Cüneyd Erbay

Cüneyd Erbay

PhD Student in Law

LSE Law School

Connect with me

Arabic, English, German, Turkish
Key Expertise
Legal History; Socio-Legal Theory

About me

Thesis title

'Legal Pluralism and the Codification of the Late Ottoman Empire: A Re-imagination of Imperial Political Authority ‎and Legal Thought'


Professor Michael Lobban and Dr Jo Murkens

Research interests

Legal and constitutional theory, comparative legal studies and histories, cultural study of law, legal and socio-cultural history of the late ‎Ottoman Empire and the wider Middle East

Cüneyd Erbay is a PhD candidate in Law at LSE. He is the recipient of a London Arts and Humanities Partnership Studentship.  His research explores the transformations of law and legal imagination in the late Ottoman Empire from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century in the aftermath of codification initiatives. He focuses on tensions, manifest in late Ottoman legal discourse, between legal pluralism as an ancient mode of governance for a socially diverse empire and an emerging global idea of monistic and uniform state law.

Cüneyd studied law and Middle Eastern history in Berlin, London, and Amman. He holds a master’s degree in law from Humboldt University of Berlin (First State Examination) and an LLM in Legal Theory from the LSE. Prior to pursuing a doctorate, he worked as a research assistant in capital market law for an ‎international law firm and for a chair of private and business law at Humboldt University.

Affiliations / Memberships

Member, Socio-Legal Studies Association

Member, Ottoman & Turkish Studies Association

Awards / Scholarships

London Arts and Humanities Partnership Studentship (2021-2024)

Oxford University Press Prize for Best LLM dissertation (2020)

Avicenna-Studienwerk Postgraduate Scholarship (2019-2021)


Erbay, Cüneyd, and Konrad Hirschler. “Writing Middle Eastern Agency into the History of the Qubbat al-Khazna: The Late Ottoman State and Manuscripts as Historical Artefacts.” In The Damascus Fragments: Towards a History of the Qubbat Al-Khazna. Edited by Arianna D’Ottone Rambach, Konrad Hirschler and Ronny Vollandt, 151–78. Beirut: Ergon Verlag, 2020.