Dr. Zülâl Muslu

Affiliate Researcher

Main Focus

  • Comparative legal history (hypo-colonies)
  • History of international law
  • International law and emotions
  • Legal circulations and acculturation
  • Late Ottoman Empire legal history


Curriculum Vitae

After receiving her maîtrise (BAC+4) in International and European Law, she obtained her Master’s degree in ‘History and Anthropology of Law’ from Paris Nanterre University and a second Master’s degree (Master II professionnel) in ‘Public Governance and Diplomacy’ from Clermont Auvergne University. She received her PhD in Law from Paris Nanterre University for her thesis on 'Ottoman Sovereignty and the Mixed Commercial Courts in the Long 19th Century'.

In this analysis, the mixed commercial courts serve as a lens that magnifies the external and internal factors that evolved and affected the transformations of Ottoman sovereignty in the political-legal thought as well as in the judicial and governance practices at the dawn of globalisation and capitalism. By taking into account not just the legal context but the economic dimension and colonial impulses as well, her research also contributes to a rethinking of the teleological representations of modern international law. Her work has been supported by the Research Fellowship of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the European Commission’s Marie Curie Scholarship (European doctorate program on ‘European legal cultures’) and the joint Max Planck Institute for Legal History (MPIeR) and Goethe University’s IMPRS scholarship (International Max Planck Research School for Comparative Legal History).

In recent years, she has worked at the MPIeR as a Doctoral and Research Fellow (2010-2014), focusing on normative and cultural diversity and on legal transformations and translations, and at Paris Nanterre University as an Assistant Lecturer in legal history, lecturing on Greek and Roman antiquity (2016-2018). In 2019, she was an independent researcher based in Istanbul, where she also was a short-term visiting scholar at the French Institute of Anatolian Studies and volunteered in NGOs for refugees. In December 2019, she again joined the MPIeR to take over as scientific head (per pro) of the research group ‘Translations and Transitions. Legal Practice in the 19th-century Japan, China, and the Ottoman Empire’. She keeps now collaborating as an affiliate researcher from the University of Vienna, where she has held a postdoc position in the Chair 'Globalisation and Legal Pluralism' since October 2020.

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