Dr. Lena Foljanty

Head of a Max Planck Research Group

Main Focus

  • Legal transfers as processes of cultural translation
  • History of legal theory
  • Legal History of National Socialism and the post-war era
  • Legal Gender Studies, Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality


Curriculum Vitae

Lena Foljanty studied law at the University of Greifswald and at Humboldt-Universität in Berlin. She graduated with the First State Examination in Law in 2005 and passed the Second State Examination in Law in 2012. Her research explores the junction between legal history, legal theory and legal sociology. In her doctoral dissertation, published in 2013, she analysed the reconfiguration of legal thinking in West Germany after the end of National Socialism. In her postdoctoral project (Habilitation) she concentrates on another moment of radical break: the Japanese attempt to construct a new legal order based on European models in the late 19th century. A researcher at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (MPIeR) since 2012, she coordinated the Institute’s Research Focus Area Translation from 2012 to 2016. She has been a visiting scholar at the École de hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris), at the University of Tokyo and Gakushu’in University (Tokyo), and has held visiting professorships at Università Bocconi (Milan) and at the Universität Wien. Currently, she is the head of the Max Planck Research Group Translations and Transitions: Legal Practice in 19th Century Japan, China, and the Ottoman Empire at the MPIeR and she holds a professorship for Globalisation and Legal Pluralism at the Institute for Legal and Constitutional History at the University of Vienna.

Academic Awards

Sibylle Kalkhof-Rose Akademie-Preis für Geisteswissenschaften der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz

Juristisches Buch des Jahres [Dissertation]

Werner-Pünder-Preis der Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe Universität für herausragende Arbeiten zum Themenkreis „Freiheit und Totalitarismus“ [Dissertation]

Completed Project

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