Professor Michael Wilkinson

Professor Michael Wilkinson

Professor of Law

LSE Law School

Room No
Cheng Kin Ku Building 6.31
Key Expertise

About me

Mike Wilkinson, Professor of Law at LSE, studied at University College London, the College of Europe, Bruges, and completed a PhD at the European University Institute, Florence. Prior to taking up his post at LSE in 2007, Mike was lecturer at Manchester University, EU-US Fulbright Research Fellow at Columbia and NYU and was called to the Bar (Lincoln’s Inn) in 2000. He has also taught at Cornell University as adjunct professor of law and been a visiting professor at Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), National University of Singapore (NUS) and Keio University Tokyo.

Administrative support:

Research interests

  • European Integration
  • Constitutional Theory
  • Legal, Political and Social Theory


The Cambridge Handbook on the Material Constitution (Cambridge University Press, 2023) (ed. with Macro Goldoni)

Despite a long and venerable tradition, the material constitution almost disappeared from constitutional scholarship after the Second World War. Its marginalisation saw the rise of a normative and legalistic style in constitutional law that neglected the role of social reality and political economy. This collection not only retrieves the history and development of the concept of the material constitution, but it tests its theoretical and practical relevance in the contemporary world. With essays from a diverse range of contributors, the collection demonstrates that the material constitution speaks to several pressing issues, from the significance of economic development in constitutional orders to questions of constitutional identity. Offering original analyses supported by international case studies, this book develops a new model of constitutional reality, one that informs our understanding of the world in profound ways.

click here for publisher's site



Authoritarian Liberalism and the Transformation of Modern Europe (Oxford University Press, 2021)

This book recounts the transformation of Europe from the interwar era until the euro crisis, using the tools of constitutional analysis and critical theory. Interwar liberalism, rocked by mass politics and social inequality, actively turns to authoritarianism in an attempt to suppress democracy, with disastrous consequences in Weimar and beyond. After the Second World War, economic liberalism is restored through a passive authoritarianism: inter-state sovereignty is restrained, state-society relations are depoliticised, and class struggle subdued. This transformation takes time to unfold and it presents continuities as well as discontinuities. It is deepened by the neoliberalism of the Maastricht era and yet counter-movements then also emerge, which are more actively repressed through the authoritarian liberalism of the euro crisis phase. This leads now to an impasse. If the postwar order of authoritarian liberalism has reached its limits, there is yet to be any definitive rupture.

click here for publisher's site

read the introduction here [SSRN]

read a review essay

listen to an interview on the RevDem podcast [text also available]

review in the European Constitutional Law Review

discussion in European Law Open

review in International Affairs

review in International Journal of Constitutional Law

review in Revista Española de Derecho Constitucional

review in QG, le média libre

review in Jurisprudence

review in Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics



Questioning the Foundations of Public Law (Hart Publishing, 2018)

In 2010, Martin Loughlin, Professor of Public Law at the LSE, published Foundations of Public Law, 'an account of the foundation of the discipline of public law with a view to identifying its essential character'. The book has become a landmark in the field, and it has been said, notably by one of its major critics, that it now provides the 'starting point' for any deeper inquiry into the subject. The purpose of this volume is to engage critically with Foundations – conceptually, comparatively and historically – from the viewpoints of public law, private law, political, social and legal theory, as well as jurisdictional perspectives including the UK, US, India, and Continental Europe. Scholars also consider the legacy and continuing relevance of Foundations in the light of developments in transnational law, global law and regional integration in the European Union.

click here for publisher's site

click here for a review of Questioning the Foundations of Public Law in European Journal of Political Theory

click here for a review of Questioning the Foundations of Public Law in The Modern Law Review

click here for a review in Jurisprudence



Constitutionalism beyond Liberalism (Cambridge University Press, 2017) (ed. with Michael W. Dowdle) 

Constitutionalism Beyond Liberalism bridges the gap between comparative constitutional law and constitutional theory. The volume uses the constitutional experience of countries in the global South - China, India, South Africa, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Malaysia - to transcend the liberal conceptions of constitutionalism that currently dominate contemporary comparative constitutional discourse. The alternative conceptions examined include political constitutionalism, societal constitutionalism, state-based (Rousseau-ian) conceptions of constitutionalism, and geopolitical conceptions of constitutionalism. Through these examinations, the volume seeks to expand our appreciation of the human possibilities of constitutionalism, exploring constitutionalism not merely as a restriction on the powers of government, but also as a creating collective political and social possibilities in diverse geographical and historical settings.

click here for publisher's site

click here for a review of Constitutionalism beyond Liberalism in Jurisprudence

click here for a review of Constitutionalism beyond Liberalism in the International Journal of Constitutional Law



Public engagement

The End of History and the Last European MPIfG Lecture (podcast) 24/4/24

European Identity Isn’t an Antidote to Nationalism Jacobin 9/9/23

'The New Right Wants Activist Judges to Rule, Not the People' Jacobin 5/3/23

The European Union was built on a rejection of democracy Jacobin 17/8/22

February 24th, or what binds Europeans together? UCL Europe Blog 17/03/22

Power to the People? A Missed Opportunity Balkinization 09/03/22

The Rise and Fall of World Constitutionalism Verfassungsblog 07/10/21

Roundtable: Monetary Policy in the EU: Beneath the Spurious Legality of the ECB’s Monetary Policy Just Money  (with Marco Dani, Edoardo Chiti, Joana Mendes, Agustín José Menéndez, Harm Schepel)

Fight, flight or fudge? First reflections on the PSPP judgement of the German Constitutional CourVerfBlog, 2020/5/06

At the End of the Law: A Moment of Truth for the Eurozone and the EU VerfBlog, 2020/5/15 (with Marco Dani; Joana Mendes; Agustín José Menendez;  Harm Schepel; Edoardo Chiti

The Failure of the Left to Grasp Brexit LSE Brexit Blog 2019/12/16, 

A Constitutionally Momentous Judgment That Changes Practically Nothing?: The UK Supreme Court’s Decision on the Prorogation of Parliament VerfBlog 2019/9/25

Labour Cannot be a Party of Remain if it is Serious about Radical Change, LSE Brexit Blog 2019/09/05, 

A Crisis Made in Italy VerfBlog 2018/6/07

Prelude to a Lexit Manifesto: Decoding the New German Ideology LSE Brexit Blog 2018/12/04

Austerity, Grexit, and the Battle for the Euro LSE Law Policy Briefing Paper 10/2015