School of Social and Political Science

Benedikt Buechel

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Research interests

Research interests

  • Political Theory
  • Statelessness
  • Ethics of Migration
  • Sovereignty
  • Territorial Rights
  • Human Rights


Before starting my PhD at the University of Edinburgh, I took an MA in International Studies at Seoul National University, and a BA in Philosophy and Business Studies at the University of Mannheim. I was an exchange student at the Kyoto University of Foreign Studies in 2012. Since 2019, I've been an associate member of the “European Network on Statelessness” and a co-chair of the “Normative Theory of Immigration Working Group” which is an international collective of scholars working at the intersections of migration studies, policy studies, and political theory.


Research project

A Typology of Statelessness

To this day, legal statelessness is surprisingly undertheorised in political theory. While there has recently been a resurgence of scholarship on the topic, no one has yet offered a formal typology of statelessness. This dissertation attempts to offer a formal typology. In international law, stateless people fall under two general categories. They are either de facto or de jure statelessthat much is recognised. The first, second, and third chapter of this dissertation interrogate the status quo legal framework by assessing international agreements and the proposals that relevant experts have made for reform. Chapters four, five, six, and seven then examine how stateless people have been treated, at different times and in different places, by governments and the courts around the world. Based on various examples I argue that there are significantly distinct types of statelessness. They are individual statelessness and collective statelessness, and also three subtypes: voluntary, structural, and denigrative statelessness. These derive from three distinct sources of nationality deprivation: for voluntary statelessness individuals themselves, for structural statelessness international law, and for denigrative statelessness the country of origin. Having established this typology, I go on to contend that the rights owed to stateless people differ depending on the type of statelessness they suffer from.


(2023) Beyond the State: The Moral Nexus between Corporations and Refugees
Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 26(4), pp. 461-483.

(2022) ‘A Typology of Statelessness.’ The Statelessness & Citizenship Review, 4(2), 237-255

(2022) ‘Improving Virtual Workshopping: Reflections from an Online Community of Migration Ethics Scholars.’ PS: Political Science and Politics, vol. 55 (4), pp. 773-777.

(2017) A Presumptive Right to Exclude: From Imposed Obligations To A Viable Threshold, Global Politics Review, vol. 3, issue 1.

(2014) Liberal Japan needs to drown out revisionist voices, East Asia Forum, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University