Prof. Dr. Martin Morlok

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

Curriculum Vitae

Martin Morlok studied Law and Sociology at the Universities of Tübingen, Marburg, and Gießen. After passing his first state examination in law in 1975, he travelled to the University of California, Berkeley in 1977 where he was a visiting scholar at the “Center for the Study of Law and Society”. From 1978 to 1980, he was a research associate at the University of Augsburg. In 1980, he began a legal clerkship in Düsseldorf and also worked as a research assistant at the University of Hagen. After passing his second state examination in law in 1982, he was promoted to a research associate position in the Legal Studies department in Hagen. In 1986, he earned a Doctorate of Law (dr. jur.) at the University of Bayreuth. In 1991, he pursued his postdoctoral studies in Public Law, Legal Theory, and Legal Sociology at the University of Hagen. After working as an interim professor in Hannover, he accepted a chair position at the University of Augsburg. Turning down a position with the University of the Bundeswehr (German Federal Armed Forces), he instead chose a professorship at the University of Jena followed by at the University of Rostock where he would teach from 1993 to 1997.  In 1997, he pursued a chair position at the University of Hagen and also became leader of the Institute of German and International Party Law. Aside from his work in Hagen, he also taught at the Düsseldorf Faculty of Law as part of the “joint degree program” between the University of Düsseldorf and the University of Hagen. Once his teaching for this joint degree program was finished, he transferred to the University of Düsseldorf, where he would continue to hold a professorship in Public Law, Legal Theory, and Legal Sociology. Here, the Political Science department would expand. Known today as the “Institute of German International Party Law and Party Research (PRuF)”, the department is considered a central institution at the Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf.  After 1997, he served for several years as President of the German Association of Legal Sociology (Today: German Association of Law and Society). He currently acts as President of the Association of German Constitutional Law Professors (Vereinigung der Deutschen Staatsrechtslehrer e.V.).  

Professor Dr. Martin Morlok was Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Studies “Law as Culture” from October 2016 to March 2017.

Research Interests

Law of political processes, specifically party law; religious constitutional law; methodology of law; legal sociology

Research Project

The Interplay between Legal Norms and Norms of Political Culture as seen in the Regulation of the Political Process

Democratic politics requires legal regulations in order to ensure functioning competition between political actors.  At the same time, the law of politics must also remain adequately open so that space remains for politics’ technical solutions as well as for their modus operandi. The borders, set through the positive law of politics, and standards require specification so that a decision can be made possible in the case of disputed law. In this instance, legal norms and norms of a non-legal nature as well as further expectations of non-legal kind interact. This interplay from legal norms and normative sources of political culture shall be examined more closely during the project at the Center. On the one hand, the principle of democracy will be taken into account. The purpose of this section is to examine how its concretization draws on normative contents of democratic tradition. Central constitutional provisions will also be reviewed in this assessment in dialogue with the societal discussion of values. On the other hand, it will also be examined how institutional practice in parliaments adapt to legal provisions – be it the logic of political activity or the norms of political culture – in such a way that identical legal norms lead to different practices in different exclusions. These findings can be reinforced by comparative observations of differing political realities despite very similar constitutional stipulations in various countries.  

To summarize, the hypothesis should be examined which asserts that the law is only incompletely differentiated from normativity of a non-legal kind and – as a consequence thereof – politics’ actual courses of action (even if considered legitimate) also cannot be explained by the norms of written law alone.

Publications (selected)

  • Selbstverständnis als Rechtskriterium - Vorkommen, Funktionen und dogmatische Bedeutung,Tübingen 1993, 512 Seiten (Habilitationsschrift).
  • Begriff und Phänomen der Normerosion im Bereich des öffentlichen Rechts, in: Monika Frommel/Volkmar Gessner (Hrsg.), Normerosion, Baden-Baden 1996, S. 115 ff.
  • Recht als soziale Praxis. Eine soziologische Perspektive in der Methodenlehre, in: Rechtstheorie 31(2000), S. 15 ff., (zusammen mit Ralf Kölbel und Agnes Launhardt).
  • The Relationship of Majority and Minority as an Element of Constitutional Culture, in: Miroslaw Wyrzykowski (Hrsg.), Constitutional Cultures (= Public. Of the Institute of Public Affairs), Warschau 2000 (2001), S. 221 ff.
  • Zur Herstellung von Recht: Forschungsstand und rechtstheoretische Implikationen ethnomethodologischer (Straf-)Rechtssoziologie, in: Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie 21 (2000), Heft 2, S. 387 ff. (zusammen mit Ralf Kölbel).
  • Rechtspraxis und Habitus, in: Rechtstheorie 32 (2001), S. 289 ff. (zusammen mit Ralf Kölbel).
  • Der Text hinter dem Text, Intertextualität im Recht, in: Alexander Blankenagel/Ingolf Pernice/Helmuth Schulze-Fielitz (Hrsg.), Verfassung im Diskurs, Liber Amicorum für Peter Häberle zum 70. Geburtstag,(Tübingen), AöR 2004, 93 ff.
  • Neue Erkenntnisse und Entwicklungen aus sprach- und rechtswissenschaftlicher Sicht, in: Bernhard Ehrenzeller/Peter Gomez/Markus Kotzur/Daniel Thürer/Klaus A. Vallender (Hrsg.), Präjudiz und Sprache »Precendence and its Language«, 2008, S. 27 ff.
  • Politische Parteien, in: T. Vesting/S. Korioth (Hrsg.), Der Eigenwert des Verfassungsrechts, Was bleibt von der Verfassung nach der Globalisierung?, 2011.
  • Recht, Sprache und Kultur, in: Carsten Bäcker/Matthias Klatt/Sabrina Zucca-Soest (Hrsg.), Sprache - Recht - Gesellschaft, 2012, S. 309 ff.
  • Entscheiden, nicht erkennen, in: NJW, 2015, 1072 f. (zusammen mit Sebastian Roßner).
  • Soziologie der Verfassung, Fundamenta Juris Publici 3, 2014.Intertextualität und Hypertextualität im Recht, in: Friedemann Vogel (Hrsg.), Zugänge zur Rechtssemantik. Interdisziplinäre Ansätze im Zeitalter der Medialisierung, 2015, S. 67 ff.
  • § 3 Volksvertretung als Grundaufgabe, in: Morlok/Schliesky/Wiefelspütz (Hrsg.), Parlamentsrecht, Praxishandbuch, 2015, S. 143 ff.
  • § 51 Zukünftige Weiterentwicklung des Parlamentarismus, in: Morlok/Schliesky/Wiefelspütz (Hrsg.),Parlamentsrecht, Praxishandbuch, 2015, S. 1625 ff.
  • Martin Morlok/Utz Schliesky/Dieter Wiefelspütz (Hrsg.), Parlamentsrecht, Handbuch, Baden-Baden 2016