Research

Monograph Projects

1. The Concept of a Legal Dilemma (OUP 2017)

2. [l]ex machina (Lund 2020)

3. The Reasonable Person: A Legal Biography (CUP 2024)

4. The Sovereign Human Being (Bloomsbury 2024)

5. Letters from the S.S. Lotus (in progress)

Smaller Research Projects

For an overview of smaller research projects, please consult Lund University’s Research Portal.

The Concept of a Legal Dilemma (Oxford UP 2017)


Conventionally, international legal scholarship concerned with norm conflicts focuses on identifying how international law can or should resolve them. This book adopts a different approach. It focuses on identifying those norm conflicts that law cannot and should not resolve. The book offers a novel, controversial, yet measured, argument in favour of construing such irresolvable conflicts as legal dilemmas. Legal dilemmas exist when a legal actor confronts a conflict between at least two legal norms that cannot be avoided or resolved. Addressing both academics and practitioners, the book aims to identify the character and consequences of legal dilemmas, to distil their legal function within the sphere of international law, and to encourage serious theoretical and practical investigation into the conditions that lead to a legal dilemma.

A shortfilm based on the book, can be found here.

A book review symposium on Völkerrechtsblog can be found here.

[l]ex machina (Lund 2020)


For the [l]ex machina project, I used different kinds of software programmes to manipulate, create and translate texts of or concerning international law. The result is a collection of technological co-productions, which can be downloaded here.

The Reasonable Person: A Legal Biography (Cambridge UP 2024)


The book argues that the reasonable person is, at heart, an empathetic perspective-taking device, by tracing the standard of the reasonable person across time, legal fields and countries. Beginning with a review of imaginary legal figures in the legal systems of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, the book explains why the common law’s reasonable person emerged amidst the British industrialisation under the influence of Scottish Enlightenment thinking. Following the figure into colonial courts, onto battlefields and into self-driving cars, the book contends that the reasonable person invites judges, jury-members, and lawyers to take another person’s perspective when assessing their own or another person’s conduct. The perspective of another is taken by means of empathy, by feeling what others might feel in a particular situation. Thus construed, the figure of the reasonable person can help us make more accurate judgments in a diverse world.

The Sovereign Human Being (Bloomsbury 2024)


The book pursues three aims. First, the book aims to show that the jurist Carl Schmitt and the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer understood the concept of sovereignty in similar terms. The book’s second aim is to critically assess Schmitt’s and Bonhoeffer’s understanding of sovereignty on their own terms. The book’s third aim is to introduce an action-guiding framework for sovereign and responsible decision-making that is of practical relevance today.

The S.S. Lotus: An Epistolary Account of the Ship and its Passengers (in progress)


Coming soon.