Dezalay, Sara, Dr.

dezalay (at) soz [Punkt] uni-frankfurt [Punkt] de

Projects and Positions in the Cluster

Research topic

Transnational law and Africa in globalization

Brief description of research topic

I am an international lawyer, with a core interest in legal globalization dynamics.
My work focuses on the expansion of transnational law and international justice in global and national politics. It adopts a broad historical focus that traces the genealogy of international justice and that connects the transnational dimensions of legal globalization to the reshaping of international and national spaces, with a specific interest in the position of the African South in these transformations. My empirical work connects multiple sites of deployment of legal globalization: from transnational practices of adjudication of public and economic disputes, the operations of international criminal courts through to the national level in postcolonial settings in the African South. My research involves the use of a micro-level approach that relates these legal transformations to professional practices and the production and circulation of legal knowledge.

Subject areas

Sociology of law; sociology of legal professions; sociology of globalization

Main research interests

International dispute settlement; international courts; post-conflict justice; lawyers in Africa; sociology of legal professions; Burundi

Biographical Details

Since 2013 Research Fellow, Cluster of Excellence ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt, Germany.
2015-2016 Member of the Organizing Committee of the Law and Society Annual Meeting
Since 2014 Assistant editor Journal of intervention and state building.
2011-2013 Postdoctoral fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.
2012 Guest lecturer at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto (Fall).
2012 Guest lecturer at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (Spring).
2011 Guest lecturer at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Toronto (Fall).
2011 PhD of Laws of the Department of Law of the European University Institute, Florence, Italy:
"Revamping Law by Circumventing the State. Non-governmental organizations in the international management of social violence on the African continent"
2009-2011 Fixed term lecturer and researcher (Attachée temporaire d’enseignement et de recherches -A.T.E.R.) at the Institute of Political Sciences of Lille, France.
2010-2011 Guest lecturer at the HEC School of management of Paris.
2009-2011 Guest lecturer at the Institute of Political Sciences of Paris (Sciences-Po).
2007 Visiting doctoral researcher at the Hauser Global Law Program of New York University (Fall).
2005-2011 Doctoral Researcher at the European University Institute.


  • Article
    • (noch nicht erschienen)
      • Dezalay, Sara (forthcoming): "La gouvernance réinventée par la guerre. Les ONG, princes et marchands dans la fabrique d’un gouvernement par la marge dans les Suds africains’), in Philippe Aldrin and Nicolas Hubé (coord.), Political sociology of governance (in French: Sociologie politique de la gouvernance) Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales
    • 2016
      • Dezalay, Sara; Levi, Ron; Hagan, John (2016): International Courts in Atypical Political Environments: The Interplay of Prosecutorial Strategy, Evidence, and Court Authority in International Criminal Law, Law and Contemporary Problems
    • 2015
      • Open-Access-Logo Dezalay, Sara (2015): "Les juristes en Afrique : entre trajectoires d’État, sillons d’empire et mondialisation", Politique africaine, 138, 2015/2
        Details | Link to full text
      • Dezalay, Sara; Lima, Juliana (2015): The Transitional Justice “Cause” in Post-Conflict Burundi, Critique Internationale, 67, 2015(2)
  • Book chapter
    • (noch nicht erschienen)
      • Dezalay, Sara (forthcoming): ‘Human Rights, Investments and Epistemic Communities’ (working title) in Yannick Radi (ed.), Research Handbook on Human Rights and Investments.
      • Dezalay, Sara (forthcoming): ‘Justice in post-conflict Burundi: from a dual legal system under the mandate to legal revivals in the bifurcated state’, in Fatima Diallo and Alhassan Sulemana Anamzoya (eds.), Legal pluralism in African Courts: Actors, Institutions and Governance (working title) (submitted to Brills)
    • 2017
      • Dezalay, Sara (2017): "La Commission européenne et les ‘crises’ : éléments de sociogenèse d’un marché européen de la pacification", in Anne Bazin, Charles Tenenbaum (eds.), L’Union européenne et la paix. L’invention d’un modèle européen de gestion des conflits (Paris: Presses de Sciences-Po), pp. 17-38.
      • Dezalay, Sara; Dezalay, Yves (2017): 'Professionals of International Justice. From the Shadow of State Diplomacy to the Pull of the Market of Commercial Arbitration', in André Nollkaemper, Jean d’Aspremont, Wouter Werner and Tarcisio Gazzini (eds.), International Law as a Profession, Cambridge University Press, pp. 311-337.
  • Book (ed.)
    • (noch nicht erschienen)
      • Dezalay, Sara (forthcoming): Lawyers in Africa: Building the state, brokering globalization
      • Dezalay, Sara; Levi, Ron (forthcoming): Pacify and Punish (3). Spaces of practice and institutional convergences (working title) (conditional accept) Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales
    • 2015
    • 2008
      • Dezalay, Sara; Levi, Ron; Hagan, John (2008): Pacify and Punish (1). War crimes and the international juridical order (in French: Pacifier et Punir (1). Les crimes de guerre et l’ordre juridique international) (2008) 173 Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 3, 128 p.
      • Dezalay, Sara; Levi, Ron; Hagan, John ed. (2008): Pacify and Punish (2). The Force of International Law and the Peace Market (in French: Pacifier et Punir (2). La force du droit international et le marché de la paix) (2008) 174 Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 4, 112 p.
  • Working paper
    • (noch nicht erschienen)

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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

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Burchard, Christoph (2019):

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

Kettemann, Matthias (2020):

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