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School of Law

Dr Dimitri Van Den Meerssche

Dimitri Van Den

Lecturer in Law and IHSS Fellow



Dimitri Van Den Meerssche is a Lecturer in Law and Fellow of the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS) at Queen Mary University of London. Dimitri’s current research studies the impact of new digital technologies on global security governance, with a focus on counterterrorism and border control. He is interested in the forms of inequality and exclusion enacted by practices of algorithmic governance, and how these practices impact political subjectivity and the prospects of collective action. This work is inspired by critical security studies, feminist technoscience, infrastructure and design theory, and critical black studies.

Before joining Queen Mary, Dimitri was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Edinburgh Law School, working on a UKRI Future Leaders Project titled ‘Infralegalities – Global Security Infrastructures, Artificial Intelligence and International Law’ (led by Gavin Sullivan). In the context of this project, he is currently co-editing a volume titled Global Governance by Data – Infrastructure of Algorithmic Rule (co-edited with Fleur Johns and Gavin Sullivan and forthcoming with Cambridge University Press).

In parallel to his work on international law and technology, Dimitri writes on the changing practices and politics of international law in international organisations. In this field, his first monograph – The World Bank’s Lawyers: The Life of International Law as Institutional Practice – was recently published by Oxford University Press. Dimitri also has a strong interest in developing new methodological and (post)critical approaches to international law, around which he recently organised a lecture series and is currently curating two journal symposia. He recently co-convened a special issue on change, critique and complicity in global governance. Dimitri’s work appeared in multiple edited collections and journals including European Journal of International Law, Law and Critique, Human Rights Law Review, Journal of the History of International Law, Leiden Journal of International Law, International Organisations Law Review, London Review of International Law, Transnational Legal Theory and Law and Development Review. He is a founding committee member of the ESIL Interest Group on International Law and Technology.

Dimitri is also an Affiliated Fellow at the Institute for International Law and Justice (IILJ) at New York University (NYU), and an Associate Fellow as the T.M.C. Asser Institute, where he previously worked as postdoctoral researcher. Dimitri holds a PhD and an LLM in International Law from the European University Institute, an LLM from NYU as Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF) Fellow, and a Master of Laws degree from Ghent University (Summa Cum Laude). In the context of his PhD, Dimitri worked at the World Bank Legal Vice-Presidency and the London School of Economics.

Twitter: @Dimitri_VdM

Undergraduate Teaching


Digital technologies / security / infrastructure

Dimitri is engaged in three fields of research. His current research and writing primarily focuses on the regulatory effects, violence and inequalities caused by the use of digital technologies in border control and counterterrorism. Dimitri’s work on virtual borders draws on critical AI studies, new materialisms, and insights from infrastructure and design theory to study how forms of governance by data alter legal subjectivity and impact prospects of political collectivity. He also engages with the field of international law and technology more generally: he is currently co-editing a volume on Global Governance by Data (with Fleur Johns and Gavin Sullivan), and convening the ESIL Interest Group on International Law and Technology.

Practice and politics of international organisations law

Secondly, Dimitri continues to research the shifting politics of international law as a material practice and professional performance in international organisations. His first monograph – The World Bank’s Lawyers: The Life of International Law as Institutional Practice – draws on actor-network theory and professional sociology to trace these changes within the World Bank. He is currently writing on this topic for various forthcoming books: Ways of Seeing International Organizations: New Perspectives for International Institutional Law (edited by N. Mansouri and D. Quiroga- Villamarín, forthcoming with CUP); The Battle for International Law II: South-North Perspectives on the Neoliberal Era (1975-2000) (edited by P. Dann, S. Ranganathan and J. Von Bernstorff, forthcoming with OUP); and IOs Engaging the World (edited by J. Klabbers, forthcoming with CUP).

Methodology and critique

Finally, his work seeks to develop new methodological and (post)critical approaches to international law. He is currently convening two symposia – The Multiple Materialisms of International Law and Methodological Perspectives on International Law in the Global South – resulting from an earlier Lecture and Workshop Series on Method, Methodology and Critique in International Law. He is also developing a new series on these themes in collaboration with Queen Mary’s Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS). On the topic of critique and complicity, Dimitri has recently co-convened a special issue for Law and Critique.

Works in progress

Dimitri is currently working on a number of books, special issues, articles and chapters.


  • Global Governance by Data – Infrastructures of Algorithmic Rule (Cambridge University Press Global Law series) (edited with F. Johns and G. Sullivan).

Special Issues

  • ‘Methodological Perspectives on International Law in the Global South’ (under review).
  • ‘The Multiple Materialisms of International Law’ (under review).

Journal Articles under review

  • ‘On Phantom Publics, Clusters and Collectives – Different Ways of Becoming a Legal Subject in Algorithmic Times’ (with M-C. Petersmann), (under review with AI & Society for a special issue by G. Noll, M. Gunneflo, L. Brännström and A. Parsa). 
  • ‘Deformalizing International Organizations Law – The Risk Appetite of Anne-Marie Leroy’, (under review with the European Journal of International Law for a special issue by J. Klabbers, G. Sinclair and D. Hovell).

Book Chapters in progress

  • ‘‘The critic is not the one who debunks, but the one who assembles’ – Professional Performances and Material Practices in International Law’, (edited volume by N. Mansour and D. R. Quiroga Villamarín (eds.), Delicate Machines of World Ordering: Alternative Approaches to International Organizations in International Law).
  • ‘‘I Believe in Discipline’ – The Battle of Ibrahim Shihata at a Turning Point of International Institutional Law’ (edited volume by S. Ranganathan, J. von Bernstorff and P. Dann (eds.), The Battle for International Law II: South-North Perspectives on the Neoliberal Era (1975-2000)). 
  • ‘Public-Private Cooperation in Global Security Governance: An Infrastructural Perspective’ (edited volume by J. Klabbers (ed.), International Organizations Engaging the World).



Special Issues

  • ‘‘New Ways of Seeing Like a State’ – Change, Critique and Complicity in Global Governance’, 33 (3) Law and Critique, 2022 (convened with G. Gordon).

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

Book Reviews 

Working Papers


Dimitri welcomes proposals for postgraduate supervision in the fields of international law, law and technology, global security law and governance, infrastructure studies, international organisations law, human rights law and work engaging with new methodological / (post)critical approaches to international law.

Public Engagement



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