Prof. Dr. Martin van Gelderen

Since October 2012 Martin van Gelderen is director of the Lichtenberg-Kolleg, the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and professor for European Intellectual History at the University of Göttingen, Germany. After his PhD (EUI, Florence, 1988) he has held posts as assistant professor at the TU Berlin and as full professor at the University of Sussex, UK, and from 2003 until 2012, at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence.

Throughout the last two decades the combination of academic management and research has become characteristic for his career. He was Director of the Graduate Research Center in the Humanities at Sussex and Dean of Graduate Studies at the EUI from 2008 until 2012. In terms of scholarship the emphasis has been on the history of early modern political and religious thought, in particular on European traditions of republicanism and natural law theory and on the debates on religious toleration. Important milestones were the publication, all by Cambridge University Press, of The Political Thought of the Dutch Revolt in 1992, the two volumes, co-edited with Quentin Skinner, Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage, in 2002 and, in 2013, the two volumes Freedom and the Construction of Europe, once again the outcome of a major international research project co-directed and co-edited with Quentin Skinner.

For a recent interview about the history and current state of intellectual history see Doing things with Intellectual History, Zeitenblicke, vol. 12, no 1 (2013), or

Current Research Projects

  • New English edition and translation of Hugo Grotius, De Iure Belli ac Pacis/The Rights of War and Peace for the series Cambridge texts in the History of Political Thought
  • 'From Noah's Ark to the New World', a study of the humanist debate on the origins of the American Indians, focusing on the historical research of scholars such as Acosta, Grotius, De Laet, Hornius, Locke and Montanus
  • Rembrandt, Grotius and Menasseh: Visuality, Violence and Religious Toleration in the Dutch Republic (1590-1672)

Selected Recent Publications

  • (co-editor) Lichtenberg Lacht – Aufklärung und Satire, Göttingen, 2015;
  • 'Hot Protestants. Predestination, the Freedom of Will and the Making of The modern European Mind' in Gijsbert van den Brink (ed.), Calvinism and the European Mind, Leiden, 2014, pp. 131-154
  • 'Iustitiam non includo: Hugo Grotius, Carl Schmitt and the Ius Publicum Europaeum', History of European Ideas, vol. 37, No. 2, 2011, 154-159
  • 'Menschenrechte und Demokratie – James Madison, Hugo Grotius und die Probleme des neuen Europa', Gerald-Stourzh-Vorlesung 2009,
  • 'The Low Countries: The Quest for Concord', in Glenn Burgess, Howell Lloyd and Simon Hodson (eds.), European Political Thought 1450-1700: Religion, Law and Philosophy, New Haven. Conn/London, 2007, pp. 376-415.
  • 'So meerly humane: Theories of Resistance in Early Modern Europe' in Annabel Brett and James Tully (eds.), Rethinking the Foundations of Modern Political Thought, Cambridge, 2006, pp. 149-170.