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Personal profile


Dr. Renske Vos is assistant professor in international law at the department of transnational legal studies at VU Amsterdam. Her two main research projects (1) legal sightseeing and (2) Europe and the sea of stories, are tied together by an interest in socio-legal studies of international law and governance. Broader research interests include transnational actors, institutional architecture, law as literature, and ways of visualising law.

(1) Legal Sightseeing
Together with dr. Sofia Stolk, Renske co-directs the research project legal sightseeing, which investigates how international law presents itself 'to the public' and in turn enquires into what that public shows up for. Legal sightseeing thus signals the widespread ‘eventisation’ of international law: international courthouses stage public photo exhibitions, international lawyers partake in film festivals, and the buildings of international organisations are top tourist destination. Findings are presented through a photo blog on www.legalsightseeing.org, which doubles as a platform showcasing experimental and visually-oriented research in international law. Renske and Sofia are co-authors to various publications and co-editors of a special issue on brutalist institutional architecture (Sage 2020) and of an edited volume titled International Law’s Collected Stories (Palgrave 2020). Further updates on the project can also be followed via Instagram.

(2) Europe and the Sea of Stories    
The research project Europe and the Sea of Stories builds directly on Renske’s PhD thesis. The project studies EU decision-making on irregular migration in the South-Central Mediterranean Sea. It shifts the focus of research away from migrants in the Mediterranean to the EU in Brussels, which is also a crucial if understudied actor in this space. The research draws on the views and draws up the stories of EU decision-makers involved to build a rigorous and critical record of the day-to-day management in this contentious area. The longitudinal research design (2015-2025) moreover enables analysis over time, and as such offers a counterweight to the frequently incidental, anecdotal and politicised character of much of current debate. In this way, the project gives a historical and socio-legal account of the changing professional, material and political life of international law in this domain.

Previously, Renske studied politics and international law at the University of Nottingham, Sciences Po Paris, the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, the University of Amsterdam and at the University of Edinburgh. She has taught international relations theories at the University of Edinburgh and currently teaches public international law at VU Amsterdam and transnational law at National Taiwan University (NTU Law).   

For the calendar year 2023 Renske has been awarded a fellowship to join the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University of Duisburg-Essen. 


  • European and International Law, LLM European and International Law, VU (2019-now)
  • Public International Law (volkenrecht), LLB Law, VU (2017-now)
  • Recap: Public Law, LLB Law in Society, VU (2021-now)
  • Public International Law, BSc, Amsterdam University College (2022-now)
  • Current Issues in Transnational Law, LLB Law, VU (2017-2021)
  • Thesis supervision, LLM Law and Politics of International Security, VU (2017-now)
  • Thesis supervision, LLM European and International Law, VU (2020-now)
  • Thesis supervision, LLM Transnational Legal Studies, VU (2018-2021)
  • Thesis supervision, LLB Rechtsgeleerdheid (Law), VU (2021-now)
  • Transnational Law, LLM, Taiwan National University (2020)
  • Theories of International Relations, MA International Relations, University of Edinburgh (2017)
  • Various guest classes at: Amsterdam University College (AUC), Royal Academy of Art The Hague (KABK), Université Catholique de Lille, Universitas Al Azhar Indonesia.


Ancillary activities

Global Fellow, Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/GCR21), University of Duisburg-Essen.

Research Fellow, Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law (CePTL), VU.

Associate Member, Centre for Security Research (CeSeR), University of Edinburgh.

Member, CRN 23 International Law & Politics, Law and Society Association (LSA).

Member, European International Studies Association (EISA). 

Visiting Professor, College of Law, National Taiwan University (NTU). 


Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Academic qualification

International Law, PhD, Europe and the Sea of Stories: Operation Sophia in Four Absences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Award Date: 4 Mar 2021


  • K Law
  • Transnational Legal Studies
  • Public International Law
  • EU
  • Socio-Legal Studies
  • Legal Sightseeing


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