Christian Neumeier

Christian is a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Law at Humboldt University Berlin. He holds a PhD in Law from Humboldt University and an LLM from Yale Law School. In his PhD, he examined how the emerging administrative state shaped key legal concepts in 19th century German public law and how this lasting influence still influences German constitutional law today. Published in 2022, the book won the Hermann Conring Prize of the German Association of Legal Historians and was selected as one the legal books of the year 2023. Christian has since worked on fiscal rules, central banks, and other aspects of the European Economic and Monetary Union. During his PhD, Christian was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School and Oxford Law Faculty. As part of his legal training, he worked for the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Chancellery. He studied law in Heidelberg, Bonn, and Oxford.


Research Project

The Power to Speak. Government speech in the European public sphere. Governments do not just legislate, adjudicate, or administer the law. They also speak. Theodore Roosevelt famously characterized the unique public platform of the American presidency as a “bully pulpit”. Would the President of the European Commission say the same about her discursive role? Should she? The research project explores the legal and theoretical dimensions of government speech and a framework for its possible regulation in the European Union. Government speech is a ubiquitous, yet ambivalent phenomenon of modern democracies. While essential to democratic government, it carries the risk of disinformation, manipulation, and the suppression of minority voices. The project combines a conceptual, a comparative, and a normative question. Conceptually, it asks what government speech is and how it should be legally understood. From a comparative perspective, the project analyzes how government speech is legally addressed and regulated in three jurisdictions: by European Union law and the European Convention on Human Rights, in the United States, and in Germany. The project concludes with the normative question of what a constitutional framework for regulating government speech in Europe might look like. What are the relevant normative concerns? What categories of speech should be distinguished? The project draws on comparative constitutional law, philosophy of language, and political theory. The goal is to improve our understanding of the political role government speech plays in democratic societies and to develop a normative framework for evaluating its possible regulation in the European public sphere. The analysis of government speech also provides a segue into the broader phenomenon of organized speech by large-scale social actors and its effects.