Last modified: October 18, 2016


Fields of Interest




Research Projects 


Development cooperation illustrates - like hardly any other field – the problems and normative challenges of global cooperation. For some, it represents a key element of global governance and an imperative of solidarity.  For others, it embodies an instrument of the hegemonic power of the global north. But whatever one’s assessment, surely development cooperation is a central field of global governance and one that is undergoing a profound transformation and increasingly regulated by law.

This is the starting point of our research. We study whether and how legal rules govern development interventions – and thereby wish to contribute to the juridification and ultimately better transparency and accountability in this central field in global politics. Our research focuses on the institutional law of development agencies, such as World Bank, United Nations, the EU and the Federal Republic of Germany.


For relevant literature, see here.


Related Events:

June 2014   

10. Global Administrative Law Seminar ‘Law and Global Governance of Development’

April 2013  

Conference on “Innovation in Governance of Development Finance” at NYU School of Law, organized in cooperation with professors Davis and Kingsbury. For the programme, click here. For further information, click here. For the conference report, click here.



The era of decolonization after the Second World War was a time of fundamental challenges to public international law. While the number of states multiplied from 51 when the UN was founded to over 120 in the early 1970s and while foundational treaties of the international legal order were negotiated (Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, human rights covenants), the newly independent states of the decolonialized south started to question the Western heritage of public international law.  Disputes cumulated in the Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order in 1974.

In the framework of an international research project, we discuss contemporary authors and theoreticians of these debates, fundamental legal concepts and institutions, and in particular issues of global economic law.



A comparison between India and the EU might not be the obvious - but Indians and Europeans share the challenge or organising a democracy in a highly diverse society. While Europeans at times doubt the feasibility of a democratic order in a multi-lingual and multi-religious context and in the light of the growing diversity, India practices democracy for almost 60 years with a surprising success. The discourse around these different experiences in the context of comparble challenges is the aim of the research project on "Law, Politics and Constitutionalism" within the framework of the Indian Advanced Research Network (IEARN).

IEARN is an informal network of research institutions based in Europe and India. Its endeavour is to bring together Indian and European academics, intellectuals, practitioners and policy makers and to encourage a new style of research on common interests through a series of conversations, workshops and meetings. The subsection on "Law, Politics and Constitutionalism" considers in comparative terms the contemporary legal and political experiences, the relationship between and the operations of constitutional law and democratic politics in India and the EU. (See also:

Under the title "Democracy in Diversity: Indian and European Perspectives" three Indo-European workshop-meetings have been held consecutively in Bangalore (2014), Berlin (2015) and Delhi (2016). The workshop series' endeavour is not only a book project with a selection of articles each co-authored by an Indian and a European scholar, but also to encourage scholarship in this specific field and to foster a long-term cooperation between the Indian and the European institutions. 




Since India gained independence in 1947, it has become one of the world’s great democracies founded on the rule of law. A constitution both autonomous and original, a supreme court both confident and innovative, and a very lively democratic process add up to a multi-faced postcolonial constitutional order, which is a fascinating and instructive object of research – in comparison as well as in itself.

Moreover, the example of India illustrates the specific conditions and developments of constitutional orders in the global south, which gain more and more importance in the global discourse on constitutional forms of government and constitutionalism. The journal Verfassung und Recht in Übersee addresses these topics.


-       Dissertation project of Tanja Herklotz: "Womens’ Rights Activism and the Supreme Court in India"

-       Dissertation project of Florian Matthey: “The Right to Education in the Indian Constitution”

-       Dissertation project of Aurora Sanchez: “The role of international and comparative law in the Pakistani legal system”

-       VRÜ

-       Comparative Constitutional Law Academy 




“The Exercise of International Public Authority” provides the focus for a number of projects analyzing the public authority exercised by international institutions. Our interest is carried by the observation that forms of international or global governance condition, supervene or substitute domestic processes and thus impact the possibilities of individual and collective self-determination. The projects aim at going beyond functionalist explanations of such authority as well as their justification by state consent. We understand international institutions as independent actors enjoying at times considerable discretion and political significance. This prompts the question of whether and how such authority may be framed by public law. If public law takes the role of constituting and constraining the exercises of public authority, we contend, it may be explored how international public law can be conceived and developed so as to respond to the challenges of an increasingly internationalized exercise of public authority. The research project on the exercise of international public authority shares this interest with similar projects such as those that come under the umbrella of Global Administrative Law or Global Constitutionalism.

Weitere Hinweise finden sich hier