on Allen Buchanan’, Trames 11 (2007) 382-402. 

‘Zur Transformation der Monarchie von Aristoteles zu Ockham’, Vivarium 40 (2002) 41-74 (co-authored with Karl Ubl).

Book Chapters

'Constituent Power against Popular Sovereignty', in Peter Niesen, Markus Patberg and Lucia Rubinelli (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Constituent Power (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

'Hans Kelsen and the Crisis of Democracy', in Jorge Nunez (ed), Kelsen's Global Legacy. Essays on Legal and Political Philosophy (Oxford: Hart Publishing, forthcoming). 

'Carl Schmitt in Leipzig', in Felix Waldmann and Samuel Garrett Zeitlin (eds), Constitutionalism and Modern Political Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

'Kelsen's Argument for Constitutional Review - A Reappraisal', in Sandrine Baume and David Ragazzoni (eds), Kelsen on Democracy. Genesis, Theory, Legacies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

'The Problem of Immoral Integrity', in Thomas Bustamante and Margaret Martin (eds), Essays on the Fish-Dworkin Debate (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2023) 343-361.

'Carl Schmitt and the Political Theology of Populism', in Eerik Lagerspetz and Oili Pulkkinen (eds), Essays on Criticism and Crises of Democracy: Between Theory and Practice (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2023) 109-125.

'The Material Constitution of the Dual State', in Marco Goldoni and Michael Wilkinson (eds), The Cambridge Handbook on the Material Constitution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023) 100-111.

'Dworkin and the Aspirations of International Law', in Nicolette Bersier, Christoph Bezemek and Fred Schauer (eds), Common Law - Civil Law: The Great Divide? (Dordrecht: Springer, 2022) 169-191.

'Some Untidy Reflections on the Betti-Gadamer Debate', in Emilio Betti, Hermeneutics as a General Methodology of the Sciences of the Spirit (Abingdon: Routledge, 2021) xi-xxv. 

‘Are There Inherent Limits of Constitutional Amendment? An Analysis of Carl Schmitt’s Argument’, in Matilda Arvidsson, Leila Brännström and Panu Minkkinen (eds), The People: Popular Rule, Constitutional Law, and Politics (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020) 61-76.

‘Schauer on the Differentiation of Law’, in Christoph Bezemek and Nicoletta Ladavac (eds), The Force of Law Reaffirmed – Frederick Schauer Meets the Critics (Dordrecht: Springer, 2016) 129-143.

‘The Kelsen/Hart Exchange: Kelsen’s Legal Monism Reconsidered’, in Jeremy Telman (ed), Hans Kelsen in America. Selective Affinities and the Mysteries of Academic Influence (Dordrecht: Springer, 2016) 59-83.

‘Carl Schmitt and the Problem of Constitutional Guardianship’, in Matilda Arvidsson, Leila Brännström and Panu Minkkinen (eds), The Contemporary Relevance of Carl Schmitt: Law, Politics, Theology (Abingdon: Routledge, 2015) 34-49.

‘Carl Schmitt’s Defense of Sovereignty’, in Thomas Poole and David Dyzenhaus (eds), Theorists of Constitutional Crisis: Oakeshott, Hayek and Schmitt on Law, Liberty and State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015) 96-122.

‘Hobbes on Civic Liberty and the Rule of Law’, in Thomas Poole and David Dyzenhaus (eds), Hobbes and the Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012) 145-64.

‘Austin, Kelsen, and the Model of Sovereignty: Notes on the History of Modern Legal Positivism’, in Michael Freeman and Patricia Mindus (eds), The Legacy of John Austin’s Jurisprudence (Dordrecht: Springer, 2012) 51-71.

‘Kelsen’s Identitätsthese und das Problem der Rechtsstaatlichkeit’, in Tamara Ehs (ed), Hans Kelsen und die europäische Union. Erörterungen moderner Staatlichkeit (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2008) 57-74.

‘Kirche, Arbeit und Eigentum bei Johannes Quidort von Paris’, in Christoph Egger and Herwig Weigl (eds), Text – Schrift – Codex. Quellenkundliche Arbeiten aus dem Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung (Wien/ München: Oldenbourg, 2000) 304-344. (co-authored with Karl Ubl)

Encyclopedia Entries

'Three Conceptions of Constitutional Legitimacy', in Cristina Hermida del Llano (ed), Encyclopedia of Contemporary Constitutionalism (forthcoming).

‘Carl Schmitt’, in James D. Wright (ed), The International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, vol. 21 (Oxford: Elsevier, 2015) 28-33.

‘Carl Schmitt’, in Edward N. Zalta (ed), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Fall 2014 (online).

Book Reviews

Ted H. Miller, Friendly Sovereignty: Historical Perspectives on Carl Schmitt's Neglected Exception, Perspectives on Politics 21 (2023) 719-721.

Herrmann Heller, Sovereignty. A Contribution to the Theory of Public and International Law, Jurisprudence 11 (2020) 131-139.

Benjamin Schupmann, Carl Schmitt's State and Constitutional Theory: A Critical Analysis, Constellations 27 (2020) 321-323.

Jens Meierhenrich, The Remnants of the Rechtsstaat. An Ethnography of Nazi Law, Cambridge Law Journal 78 (2019) 438-441.

Martin Loughlin, Political Jurisprudence, Cambridge Law Journal 77 (2018) 639-642.

Michael Dreyer and Andreas Braune (eds), Weimar als Herausforderung: Die Weimarer Republik und die Demokratie im 21. Jahrhundert, German History 36 (2018) 148-150.

Ian Bryan, Peter Langford, and John McGarry (eds), The Foundation of the Juridico-Political: Concept Formation in Hans Kelsen and Max Weber and Ian Bryan, Peter Langford and John McGarry (eds),The Reconstruction of the Juridico-Political: Affinity and Divergence in Hans Kelsen and Max Weber, Max Weber Studies 17 (2017) 116-123.

Henning Grunwald, Courtroom to Revolutionary Stage: Performance and Ideology in Weimar Political Trials, German History 31 (2013) 429-430.

Paul W. Kahn, Political Theology. Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (June 2011, online).

Richard Bellamy, Political Constitutionalism: A Republican Defence of the Constitutionality of Democracy, University of Toronto Law Journal 59 (2009) 591-597.

Antony Carty, Philosophy of International Law, Philosophy in Review 29 (2009) 164-165.

Otfried Höffe, Categorical Principles of Law. A Counterpoint to Modernity, Ethics 114 (2004) 353-356.

Research centres and interest groups