Paul W. Kahn

Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities and Director, Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights


Paul W. Kahn is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School. Professor Kahn teaches in the areas of constitutional law and theory, international law, cultural theory and philosophy.

FULL BIOGRAPHY

Contact Information


Yale Law School

P.O. Box 208215

New Haven,CT 06520

Education & Curriculum Vitae


J.D., Yale Law School, 1980

Ph.D. (Philosophy), Yale University, 1977

B.A., University of Chicago, 1973

Courses Taught


  • Constitutional Law
  • Human Rights Workshop: Current Issues and Events
  • The Theory and Practice of Human Rights

Paul W. Kahn is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School. Professor Kahn teaches in the areas of constitutional law and theory, international law, cultural theory and philosophy. Before coming to Yale in 1985, he clerked for Justice White in the United States Supreme Court and practiced law in Washington, D.C., during which time he was on the legal team representing Nicaragua before the International Court of Justice. He is the author of Legitimacy and History: Self-Government in American Constitutional TheoryThe Reign of Law: Marbury v. Madison and the Construction of America;The Cultural Study of Law: Reconstructing Legal ScholarshipLaw and Love: The Trials of King LearPutting Liberalism in its Place; Out of Eden: Adam and Eve and the Problem of EvilSacred Violence: Torture, Terror, SovereigntyFinding Ourselves at the Movies: Philosophy for a New Generation; and Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty. (Professor Kahn discusses the book in a podcast from the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. Listen here.) He earned his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in Philosophy and J.D. from Yale.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


America’s Divided Political Imaginary—A Commentary by Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn '80 is the Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities at Yale Law School. 

Monday, July 24, 2017


Firing Mueller? Pardoning cronies? Trump could get away with that and more if Congress doesn't act.—A Commentary by Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.

Monday, February 15, 2016


Scalia brought constitutional law into the political arena—A Commentary by Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn ’80 is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Beware a Pyrrhic victory over ISIL—A Commentary by Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn ’80 is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Hospital bombing reveals US failure in Afghanistan—A Commentary by Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn ’80 is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Netanyahu doesn’t care about Iran getting the bomb—A Commentary by Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn ’80 is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


The Dangers of Political Moralizing—A Commentary by Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn ’80 is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


In today’s world, fear corporations or fear nations?—A Commentary by Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn ’80 is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.

Monday, May 25, 2015


Liberalism needs better politicians, not better ideas—A Commentary by Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn ’80 is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.

Monday, April 13, 2015


At stake in Yemen, the nuclear deal with Iran—A Commentary by Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn ’80 is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Speaking Power to Truth, or, The Banality of Torture—A Commentary by Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn ’80 is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School. 

Friday, November 14, 2014


A failed strategy cost the Democrats—A Commentary by Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn ’80 is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Ebola scare revives post-9/11 public fears—A Commentary by Paul Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014


China’s Coming of Age in Hong Kong—A Commentary by Paul Kahn ’80

 Paul W. Kahn is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Bernstein Symposium to Focus on Street Activism and Human Rights

This year’s Bernstein Symposium, to be held at Yale Law School on March 27 and 28, 2014, will center on discussion of “Human Rights in the Streets.” 

Friday, November 15, 2013


Finding Ourselves at the Movies: Philosophy for a New Generation – A Book by Professor Paul W. Kahn ’80

Paul W. Kahn ’80, Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities and Director, Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights, assesses the need for a new direction in philosophical inquiry.