Dana Schmalz

Dr. Dana Schmalz

Law, Philosophy


Dana Schmalz is a legal scholar with a specialization in international public law, legal philosophy, and refugee law. She holds a PhD in law from the University of Frankfurt, and an LL.M. in Comparative Legal Thought from the Cardozo School of Law, New York. In her doctoral thesis “World citizens at the border: democratic theory, international law, and the figure of the refugee”, she examined the refugee concept in its relation to the boundaries of democracy and citizenship, and explored questions of international refugee law from a democratic theory perspective.

After studying law and philosophy, Dana Schmalz has been a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public and International Law in Heidelberg from 2011 to 2016, and part of the cluster of excellence “Normative Orders” at the University of Frankfurt. She was a visiting fellow at the project “Sovereigns as Trustees of Humanity“ in Tel Aviv, and associate fellow in the research group "Multilevel Constitutionalism” at Humboldt University Berlin.

Dana Schmalz has taught at the Otto-Suhr-Institute of Freie Universität Berlin (Spring 2017 - “Refugee law from a democratic theory perspective”) and at Göttingen University Faculty of Law (Fall 2017/2018; Spring 2018 - “Law and literature”).

Dana Schmalz’ work focuses on the role of physical distance for legal claims to political membership. Beside this, her research deals with responsibility-sharing between states in refugee protection, the conception of norms in debating about migration, as well as spatial imaginations of law and legal relations in literature.


[2018] Der Flüchtling als normative Idee. Metaphora, 3, IV/1-IV/17.

[2017] Review: Itamar Mann, Humanity at Sea. Maritime Migration and the Foundations of International Law, 2016. European Journal of International Law, 28(2), 649-653.

[2017] Global responsibility sharing and the production of superfluity in the context of refugee protection. In S. Salomon, et al. (Eds.), Blurring Boundaries? Human Security and Forced Migration (pp. 23-47). Boston: Brill Press. 

[2017] Verantwortungsteilung im Flüchtlingsschutz: Zu den Problemen „globaler Lösungen“. Zeitschrift für Flüchtlingsforschung, 1(1), 9-40.

[2016] Normative demarcations of the right to life in a globalized world: Conflicts between Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law as markers. Critical Quarterly for Legislation and Law, 99(3), 234-253.

[2016] Review: Otto Depenheuer/Christoph Grabenwarter (Eds.), Der Staat in der Flüchtlingskrise, 2016. Kritische Justiz, 49(2), 260-265.

[2016] Kosmopolitismus zwischen Vereinigung und Differenz. In S. de la Rosa, et al. (Eds.), Transkulturelle politische Theorie. Eine Einführung (pp. 221-240). Heidelberg: Springer.

[2015] Der Flüchtlingsbegriff zwischen kosmopolitischer Brisanz und nationalstaatlicher Ordnung. Kritische Justiz, 48(4), 390-404.

[2015] Review: Christian Volk, Arendtian Constitutionalism. Law, Politics and the Order of Freedom, 2015. International Journal of Constitutional Law, 13(4), 1078-1081.

[2015] Review: Ayten Gündoğdu, Rightlessness in an Age of Rights. Hannah Arendt and the contemporary struggles of migrants, 2015. International Journal of Constitutional Law, 13(2), 551-553.

[2013] Grenzen als Herausforderung für die Demokratie. Zu den Chancen der Internationalisierung des Rechts für die demokratische Inklusion. In M. Kettemann (Ed.), Grenzen im Völkerrecht (pp. 177-192). Wien: Jan Sramek Verlag.

[2013] Review: Marco Goldoni/Christopher McCorkindale (Eds.), Hannah Arendt and the Law, 2012. VRÜ, 46(1), 107-111 (English version).

[2013] Review: Marco Goldoni/Christopher McCorkindale (Eds.), Hannah Arendt and the Law, 2012. Der Staat, 52(3), 488-492 (German version).