Thomas Duve
Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve

Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve

Max Planck Institute for European Legal History and Legal Theory
Hansaallee 41
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 / (0)69 / 789 78 165

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 for 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, 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 am Main, Germany
  • Academia Europaea (Section A1 – History & Archaeology)
  • Academia Nacional de la Historia de Argentina (corrs. M.)

Additional Academic Activities

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

  • and Stefan Ruppert, eds. 2018. Rechtswissenschaft in der Berliner Republik. Berlin: Suhrkamp.

  • 2018. “Indigenous Rights in Latin America.” In The Oxford Handbook of Legal History, edited by Markus D. Dubber and Christopher L. Tomlins, 817–837. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • 2018. “Global Legal History. Setting Europe in Perspective.” In The Oxford Handbook of European Legal History, edited by Heikki Pihlajamäki, Markus D. Dubber, and Mark Godfrey, 115–139. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • ed. 2014. Entanglements in Legal History. Conceptual Approaches. Global Perspectives on Legal History 1. Frankfurt am Main: Max Planck Institute for European Legal History.

  • 2008. Sonderrecht in der Frühen Neuzeit. Studien zum ius singulare und den privilegia miserabilium personarum, senum und indorum in Alter und Neuer Welt. Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte 231. Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann.

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