Academic Staff

Dr Daniel Matthews

Assistant Professor of Law


Dr Daniel Matthews is Assistant Professor of Law and Deputy Director of the Law and Literary Studies BA/LLB programme at the University of Hong Kong. Daniel teaches and researches in the fields of legal theory and law and literature. His current research evaluates theories of sovereignty in the context of climatic change and the onset of the Anthropocene epoch. The project draws on contemporary philosophy, literature and art, as well as political, social and cultural theory in order examine how the theoretical coordinates that have defined modern sovereignty are being put under unprecedented pressure in the new climatic regime in which we live. This research is funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council. A monograph entitled Earthbound: The Aesthetics of Sovereignty in the Anthropocene is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press.

Daniel’s research has been published in leading international journals: Law and LiteratureSocial and Legal StudiesLaw and Critique and Law, Culture and the Humanities and he has presented his research at numerous international conferences, seminars and workshops. With Scott Veitch (HKU), he recently edited Law, Obligation, Community (Routledge, 2018) and with Tara Mulqueen (University of Warwick), he edited Being Social: Ontology, Law, Politics (Counterpress, 2015). He serves on the Editorial Committees of Law and Critique and Law and Literature – where he is the journal’s book reviews editor. In addition, he sits on the advisory board of the online interdisciplinary journal, The London Journal of Critical Thought. When he finds the time, Daniel contributes to the critical legal studies blog, Critical Legal Thinking. In 2017 Daniel won the HKU Faculty of Law Outstanding Teacher Award for his work on the Law and Literary Studies BA/LLB programme. In 2018 Daniel held visiting positions at the University of Glasgow and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities in London.

Taking a somewhat circuitous route to the law, Daniel completed his BA(Hons) in Philosophy and English Literature and his MA in Critical Theory (both at The University of Sussex). He was awarded the Graduate Diploma in Law (University of East Anglia) before moving on to his doctoral studies in legal theory at Birkbeck Law School, University of London under the supervision of Professor Costas Douzinas. He successfully defended his PhD thesis in 2014. 


Books and Edited collections

  • (2019/20) Earthbound: The Aesthetics of Sovereignty in the Anthropocene (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press,  forthcoming). Under contract.
  • (2018) Co-editor (with Scott Veitch) Law, Obligation, Community. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • (2017) Co-editor (with Marco Wan), “Legal Marginalia” – A Special Issue of Law and Humanities 11(1), 1-155.
  • (2015) Co-editor (with Tara Mulqueen), Being Social: Ontology, Law, Politics. Oxford: Counterpress.

Chapters in Books

  • (2018) Co-author (with Stacy Douglas), “Sovereignty, affect and being-bound” in Matthews and Veitch (ed.), Law, Obligation, Community. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • (2017) “The nomos of the Umbrella Movement” in Brian Christopher Jones (ed.), The Legal and Political Significance of the Taiwan Sunflower and Hong Kong Umbrella Movements: Critical Neighbours. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • (2016) “A Spirit of the Common: Reimaging the Common Law with Jean-Luc Nancy” in . Samuel Kirwan, Leila Dawney and Julian Brigstocke (eds.), Space, Power and the Making of the Commons. Abingdon, Routledge.
  • (2015) “On the Law of Being Social or Writing the Law” in Being Social, Mulqueen and Matthews (ed.). Oxford: Counterpress.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  • (2017) "Narrative, Space and Atmosphere: A Nomospheric Inquiry into Hong Kong’s Pro democracy ‘Umbrella Movement’." Social & Legal Studies 26(1), 25-46. 
  • (2016) Co-author (with Scott Veitch), “The Limits of Critique and the Forces of Law”, Law and Critique 27(2): 349.
  • (2016) “Plasticity, Jurisdiction and the Interruption of Sovereignty: A response to Catherine Malabou via José Saramago’s Seeing, Law and Literature 29(2), 345-366.
  • (2017) “From Jurisdiction to Juriswriting: At the Expressive Limits of the Law” Law, Culture and the Humanities 13(3), 425-445. [First published online: 20 March 2014].


  • (2018 – 2020) ‘The Aesthetics of Sovereignty in the Age of the Anthropocene’. Funding awarded by Hong Kong Research Grants Council (Early Career Scheme): HK$ 289,032.
  • (2017) Faculty of Law Outstanding Teacher Award.
  • (2017) ‘Legal Aesthetics in the Street’ (with Illan rua Wall). Funding awarded by The Independent Social Research Foundation, Residential Group Project: £10,000.
  • (2016) ‘Obligation, Community, Law’ (with Scott Veitch). Funding awarded by the Law Faculty of Hong Kong Dean’s Fund: HK$ 120,000 HKD