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Professor Marinos Diamantides

  • Overview



    Marinos Diamantides is Professor of constitutional law and political science. He first studied law in Greece and Spain before moving to the  UK where he obtained his LLM and PhD. He joined the Birkbeck Law Dept  in 1995 and has acted as HoD and Assistant Dean in the past. He is currently the Director of Studies at the Law Dept.

    He convenes and teaches Constitutional & Administrative Law at undergraduate level  and is the Director of the LLM Constitutional law, theory and politics. In the past he has also taught Medical Law & Ethics and EU Law. 

    His research is interdisciplinary with a current focus on public law and political theology where he pioneers a 'comparative-historicised' method. Past research includes award-winning work on the significance for jurisprudence of the ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas.

    He has completed two British Academy-funded research projects and one Leverhulme-funded  research project.

    He has held visiting appointments at the University of Kyoto, Japan;  The Center for Law and Society, at the  School of Law, University of California at Berkeley; the  Cardozo School of Law, New York; and the Hebrew University, Israel.


    • Reviews of his latest book, co-authored with Anton Schütz: Political Theology - Demystifying the Universal EUP, 2017

      "In a book of great clarity and power, Diamantides and Schütz unsparingly expose the managerial vocation of the West and, with matching precision, undo the ideological masks by which it tries to cover its impasses.

      Giorgio Agamben

      "Diamantides and Schütz describe how Western Christian theology has led to a collective sense that has 'little or no relation to reality'. The violence of this system comes from the way that it insists that what it is promoting is real when it is not. For this reason, evoking an alternative sense of reality is no small accomplishment and that is precisely what this book does. If you want a happy ending, read a different book. If you want a brave and insightful glimpse of the way the modern world is continually shaped and reshaped by hidden theologies, then this is the book for you.

      - James Martel, San Francisco State University, Law, Culture and the Humanities

    • Funded research: Marinos Diamantides has completed two British Academy-funded research projects and one Leverhulme-funded research project.


    • PhD Ethics & Philosophy of Law, University of London, 1999
    • LLM, University of Lancaster, 1993
    • Ptycheion in law (LLB equiv), University of Athens, Greece, 1991

    Administrative responsibilities

    • Director of Studies at the Law Dept.
    • Liaison with NYU Global

    Visiting posts

    • Visiting Scholar, Centre for the Study of Law and Society, UC Berkeley School of Law , 01-2014 to 04-2014
    • Visiting Professor , Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York, USA , 08-2014 to 12-2014
    • Visiting Professor, Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York, USA , 08-2013 to 12-2013
    • Visiting Scholar , Radzyner School of Law, Interdisciplinary Centre, Herzliya, Israel, 02-2007 to 05-2007
    • Visiting Scholar , Faculty of Law, Kyoto University, Japan., 06-2014

    Professional memberships

    • Member of ICON – The international Society of Public Law

    • Fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy [Ref. No. PR123938].

  • Research


    Research interests

    • Constitutionalism
    • Political Theology, in a comparative and historicised perspective
    • Ethics per Emmanuel Levinas

    Research overview

    Professor Diamantides is actively researching in two key areas:

    • He undertakes interdisciplinary research of ideas and imaginaries concerning legitimacy in legal and political constitutional theories and systems. He  is building on a secular 'comparativist-historicised' approach to the problem of 'political theology' in constitutional theory that he pioneered. His approach centres on critique of universalist accounts of the relation of 'religion' and legitimacy of power, such as  Carl Schmitt's,  re-reading  Giorgio Agamben's account of the impact of Christianism as specifically occidental, and discussing the contemporary spectacles of the 'return of religion'  and sovereignty in a 'post-sovereign' world order. Indicative publications include:  the monograph Political Theology: Demystifying the Universal (Edinburgh University Press, 2017) co-authored with Anton Schütz;  The collection of essays  Law, Islam and Identity (London: Glasshouse, 2010) co-edited with Adam Gearey; Chapters in books such: ‘Affect and the theo-political economy of the right to freedom of ‘thought, conscience and religion’ in: M. Rosenfeld et al (eds.) The Conscience Wars: Rethinking the Balance between Religion, Identity, and Equality (Cambridge University Press, 2019,  ‘A Post-Modern Hetoimasia—Feigning Sovereignty during the State of Exception’  in P. Goodrich & M. Rosenfeld (eds.)  Administering Interpretation (Fordham University Press, 2019),  ‘Towards a Western-Islamic Conception of Legalism’ in Barshack L., Goodrich P., Schutz A.(eds.), Law, Text, Terror (London: Glasshouse Press, 2006), ‘Islamic Fundamentalism and Western Horror: Fear of the Other or of Oneself?’ in Van Duyne,P. (ed.) Personal Liberty Equilibria in Cross-Border Crime (Nijmegen, The Netherlands: Wolf Legal Publishers, 2004); And articles in refereed journals  such 'Constitutional Theory and its Limits. Reflections on Comparative Political Theologies' Jr of Law, Culture and the Humanities 11 (1) 2015, ’On and out of revolution: Between Public law and Religion’ Jr. of Law, Culture and the Humanities 10 (3) 2014,  ‘God’s Political Power in Western and Eastern Christianity in Comparative Perspective’ Divus Thomas Journal (Commentarium de philosophia et theologia) November issue 2012
    • Professor Diamantides is also  interested in the intersection of  ethics and jurisprudence. He has pioneered the use of Emmanuel Levinas's ethics as first philosophy in jurisprudential discussions starting with his award-winning article 'Ethics in law: Death Marks on a Still Life', 6 Jr. of Law and Critique 2 (1995) and his first monograph  The Ethics of Suffering: Modern Law, Philosophy and Medicine (Ashgate, 2000). Later publications include:  a collection of essays by prominent philosophers, historians, political and legal theorists including Drucilla Cornell, Simon Critchley, Howard Caygill which he edited: Levinas, Law, Politics (London & New York: Routledge-Cavendish, 2007); Chapters in edited collections such as  ‘Levinas, Agamben and the crisis of the modern constitutional imagination: ethics, political theology and crisis management’ In: Ciaramelli, F. and Menga, F.G. (eds.) L'epoca dei populismi: Diritti e conflitti (Milan, Italy: Mimesis Edizioni, 2016 in Italian and English), 'To Judge a Vegetable: Levinasian Ethics and the Morality of Law’ in Manderson D. (ed.) Essays on Levinas and Law: A Mosaic (London: Palgrave – MacMillan, 2008), 'From Escape to Hostage,' in G. & A. Horowitz (eds.) Difficult Justice: Commentaries on Levinas and Politics (Toronto, Buffalo, London: Toronto University Press
  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    Doctoral alumni since 2013-14



    Teaching modules

    • Constitutional and Administrative Law (LADD033S4)
    • Constitutional and Administrative Law (LADD033S4)
    • Constitutional & Administrative Law (Senior Status) (LADD060S6)
    • Constitutional & Administrative Law (Senior Status) (LADD060S6)
    • Introduction to the History, Theory and Politics of Constitutional Law (LADD066S7)
  • Publications




    Book Section

    Conference Item