Andreas Voßkuhle

Andreas Voßkuhle is Professor of Public Law at the University of Freiburg and Director of the Institute for Political Science and Philosophy of Law (Dept. I). He studied law at the Universities of Bayreuth and Munich. He received his doctorate from the LMU Munich in 1992 with a dissertation on “Legal Protection against the Judge”, for which he was awarded the faculty prize. In 1998, he habilitated at the University of Augsburg with a thesis on “The Compensation Principle”. In 2007, he was elected Rector of the University of Freiburg and, shortly after taking office, he was appointed Justice and Vice President of the Federal Constitutional Court. From March 2010 to June 2020, he was President of the Federal Constitutional Court. His areas of expertise include constitutional law, general administrative law, and constitutional and legal theory. Most notably, he is the co-founder of a new branch of German administrative law research, the “Neue Verwaltungsrechtswissenschaft” (Voßkuhle/Eifert/Möllers, eds., Grundlagen des Verwaltungsrechts, 3rd ed. 2022) and, together with Peter M. Huber, he publishes one of the leading German commentaries on constitutional law (8th ed. 2024). Voßkuhle is a full member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (since 2007) and the German National Academy of Sciences – Leopoldina (since 2018). He was a member of the European Comité 255 (2014 – 2022) and the Senate of the Max Planck Society (2013 – 2023). Voßkuhle is currently Chairman of the NGO “Gegen Vergessen – für Demokratie e.V.” and of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Mercator Foundation and the German Government’s “Karenzzeitgremium” (§ 6c BMinG) as well as President of the Senate of the German National Foundation. He has received numerous honors and awards for his work.


Research Project

  1. The German Constitution as „Constitution of the Middle“ in Comparison to US Constitutional Practice.
  2. The Resilience of Constitutional Courts.
First, I would like to compare two concepts of constitutional theory and practice. I intend to contrast the concept of the "Constitution of the Middle", which I developed together with Thomas Wischmeyer based on the German constitution (Voßkuhle/Wischmeyer, Die Verfassung der Mitte, 2016), with the more polarizing concept of the American constitution and its practice. What are the cultural circumstances that determine these two paths and the arguments in favor of each? What are the historical reasons for the constitutional development in the United States? What can the German constitutional culture learn from the American one? Second, I would like to engage in preparatory work for the major interdisciplinary research project "Constitution as Practice in Times of Transformation" (ConTrans). Together with colleagues from the fields of history, political science, literature, economics, philosophy, and psychology, we aim to bring together perspectives from a wide range of disciplines in a comprehensive and long-term effort to study constitutions as social practice. The project is part of a cluster proposal for the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state Governments. The specific research project I am involved in deals with the resilience of constitutional courts and the public’s trust in constitutional courts. At its core is the question of what constitutes the resilience of constitutional courts. While previous research on the development of constitutional jurisdiction has focused primarily on "failed" courts, this project is the first to look also at courts that have withstood attack. Only through a broad comparative analysis that combines historically informed legal, political and social-science approaches will it be possible to identify the characteristics and contexts that make constitutional courts robust institutions. I plan to use my research fellowship at NYU to analyze recent U.S. developments in this regard in more detail.