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.



Rainer Forst zu Corresponding Fellow der British Academy gewählt

Wie die British Academy am 24. Juli bekannt gab, wurde Prof. Rainer Forst als Corresponding Fellow aufgenommen. Jährlich wählt die British Academy herausragende Gelehrte und Wissenschaftler*innen, die sich auf dem Gebiet der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften international verdient gemacht haben zu Corresponding Fellows. Mehr...

Bundesministerin Karliczek gibt Startschuss für das neue Forschungsinstitut Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt

In einer Pressekonferenz hat Bundesministerin Anja Karliczek am 28. Mai 2020 den Startschuss für das neue Forschungsinstitut Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt (FGZ) gegeben. Mit dabei waren Sprecherin Prof. Nicole Deitelhoff (Goethe-Uni, Normative Orders), sowie der Geschäftsführende Sprecher Prof. Matthias Middell (Uni Leipzig) und Sprecher Prof. Olaf Groh-Samberg (Uni Bremen). Nun kann auch das Frankfurter Teilinstitut seine Arbeit aufnehmen. Mehr...

Nächste Termine

8. September 2020, 19.30 Uhr

DenkArt „Der normalisierte Ausnahmezustand“: Prof. Wilhelm Heitmeyer: „Autoritäre Bedrohungen oder liberale Demokratie?“ – Die offene Gesellschaft im Ausnahmezustand. Mehr...

10. September 2020, 12.30 Uhr

Online Book lɔ:ntʃ: Prof. Dr. Dr. Günter Frankenberg: Autoritarismus - Verfassungstheoretische Perspektiven (Suhrkamp 2020). Mehr...


Neueste Medien

Normative Orders Insights

... mit Franziska Fay

Normative Orders Insights

... mit Rainer Forst

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 (2020):

The Normative Order of the Internet. Normative Orders Working Paper 01/2020. Mehr...