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Daniel Lee

Professor of Political Science | Vice-Chair, Director of Graduate Studies
510 642 4682
760 Social Sciences Building
Upcoming/Future Courses
Personal Statement

Daniel Lee is Professor of Political Science and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  He specializes in political theory, the history of political thought, and jurisprudence.  His research concerns the reception of Roman and canon law in modern political thought (especially Jean Bodin and Hugo Grotius) and their continuing influence on modern doctrines of statehood, sovereignty, rights, and international law.  More generally, he has been interested in the relationship between legal science and social science in the history of ideas, as well as the foundations of deontic logic in early modern jurisprudence and social science.  His wider interests in political theory also include the foundations of democratic theory, the theory of rights, constitutional theory, republicanism, and the philosophy of the social sciences.  

Daniel Lee is the author of two books.  The Right of Sovereignty: Jean Bodin on the Sovereign State and the Law of Nations (Oxford, 2021) examines the origins of sovereignty as the vital organizing principle of modern international law in the legal and political thought of its most influential theorist, Jean Bodin.  Professor Lee explores Bodin's creative synthesis of classical sources in history, philosophy, and the medieval legal science of Roman and canon law in crafting the fundamental rules governing state-centric politics.  The Right of Sovereignty is the first book in English on Bodin's legal and political theory to be published in nearly a half-century and surveys themes overlooked in modern Bodin scholarship: empire, war, conquest, slavery, citizenship, commerce, territory, refugees, and treaty obligations of states.  Professor Lee's first book, Popular Sovereignty in Early Modern Constitutional Thought (Oxford, 2016), traced the juridical origins of modern popular sovereignty doctrines in the legal science of the Roman law tradition.  

He is currently working on three new projects.  Sacrosanct is under contract with Harvard University Press.  Divisions of Law is forthcoming with Oxford University Press and is a study of early modern legal science in Jean Bodin's Juris Universi Distributio ['A Division of the Whole Law'].  The Science of Right traces the foundations of legal science and the 'science of morality' from Grotius to Hohfeld.  

Professor Lee is the winner of the APSA Leo Strauss Award, the Forkosch Prize, and a Mellon Fellowship in the Columbia Society of Fellows.  Prior to his arrival at Berkeley, he taught political theory at the University of Toronto and Columbia University.  Professor Lee holds degrees from Columbia, Oxford, and Princeton.  


Academic Subfields
Research Interests
Political Theory, History of Political Thought, Jurisprudence
Ph.D., Princeton

Forthcoming.  Roman Law: The Legal Science of Right.  The Cambridge History of Rights.  Ed. Andrew Fitzmaurice and Rachel Hammersley.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Forthcoming.  The Grotian Rights Revolution.  Proceedings of the British Academy: Constitutionalism and Political Thought.  Ed. Felix Waldmann and Samuel Zeitlin.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2021.  Delegating Sovereignty.  Symposium on Koskenniemi, To the Uttermost Parts of the Earth.  European Journal of International Law 32.

2021.  Defining the Rights of Sovereignty.  Symposium on Mégret, 'Are There Inherently Sovereign Functions in International Law'.  American Journal of International Law: AJIL Unbound 115.

2020.  Sovereignty as Dominium: The Foundations of Hobbesian Statehood.  Hobbes's 'On the Citizen': A Critical Guide.  Ed. Robin Douglass and Johan Olsthoorn.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  

2019.  Jean Bodin.  Great Christian Jurists in French History, ed. Olivier Descamps and Rafael Domingo.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  Cambridge Law and Christianity.

2018.  The State Is a Minor:  Fiduciary Concepts of Government and the Roman Law of Guardianship from Azo to Hobbes.  Ed. Evan Criddle, et al., Fiduciary Government.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2018.  Unmaking Law:  Jean Bodin on Law, Equity, and Legal Change.  History of Political Thought 39.

2018.  Historical Perspectives on the Ethics of Consent.  Routledge Handbook on the Ethics of Consent.  Ed. Peter Schaber.  London: Routledge.   

2017.  Natural Rights Theories.  Oxford Handbook of Classics in Political Theory.  Ed. Jacob Levy.  New York: Oxford University Press.

2016.  Citizenship, Subjection, and the Civil Law: Jean Bodin on Roman Citizenship and the Theory of Consensual Subjection.  Citizenship and Empire in Europe 200-1900: The Antonine Constitution after 1800 Years.  Ed. Clifford Ando.  Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

2013.  Office Is a Thing Borrowed: Jean Bodin on the Right of Offices and Seigneurial Government.  Political Theory 41

2013.  Roman Law, German Liberties, and the Constitution of the Holy Roman Empire.  Freedom and the Construction of Europe.  Vol. 1.  Religious Freedom and Civil Liberty.  Ed. Quentin Skinner and Martin Van Gelderen.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2012.  Sources of Sovereignty: Roman Imperium and Dominium in Civilian Theories of Sovereignty.  Politica Antica 2.

2012.  Hobbes and the Civil Law: The Use of Roman Law in Hobbes' Civil Science.  Hobbes and the Law.  Ed. David Dyzenhaus and Thomas Poole.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2011.  Popular Liberty, Princely Government and the Roman Law in Hugo Grotius' De Jure Belli ac PacisJournal of the History of Ideas 72.   Reprinted in Grotius and Law.  Ed. Larry May and Emily McGill.  Routledge, 2014.

2008.  The Legacy of Medieval Constitutionalism in the Philosophy of Right: Hegel and the Prussian Reform Movement.  History of Political Thought 29.

2008.  Private Law Models for Public Law Concepts: The Roman Law Theory of Dominium in the Monarchomach Doctrine of Popular Sovereignty.  The Review of Politics 70.