The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Professor Oren Ben-Dor LLB, MA, PhD

Professor of Law and Philosophy

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Professor Oren Ben-Dor is Professor of Law and Philosophy within Southampton Law School at the University of Southampton.

LLB (Birmingham, 1992); MA (UCL, 1993); PhD (UCL, 1997). 

I have been in Southampton since 1999.  I am currently a Professor of Law and Philosophy.  I am the coordinator of the third year LLB as well as of the Legal Research and Writing module that involves all our final year undergraduates writing a 10000 word dissertations.I direct the Centre for Law Ethics and Globalisation at Southampton, which I co-found in 2009 and which organises public lectures and seminars.

I am a member of the Advisory Committee, Holy Land Studies - A Multidisciplinary Journal, Edinburgh University Press.

As my background is both in Anglo American analytical and Continental thought I am interested in supervising PhDs in legal and political philosophy from both traditions.





Research interests

My writings are in the philosophy of law, political and general philosophy.  I pursue three interlinked areas, all of which attempt to articulate the legal and political condition of humans in the Western Philosophical Tradition that is dominated by metaphysics and technological thought.  First is the relationship between ethics (goodness) and ontology (being) especially in relation to language, truthfulness, law and the limits of practical reason. I try to magnify into the movement of truthfulness in the midst of the happening of the emergence of rapture in language in the political ‘situation', constitutional power and law.  Second is in the essence of ecology, in particular the temporal, material and political/legal condition that characterise the human/mortal condition as an instantiation of nature.   In meditating on the notion of nature and how mortals dwell together in the mystery of nature in uncanniness to their own created world I am exploring trends that are inspired by ideas from both Western and Eastern thinking: Heidegger, Spinoza, Speculative Realism, Pre Socratic philosophy, Taoism and Zen Buddhism.   The third is the relationship between Greek, Jewish and Eastern thinking, an exploration that is linked to a meditation on the persistence of the Jewish condition which I argue continues to feature centrally in the formation and denial surrounded both the Holocaust and Zionist ideology.   I am currently working on a book for Zed Press about the connection between Zionism, the Jewish Question and Heidegger's silence about both the Holocaust, the Jewish Question.

My academic work relates to my political activity regarding Palestine, the gist of which is a call for justice and peace in Palestine (in that order).  See

I have published in the media regarding the conflict in Palestine: including articles in the London Independent, numerous articles in Counterpunch (, Arab Media Network (AMIN), Dissident Voice and Znet and the BBC.

I am now leading a collaborative bid with colleagues Southampton, University of Westminster, Baylor College, Texas, for an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional bid for a project called ‘The Prophetic'.

Research group(s)

Centre for Law, Ethics and Globalisation

Research project(s)

Law, Environment and Ecology

 Book Reviews

- W. Lucy, Understanding and Explaining Adjudication, Oxford 1999, Political Studies.

- D. Dyzenhaus, Recrafting the Rule of Law, Hart Publishing 1999, Political Studies.

- J. Cook, Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of a Jewish and Democratic State, Global Dialogue, 2007

- N. Masalha (ed.) Catastrophe Remembered: Palestine, Israel and the Internal Refugees

Essays in Memory of Edward. W. Said, Holy Land Studies, 2007 (forthcoming)

- A. Abunimah, One Country: A Bold Proposal to end the Israeli Palestinian Impasse, Journal of Palestine Studies, 2007         

- M. Brecher, Stranger in the Land: Jewish Identity Beyond Natinalism, Journal of Palestine Studies, 2008.

- A. Hart, Zionism: The Great Enemy of the Jews, 3 vols., (forthcoming for Journal of Palestine Studies)

Seminar and Conference Papers

September 2011     ‘The Essence of Ecology: Presencing Beeness,                             Worldling Rootedness, Political Differend. Invited Plenary Lecture at the annual Critical Legal Conference, Aberystwyth.  See Summary

July 2011             'The Grace of Gliding and the Gravity of Steering: Can Law ever be on the Way to Language?' Current Legal Issues Colloquium on Law and Language, University College London,

June 2011             Invited Speaker at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Nantes, on One State in Palestine and the Jewish Question.  

May 2011                    ‘The traceless trace of the demonic look of be-ing', a                                            panel on Law and the Visual. The Letter of the Law: Law Matters in Language  And Literature, Conference at the University of Athens.

March 2011                 ‘Law, Art, Truth' paper at Edinburgh Legal Theory Group, Faculty of Law, University of Edinburgh

January 2011               Public dialogue with Professor Martin Kayman (Cardiff English) on Law and Art, The University of Westminster.

Sep 2009              Sublime Origin of Violence and the Tragedy of Law, Critical Legal Conference, Leicester.

March 2009          Invited Speaker in a One State for Palestine Conference, University of Massachusetts, Boston: ‘A Sense of Justice: World Jewry and the One State Solution.

Nov/Dec 2008      Law between Separation and Comparison, LSE/University of Leicester.

May 2008           Heidegger and the Jewish Question, Birkbeck College, London.

July 2006             Participated in a symposium on Shakespeare and Terrorism in the Globe Theatre, London.                                        

2005                    Seminars to various lay Philosophical Societies.

July 2006             Heideggerian perspectives on Violence Symposium on Shakespeare and Terrorism', Gl  obe Theatre, London.

March 2003         ‘Thinking about Pain and Pleasure: Toward A Contemplative Conception of the Principle of Utility'. World Conference of the Utilitarian Society, Lisbon.

1999   UCL          Bentham Seminar: ‘Between Utility and Authenticity'

1996   UCL          Bentham Seminar: ‘on Disobedience in A Fragment on Government'

1994 UCL            Bentham on Sovereignty and Adjudication                       

Other Activities

2005               Panels on Palestine at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Queen Mary, London and Dublin.

2007           Paper in a One State Conference in Madrid.

March 2009          Invited to speak in the first US One State Conference by TARI, at the  University of Massachusetts. Paper entitled ‘A sense of Justice: World Jewry and the One State Solution'.

2000 - Present            Organised numerous public talks at Southampton                                      regarding Palestine and  the One State Solution. 




Book Section(s)

I teach in the Legal System and Reasoning and Criminal Law modules in the first year LLB, and in the third year Jurisprudence module.

Professor Oren Ben-Dor
Faculty of Business, Law and Art, Building 4 University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ UK

Room Number: 4/2009

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