Frederik Dhondt


Frederik Dhondt
Contextual Research in Law (CORE)
Building B, room 4B312
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
B-1050 Brussels

secretary +32 2 629 2460
phone +32 2 629 18 83
fax +32 2 629 2662


Frederik Dhondt (1984) is associate professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, which he joined as assistant professor on 1 October 2015. He teaches the courses Political History of Belgium (6 ECTS, First Year Bachelor of Laws, First Year Bachelor of Science in Criminology), Historical and Comparative Introduction to Public Law (6 ECTS, First Year Bachelor of Laws) and Legal History (6 ECTS, Master of Laws, together with R. Cahen).
Frederik obtained the degrees of Master of Laws (Ghent, 2002-2007, Magna Cum Laude, Specialty Public law and International Law), Master of Arts in History (Ghent, 2004-2008, Erasmus Paris IV-Sorbonne, Summa Cum Laude) and Research Master in International Relations (Sciences Po Paris, Ecole doctorale, 2008-2009, Magna Cum Laude). His Master thesis on the War of the Spanish Succession (Nec Pluribus Impar? De campagnes en onderhandelingen van Lodewijk XIV in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden, 1707-1708, under the direction of René Vermeir) was awarded the André Schaepdrijver Prize (OSGG) for best Master Thesis in History at Ghent University, and the Thesis Prize of the Werkgroep 18de Eeuw (Belgian-Dutch Society for Eighteenth Century Studies). The commercial version was published as Op zoek naar glorie in Vlaanderen. De Zonnekoning en de Spaanse Successie by UGA (series Standen en Landen/Anciens Pays et Assemblées d’Etats, vol. 108). The book won the 2012 Prize for Historical Research of the Province of East-Flanders (see publications). In, 2007, Frederik obtained the Ghent Court of Appeal Prize for best master papers in law (papers in open access on e-thesis). In 2016, he was awarded the Van Caenegem Prize for best article published by a young scholar in Comparative Legal History.
He prepared a PhD dissertation in Law under the direction of Dirk Heirbaut at Ghent University as PhD-Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) from 2009 to 2013. He was a visiting researcher in London (Oct-Dec 2009), Frankfurt am Main (Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Jan-Feb 2010), Paris (Jan-Jun 2011) and Heidelberg (Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Oct-Nov 2012). His thesis Balance of Power and International Law. European Diplomacy and the Elaboration of International Order, 18th Century and Post 1945 was successfully defended on 13 September 2013. The commercial version was published by Brill in 2015 (Balance of Power and Norm Hierarchy. Franco-British Diplomacy after the Peace of Utrecht) in the series Studies in the History of International Law (ed. Randall Lesaffer).
After completing his dissertation, Frederik was appointed as Faculty Postdoctoral Assistant at the Ghent Law Faculty and lecturer in charge for the course European and Belgian Private Legal History (Second Year Bachelor of Laws, 2013-2014). From October 2014 to September 2017, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), on a project entitled Foreign Legal Perceptions of the Belgian Buffer State’s Neutrality, 1830-1914. From November 2014 to April 2015, he was a visiting fellow in Geneva.
In October 2015, Frederik joined the VUB as Assistant Professor. From October 2016 to September 2020, he occupied a complementary position as Visiting Lecturer at the University of Antwerp’s law faculty, for the courses Political and Institutional History of Belgium and the Low Countries (First year Bachelor of Laws, 6 ECTS, together with Vice-Chancellor Herman Van Goethem) and Legal History (Master of Laws, 3 ECTS). Since October 2017, he is associated to Ghent University as voluntary research associate (Legal History Institute - GRILI).
Frederik is active as director of communciations of the European Society for Comparative Legal History, is President of Standen en Landen/Anciens Pays et Assemblées d'États and is a member of the Steering Committee of the European Society of International Law's Interest Group History of International Law.
Frederik’s research focuses on the history of international law, public law and politics in the 18th and 19th centuries. He publishes in English, French, Dutch and (occasionally) Spanish and German. His main publications are sorted according to the area of interest (see also Frederik's page on PURE):

A : Early modern diplomacy and international law

B : 19th  and 20th century diplomacy and international law

C : Historiography and legal scholarship

D : Law of nations doctrine

E : Belgian legal and political history

F : Early modern history (outside the scope of category A)

G : Textbooks

H : Libri Amicorum

I : France

J : Participation in conferences, colloquia, seminars, workshops