Alexander Somek

Sascha Somek

Charles E. Floete Chair in Law

Magister Iuris, University of Vienna, 1984
Doctor Iuris, University of Vienna, 1984


  • "The Individualisation of Liberty: Europe’s Move from Emancipation to Empowerment"  in Transnational Legal Theory 4 (2013) 258-282
  • "What is Political Union?" in German Law Journal 14 (2013) 561-580
  • "Europa: Politica, Pero No Cosmopolita” in El Cronista del Estado Social y Democrático 33 (2013) 32-45
  • “The Constituent Power in National and Transnational Contexts" in Transnational Legal Theory 3 (2012) 31-60
  • “From Workers to Migrants: Exploring the Changing Social-Democratic Imagination” in European Law Journal 18 (2012) 711-726
  • “On Cosmopolitan Self-Determination” in Global Constitutionalism 1 (2012) 405-428

Before joining the Iowa Faculty in 2003, Alexander Somek held the position of Associate Professor on the Faculty of Law of the University of Vienna.

During the academic year 2007-2008 he was a Fellow in the Institute of Advanced Study, Berlin. During 2012-13 he was a Law & Public Policy Fellow and Visiting Professor at Princeton University; later in 2013, he served as a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics.

Somek is the author of a number of books and numerous articles. His major areas of research are Jurisprudence, European Union Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, and Public International Law.

Over the last few years, Somek’s work has concentrated on the transformation of elementary constitutional ideas in the context of transnational governance structures. The result of his research is documented in a trilogy. The constituent power is the subject of his book Individualism. His book Engineering Equality addresses the problem of solidarity. How the authority of constitutions needs to be understood in a cosmopolitan world is developed in his forthcoming The Cosmopolitan Constitution.

Somek is now eager to continue a project that he began some twenty years ago: the theory of legal knowledge. The project is provisionally entitled Legality and Irony.

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