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Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve

Principal Investigator

Thomas Duve

Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory
Hansaallee 41
D-60323 Frankfurt
Phone: +49 / (0)69 / 789 78 165
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Current Position

Managing Director at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History and Legal Theory
Professor for Comparative Legal History


Thomas Duve works on the legal history of the imperial spaces of the Iberian monarchies in the early modern period and modernity. He is interested particularly in the history of canon law and moral theology, especially that of the School of Salamanca, and in the history of knowledge creation in the field of law and other modes of normativity. Further fields of Duve’s interest include the history and methodology of legal history.

As the director of Department II at the Max-Planck-Institute for European Legal History, Thomas Duve is responsible for the Institute’s cooperation project “Law and the Creation of Dependency in the Ibero-Atlantic” led by Mariana Dias Paes. []


  • 2005                  Habilitation (venia legendi) in the subjects: Civil Law, German Legal History, Historical Comparative Law, Canon
                              Law and Philosophy of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Munich, Germany
  • 1997                  Ph.D. at the Faculty of Law, University of Munich, Germany
  • 1989–1994        Studies of Law at the Universities of Heidelberg (Germany), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Munich (Germany)

Academic Positions

  • 2005–2009        Professor of Legal History with a dedicación especial en investigación at the Faculty of Law and for the History of
                              Canon Law at the Faculty of Canon Law, Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina
  • 2009–2010        Professor for the History of Canon Law at the Faculty of Canon Law, Pontifícia Universidad Católica Argentina
  • 2010–present    Managing Director at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History and Legal Theory;
                              Professor for Comparative Legal History at the Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany


  • 1999                  Award for dissertation by the Karl-Lamprecht-Gesellschaft, Leipzig, Germany
  • 1997                  Faculty Award of the University of Munich, Germany

Participation in Centers, Scientific Associations, Collaborative Projects

  • Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society
  • Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur – Mainz, Germany
  • Board of Directors and Principal Investigator of the Cluster of Excellence 'The Formation of Normative Orders', Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
  • Academia Europaea (Section A1-History & Archaeology)
  • Academia Nacional de la Historia de Argentina (corrs. M.)

Additional Academic Activities

For a comprehensive list of academic activities see:

Third-Party Funding

Various Grants from the German DFG and other institutions (Union of the German Academies of Science and Humanities, Thyssen Foundation, Volkswagen Foundation, Province of Hesse, Germany, MinCyt, CONICET) as part of joint research projects (e.g. SFB, Cluster of Excellence, Loewe-Initiative), cooperation partner and individual beneficiary.

Selected Publications

  • With Stefan Ruppert (eds.): Rechtswissenschaft in der Berliner Republik. Frankfurt am Main/Berlin 2018.
  • Indigenous Rights in Latin America. In: M. Dubber, C. Tomlins (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Legal History, Oxford 2018, 817-837.
  • Global Legal History. Setting Europe in Perspective. In: H. Pihlajamäki, M. Dubber, M. Godfrey (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of European Legal History. Oxford 2018, 115-139. Online access:
  • Entanglements in Legal History: Conceptual Approaches. Frankfurt am Main 2014. Open access (GPLH, 1):
  • Sonderrecht in der Frühen Neuzeit. Studien zum ius singulare und den privilegia miserabilium personarum, senum und indorum in Alter und Neuer Welt. (Habilitation Thesis, Universtiy Munich). Frankfurt am Main 2008.

For more publications see:

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