Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte

Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve

Hansaallee 41

60323 Frankfurt am Main



Latest Thinking

Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve | Department II

Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve
Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve
Managing Director

Phone: +49 (69) 789 78 - 165
Fax: +49 (69) 789 78 - 211

Research Interests

Thomas Duve works principally on the legal history of the imperial spaces of the Iberian monarchies in the early modern period and on global historical perspectives on European legal history. He is interested particularly in the history of canon law and moral theology, especially that of the School of Salamanca (for example, see Duve: Kanonisches Recht, 2009; Duve, Konzil als Autorisierungsinstanz, 2010; Duve, Katholische Moraltheologie, 2011; Duve, Salamanca in Amerika, 2015), as well as international law (for example, Duve, Friendship, 2012; Duve, Spatial Perceptions, 2017; Duve, El Tratado de Tordesillas, 2017).

Accordingly, the following ...

... projects currently receive the most of his attention: ‘The School of Salamanca’, the ‘Historical Dictionary of Canon Law in Hispanic America and the Philippines’. The results from a series of pertinent workshops in Latin America along with the 1600-page conference proceedings of the 19th conference of the International Institute of Indigenous Law (Instituto Internacional de Derecho Indiano), which took place in Berlin in August 2016, and were published in 2018.

Two volumes on the school of Salamanca as a case of global knowledge production in the field of normativity (cf. the introduction to the conference in Duve, Producción, 2018) as well as on pragmatic literature and its significance for the formation of normative orders in the Iberian empires are currently being prepared fora new Open Access book series in conjunction with the publishing house Brill. The „Max Planck Studies in Global Legal History of the Iberian Worlds“ (publication planned for 2019) series are intended to enable different perspectives on the production of normative knowledge in the globalization of early modern times. These perspectives are also the focus of a new research project of Department II, Glocalizing Normatvities, which started in 2019

Further fields of Duve’s interest include the history and methodology of legal history as a discipline. His activities in these areas range from research in the field of ‘multinormativity’ at the Cluster of Excellence: The Formation of Normative Orders (for example, see: Duve, Multinormativität, 2017) and an inventory of the ‘Jurisprudence in the Berlin Republic’, Rechtswissenschaft in der Berliner Republik (Duve 2018) to a series of standalone publications, especially those treating the methodology of transnational legal history (Duve, Europäische Rechtsgeschichte, 2012; German Legal History, 2014; Internationalisierung und Transnationalisierung, 2015; Global Legal History, 2017), Duve, Setting Europe in Perspective, 2018).

Curriculum Vitae

Thomas Duve was born in Hamburg in 1967. Following studies in Legal Science and Philosophy in Heidelberg, Buenos Aires and Munich he worked in Munich first as faculty assistant, than as assistant professor and from 2004 as leader of a partial project in the special research field "Pluralization and Authority in the Early Modern Age" funded by the DFG (CRC 573). In 1997 he was awarded a doctorate. In 2005 he qualified as a professor for Civil Law, German Legal History, Historical Comparative Law, Canon Law and Philosophy of Law. From 2005 to 2009 he was Professor of Legal History with a so-called dedicación especial en investigación at the Faculty of Law and Professor of Canon Law History at the Faculty of Canon Law of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA) as well as a member of the board of directors of the Instituto de Investigaciones de Historia del Derecho, Buenos Aires.

Since 2009 he is scientific member of the Max-Planck Society, since 2010 Director at the Max-Planck Institute for European Legal History and Professor for Comparative Legal History at the Faculty of Law of the Goethe University Frankfurt. Thomas Duve is the editor of the journal “Rechtsgeschichte-Legal History”, co-editor of forum historiae iuris, Jahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas - Anuario de Historia de Amercia Latina as well as the Institute's publication series, the Beiträge zur Rechtsgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts (Mohr Siebeck), the series Politische Philosophie und Rechtstheorie des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit (PPR) and methodica – Einführungen in die rechtshistorische Forschung.

He is a full member of the Academia Europaea and the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz, principal investigator of the Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders” at the Goethe University Frankfurt and since 2015 member of the Collaborative Research Center‚ Schwächediskurse und Ressourcenregime‘ of the DFG Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and since 2017 corresponding member of the Academia Nacional de Historia de la República Argentina. He is also member in various  scientific advisory boards such as the Max-Weber-Stiftung, Bonn and the Werner-Reimers-Stiftung, Bad Homburg.

Publications (Selection 2018-2019)

  • 复规范性”从何谈起:法律全球化的知识挑战 ( = What is Multinormativity? Responding to the Intellectual Challenges of Legal Globalization, translated by Fupeng Li), Peking University Law Journal 31,1 (2019), 21-36.
  • Symposium: Legal History and Comparative Law: A Dialogue in Time of the Transnationalization of Law and Legal Scholarship, The American Journal of Comparative Law, Volume 66, Issue 4, 31 December 2018, online:
  • Indigenous Rights: Latin America, in: Dubber, Markus/Tomlins, Christopher (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Legal History, Oxford: OUP 2018, pp. 817-837,
  • La Escuela de Salamanca: ¿un caso de producción global de conocimiento? : consideraciones introductorias desde una perspectiva histórico-jurídica y de la historia del conocimiento, The School of Salamanca Working Paper Series, 2018, 2, urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-376152
  • Global Legal History. Setting Europe in Perspective, in: Pihlajamäki, Heikki/Dubber, Markus/Godfrey, Mark (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of European Legal History, Oxford: OUP 2018,  pp. 115-139,
  • Legal Traditions. A Dialogue between Comparative Law and Comparative Legal History, in: Comparative Legal History 6:1 (2018),
  • Ein fruchtbarer Gärungsprozess? Rechtsgeschichtswissenschaft in der Berliner Republik, in: —/Ruppert, Stefan (eds.), Rechtswissenschaft in der Berliner Republik, Frankfurt am Main/Berlin: suhrkamp, 2018, pp. 67-120
loading content
Go to Editor View