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Larry May

W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy
Professor of Law

Larry May has published over 30 books, including a critically acclaimed four-volume series published by the Cambridge University Press that addresses the moral foundations of international criminal law. Professor May’s books have won awards in law, philosophy, and political science. An authority on Just War theory and international law, Professor May has advised the U.S. State Department, the CIA, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, and been quoted in international court decisions.

He is a political philosopher who has written on conceptual issues in collective and shared responsibility and normative issues in international criminal law. He is currently writing a multi-volume history of legal thought, beginning with the first written legal texts in ancient Mesopotamia and projected to continue up to the Nuremberg trial.

Professor May’s work has been addressed at three conferences in Europe at Leiden University (2009); the Grotius Institute, Peace Palace at The Hague (2012); the School of International Relations at the University of St. Andrews (2013). He has recently given invited lectures at the law schools at Harvard, New York University, Stanford and the universities of Pennsylvania, California-Berkeley, Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota. He has also spoken at philosophy or law conferences abroad in Belfast, Oxford, Oslo, Copenhagen, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Geneva and Sapporo.

Professor May is an affiliated faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law, and an adjunct professor of philosophy at Charles Sturt University in Canberra Australia.

Representative Publications

  • Necessity in International Law (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2016) (with Jens Ohlin
  • International Criminal Tribunals: A Normative Defense (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) (with Shannon Fyfe)
  • Contingent Pacifism (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
  • Proportionality in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2014) (with Michael Newton)
  • Limiting Leviathan: Hobbes on Law and International Affairs (Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • After War Ends, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming 2012)
  • Global Justice and Due Process, Cambridge University Press-Cambridge (2011)
  • Genocide: A Normative Account, Cambridge University Press-New York (2010)
  • Aggression and Crimes Against Peace, Cambridge University Press-New York, (2008). Winner, Book of the year prize, International Association of Penal Law (American Section)
  • War Crimes and Just War, Cambridge University Press-New York (2007). Winner, Frank Chapman Sharp Prize for best book on the philosophy of war and peace, awarded by the American Philosophical Association every two years, and Outstanding Academic Title, American Library Association’s Choice Magazine