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Professor Robert Schuetze

Professor of European and Global Law

Professor of European and Global Law in the Durham Law School+44 (0) 191 33 42802
Global Policy Institute Co-Director in the School of Government and International Affairs
Co-Director in the Global Policy Institute Journal 


Current Projects

Models of Demoicracy

If democracy is the government of the people, can there be a government of peoples – or demoicracy? Are supranational organisations, like the European Union, or international organisations, like the United Nations, demoicracies? And what federal models of demoicracy have developed in the past to explain the institutional structures of a plurality of peoples ruling together? This project responds to these questions by offering a comparative constitutional analysis of the demoicratic credentials of the United States, Germany and Switzerland in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries before exploring the international structures of demoicracy in the twenty-first century through the EU and the UN. It is funded by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship.

Framing Dassonville: Text and Context in EU Law

There are few ‘mythical’ judgments that every student of European integration has read or ought to have read. Dassonville is one of these judgments. The conventional wisdom holds that the Court here offered a hyper-liberalist definition of the European internal market, which radically dissociated itself from the conceptual shackles accepted in modern international trade law. According to this view, Dassonville represents the substantive law equivalent of Van Gend en Loos. This traditional view is, however, mistaken. But if that is the case, what did Dassonville originally “mean”; and how did the Dassonville formula come to mean what it means today? The project tries to answer these questions through a reception history of this famous case.

Robert Schütze is Professor of European and Global Law. He is a constitutional scholar with a particular expertise in the law of the European Union and comparative federalism. Outside the Law School, he co-founded the Global Policy Institute with the political scientist Professor David Held. He also teaches at Luiss (Rome) and is a permanent Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Bruges). 

In the past, he has held numerous Visiting Professorships and was a Fulbright-Schuman Fellow at the Centre for European Studies at Harvard University and a Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute. He studied law, political science and sociology in Germany, England and Italy and holds a Ph.D. in European law from the European University Institute and a Ph.D. in political theory from the London School of Economics. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an academic associate of Cornerstone Chambers.


Over the years he has published three monographs, three textbooks, ten edited collections or special journal issues and a wide range of articles and chapters. His work has been translated into a number of languages; and he is best known for his “federal” reading of the European Union. His 'From Dual to Cooperative Federalism: The Changing Structure of European Law' received the 'Best Book' award of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES). He is the author of “European Union Law” (Third Edition, with Oxford University Press) and “An Introduction to European Law” (Third Edition, with Oxford University Press) - a website dedicated to both textbooks can be found here. He has published (with Roger Masterman) the Cambridge Companion to Comparative Constitutional Law - a companion website to which can be found here

As an editor, he co-founded (with Richard Albert), the Oxford Comparative Constitutionalism Series that aims to explore the horizontal and vertical links between local, national or global constitutional structures. He equally co-directs the Oxford European Union Library (with Piet Eeckhout) as well as the Hart Series on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe (with Nicola Lupo). He is a joint co-editor of the Yearbook of European Law – OUP’s flagship journal on the law of the European Union.

In the past, he has also been the principal investigator of the “Neo-Federalism” Project – funded by the European Research Council. More detailed information about the project and its members can be found here.

Research interests

  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • EU Constitutional Law
  • International Law
  • Legal History and Political Theory


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Supervision students