Univ.-Prof. Dr. Lena Foljanty

Lena Foljanty

Chair for Globalisation and Legal Pluralism

Department of Legal and Constitutional History
University of Vienna
Schottenbastei 10-16, 3rd floor
A-1010 Vienna

Tel.: +43 1 / 4277 - 34590
E-mail: lena.foljanty@univie.ac.at

Office hours:
Please schedule an appointment in advance with our secretariat


Lena Foljanty studied law at the University of Greifswald and at Humboldt University Berlin. She earned her doctorate in law in 2011 at Goethe University Frankfurt, where she also qualified as a professor in 2020.

From 2012, she was a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory, where she headed the research group “Translations and Transitions: Legal Practice in 19th Century Japan, China, and the Ottoman Empire” from 2017 to 2022. In addition, she was a freelance research associate at the Fritz Bauer Institute in Frankfurt.

She was a visiting researcher at École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris (2014), at the University of Tokyo (2013, 2014, 2016) and at Gakushūin University in Tokyo (2018), and a visiting professor at Bocconi University in Milan (2017) and at the University of Vienna (2019).

Lena Foljanty has received the Werner Pünder Prize of Goethe University Frankfurt, as well as the Sibylle Kalkhof-Rose Academy Award for the Humanities of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz. Her book “Recht oder Gesetz. Juristische Identität und Autorität in den Naturrechtsdebatten der Nachkriegszeit” was awarded legal book of the year in 2013.

Since 2020, Lena Foljanty has held the Chair for Globalisation and Legal Pluralism at the University of Vienna. She is a member of the advisory board of Forum Justizgeschichte e.V. and the editorial committee of Revue de synthèse. She also serves on the academic advisory board of the Fritz Bauer Institute and as a scientific board officer for political science, law and administrative sciences on the board of the Austrian Science Fund FWF.

Research interests

  • Processes of globalisation and translation in law
  • Transnational history of legal practice and legal methods
  • Law in Nazi Germany and legal processing of Nazi crimes
  • Legal gender studies, intersectionality and Critical Race Theory

Research project

Translations and Transitions: Legal Practice in 19th Century Japan, China, and the Ottoman Empire