Dr Alain Zysset
- Senior Lecturer (School of Law)
Alain is a legal and political theorist interested in the practices of constitutional, human rights law and international law. His research specifically aims to develop a tighter mutual engagement between the theory and the practice of these bodies of law. In this regard, Alain has published on the role of human rights practices (esp. the European Court of Human Rights) in human rights theory and the debate surrounding the legitimacy of human rights courts and bodies, on the practice of international criminal tribunals (esp. the International Criminal Court) in criminal law theory as well as on the conceptual link between human rights violations and international crimes across international courts.
Alain has published in leading international journals across the disciplines of constitutional law, international law, and legal and political theory. His research has appeared in International Journal of Constitutional Law (2019, 2021), Global Constitutionalism (2016, 2021), Ratio Juris (2019), Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (2019, 2020), Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence (2016) and Criminal Law and Philosophy (2018), among others. Alain also acts as Associate Editor of Jus Cogens (Springer) and sits on the UKRI Review Panel.
Alain has also recently been appointed Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oslo (PluriCourts Center of Excellence) for a two-year project (2021-23) studying the nexus between theories of populism and the practice of the European Court of Human Rights. The project examines if and how the Court should respond to populism consolidating across Council of Europe states. It is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and builds upon a prior research project conducted at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin (Center for Fundamental Rights) and funded by a Re-Constitution Fellowship (2019-20).
Alain is on leave from the School (until March 2023) to pursue the aforementioned project but continues to supervise doctoral dissertations and welcomes expressions of interest for prospective projects at the intersection of international law/human rights law/constitutional law and legal and political theory.
Alain’s academic background is multi-disciplinary. After obtaining a BA at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) in Philosophy and History, Alain has earned graduate degrees in Philosophy (MSc, LSE), History (MA, Graduate Institute Geneva) and Law (LL.M., Toronto). He was awarded his doctorate in law summa cum laude at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) under the supervision of Prof. Samantha Besson (now at Collège de France) and with the support of a three-year scholarship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (2010-2013). His dissertation was awarded the Gottlob Prize for the best dissertation defended at the Faculty of Law and was published as a research monograph with Routledge (The ECHR and Human Rights Theory) in 2016.
Before joining Glasgow, Alain was an Assistant Professor of Public Law and Human Rights at Durham University (2017-18) and previously held postdoctoral positions at the University of Oslo (PluriCourts Center of Excellence), the European University Institute (Max Weber Fellowship) Goethe-University Frankfurt (Cluster of Excellence Normative Orders on a fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).
In addition, Alain has held visiting positions at the University of Arizona (Visiting Scholar, Department of Philosophy, 2012), the University of Toronto (Visiting Scholar, Law Department, 2015), Osgoode Hall Law School at York University (Visiting Professor, 2015), and more recently at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin (Visiting Fellow, Center for Fundamental Rights, 2019-2020).
- Senior Research Fellowship in Legal Theory, Norwegian Research Council, University of Oslo/Center of Excellence PluriCourts (2021-23)
- Re-Constitution Fellowship, Mercator Foundation/Hertie School of Governance (2019-20)
- Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Norwegian Research Council, University of Oslo (2016-19)
- Max Weber Fellowship, European University Institute (2015-16)
- Postdoctoral Mobility Fellowship, Swiss National Research Foundation (2014-15)
- University of Toronto Graduate Fellowship (2013-14)
- UCLA School of Law, Dean’s Scholarship (2013-14)
- Doctoral Studentship, Swiss National Research Foundation (2010-13)
Alain currently supervises the following doctoral students:
- Ms. Sare Temel, ‘Rawls’ Theory of Justice and Migrants’ (2019-23)
- Ms. Dana Khan, ‘Human Rights and Climate Change Justice’ (2020-23)
- Mr. Jamie McGowan, ‘Rights and Juristocracy’ (2021-24)
- Ms. Regina Surber, ‘The Combatant’s Licence to Kill’ (2020-23, University of Zurich)
Alain welcomes expressions of interest for prospective projects at the intersection of international law/human rights law/constitutional law and legal and political theory.
- McGowan, Jamie
Ratio Juris and Juristocracy
- Constitutional Law 1
- Human Rights Systems: Law and Legitimacy
- Advanced Law and Practice of the ECHR
- Research Methods (LLM by Research and PhD)