Damian Cueni

Bonavero Early Career Fellow, January 2021 - June 2023

Other affiliations

Lincoln College


Dr Damian Cueni is a Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Law and an Early Career Fellow at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights. His doctoral research was at the intersection of international law, public law, and political theory. As an Early Career Fellow, Damian will use theoretical and qualitative empirical methods to develop a new understanding of basic rights adjudication and administrative law doctrine, with a special focus on the cultural and institutional contexts of proportionality. He also has a longstanding research interest in many philosophical issues, especially the work of Bernard Williams and the question of how historical discoveries may or may not affect our present evaluations.

Dr Cueni is currently finishing a monograph entitled Public Law Analogies for a Global Age. The book critically engages with and defends a revised version of Public Law Analogies—the idea of extending public law concepts to new forms of public power in the international context. Recent setbacks to the liberal international order notwithstanding, we are undoubtedly living in a global age characterised by shared challenges like climate change, financial systemic risk, or global health security. Under these circumstances, Public Law Analogies offer much-needed normative guidance in reconciling the imperative to strengthen international institutions with the legitimacy standards of liberal democracies. The book thus defends Public Law Analogies as an exercise in situated conceptual reconstruction that is able to get a grip even in a divided world that lacks liberal consensus.

Prior to joining the Bonavero Institute, Dr Cueni did his PhD on Public Law Analogies in International Legal Theory at the University of Zurich. He was also the managing editor for the three-volume handbook on Swiss constitutional law Verfassungsrecht der Schweiz/Droit constitutionnel suisse, edited by Oliver Diggelmann, Maya Hertig Randall and Benjamin Schindler, published in January 2020. Before writing his dissertation, Dr Cueni was a Programme Officer at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he focused on the subnational democracy reform and mainstreaming a human rights-based approach and conflict sensitivity in programme design.

Link to personal website: https://damiancueni.com