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Professor Massimo Renzo
Professor Massimo Renzo, The Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London.

Professor Massimo Renzo

  • Academics
  • Supervisors

Professor of Politics, Philosophy & Law

Research subject areas

  • Law

Contact details



Massimo Renzo is Professor of Politics, Philosophy & Law at King’s. He has held visiting appointments at the Australian National University, the universities of Virginia and Arizona, the Murphy Institute, the National University of Singapore and the Nathanson Centre for Transnational Human Rights, Crime & Security. He is an affiliated researcher at the Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War & Peace and the Honorary Secretary of the Society for Applied Philosophy.

He is also one of the editors of the journal Criminal Law & Philosophy. He works primarily in legal and political philosophy. His main research interests are in the problems of political authority, international justice and the philosophical foundations of the criminal law.

Research interests

Professor Renzo works primarily in legal and political philosophy. His main research interests are in four areas:

  1. Political authority, with a focus on the questions of what justifies the right of states to create and enforce moral obligations; the question of the relationship between political authority and practical reasoning.
  2. Just war, with a focus on the question of what justifies lability to be killed in war; the question of whether there can be a duty to obey an order to fight an unjust war; the question of the justification of humanitarian intervention and of wars fought in order to protect political goods.
  3. Philosophy of the criminal law, with a focus on questions of agency and responsibility; the question of the authority of international criminal law.
  4. Human Rights, with a focus on the questions of how we should conceptualize human rights and of what justifies their existence.

Selected publications 

  • 1) 'Revolution and Intervention', Noûs, Early View, 2019.
  • 2) 'Political Authority and Unjust Wars', Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Early View, 2018.
  • 3) 'Rights Forfeiture and Liability to Harm', Journal of Political Philosophy, 25 (3) 2017, pp. 324–342.
  • 4) 'Crimes against Humanity and the Limits of International Criminal Law', Law and Philosophy, 31, 2012, pp. 443-476.
  • 5) 'State Legitimacy and Self-Defence', Law and Philosophy, 30, 2011, pp.575-601.