Prof. Thomas P. Crocker

Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina

May 2019 until June 2019

In cooperation with Prof. Dr. Rainer Forst

Thomas Crocker is Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University, and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Wales. He has held fellowships as a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in Cambridge, MA, as a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Germany at the Johann Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main, where he was a resident fellow at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, and as the MacCormick Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh School of Law. His scholarship focuses on issues in constitutional law and theory, and intersects both law and philosophy. Within constitutional theory, his scholarship addresses issues concerning privacy, free speech and democracy, criminal procedure, presidential power, and constitutional constraints. His book, Overcoming Necessity: Emergency, Constraint, and the Meanings of American Constitutionalism, is forthcoming with Yale University Press.

Research project title:
The Constitution of Ethical Life: Privacy, Community, and the Liberal State

I am in the early stages of a monograph project entitled, “The Constitution of Ethical Life: Privacy, Community, and the Liberal State,” that explores how conceptions and practices of privacy are central to constitutionalism, and are therefore central to how legal practices and institutions constitute ethical life within a polity. This project will investigate how constitutional communities shape governing institutions through shifting conceptions of privacy. How has an increased tendency to blur the distinction between state and private commerce—a process of privatization—also accompanied a pervasive loss of personal privacy? Public goods, however these might be defined, are increasingly provided through private entities, closed to ordinary forms of democratic transparency and control. At the same time, everyday private matters are increasingly rendered transparent to both governmental and other private enterprises. On the one hand, political policies translate public goods into private values subject to market exchange and cost benefit logics.  On the other hand, private matters of everyday personal life are subject to surveillance and marketized “datafication” by both governmental bodies and other private entities. As a consequence of these two processes, the status of privacy, of “the private,” is undergoing a transformation that this project seeks to explore.  My exploration of this transformation focuses on the relationship between the constitutive commitments that comprise a shared ethical life and the constitutive understandings that shape a constitutional community.

List of Recent Publications

Overcoming Necessity:  Emergency, Constraint, and the Meanings of American Constitutionalism (Yale University Press, forthcoming 2020).

“Constitutions, Rule Following, and the Crisis of Constraint,” Legal Theory, vol. 24 (2018): 3-39 (with M. Hodges).

“Constitutive Visions: Sovereignty, Necessity, and Saramago’s Blindness,” Constellations, vol. 24 (2017): 63-75.

“Dystopian Constitutionalism,” 18 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, vol. 18 (2015): 593-655.



"Making Crises Visible" - Ausstellung und Rahmenprogramm beginnen im Februar 2020

Der Forschungsverbund "Normative Ordnungen" der Goethe-Universität beteiligt sich von Februar bis Juni 2020 am Rahmenprogramm zum wissenschaftlich-künstlerischen Projekt "Making Crises Visible". Mehr...

DFG fördert Kolleg-Forschungsgruppe „Polyzentrik und Pluralität vormoderner Christentümer“

Eine von der DFG geförderte Kolleg-Forschungsgruppe mit dem Titel  „Polyzentrik und Pluralität vormoderner Christentümer“ richtet ab Oktober 2020 den Blick auf frühere Formen des Christentums. Sprecherinnen sind Prof. Dr. Birgit Emich und Prof. Dr. Dorothea Weltecke, Mitglied des Forschungsverbunds "Normative Ordnungen" der Goethe-Universität. Mehr...

Nächste Termine

26. Februar 2020, 18 Uhr

Ausstellungsprojekt "Making Crises Visible": Kuratorenführung: »Making Crises Visible«. Mit Felix Kosok. Mehr...

27. Februar 2020, 10 Uhr

Workshop: Criticism of Religion in the Enlightment Era. Mehr...


Neueste Medien

Demokratie_Was wird aus der Krise des Politischen?

Prof. Dr. Martin Saar
Denkraum "Zukunft_Aber wie?"

Entzauberung und Wieder-Verzauberung in Ruinenlandschaften: Jia Zhangkes experimentelles chinesisches Großstadtkino

Winnie Yee
Lecture & Film "Jia Zhangke: Kino der Transformation"

Neueste Volltexte

Burchard, Christoph (2019):

Künstliche Intelligenz als Ende des Strafrechts? Zur algorithmischen Transformation der Gesellschaft. Normative Orders Working Paper 02/2019. Mehr...

Kettemann, Matthias (2019):

Die normative Ordnung der Cyber-Sicherheit: zum Potenzial von Cyber-Sicherheitsnormen. Normative Orders Working Paper 01/2019. Mehr...