The Alfred Landecker Programme engages research into the rights of minorities and other vulnerable people around the world.

Programme overview

We define ‘minority’ as individuals or groups who, because of their non-dominant status, are particularly vulnerable to overreach of authority or threats to their legal protection. Minorities and other vulnerable people can be disadvantaged because of structural social, economic and political inequalities. Too often, such disadvantage translates in various forms of discrimination, sometimes even violence.

At the Alfred Landecker Programme, we facilitate cross-disciplinary conversation and research on how the protection of such minorities can be strengthened through legal and democratic mechanisms. We combine scholarship in the disciplines of law, philosophy, political science, religious studies and history.

The Programme is generously supported by the Alfred Landecker Foundation which funds research programmes focusing on the ethics of leadership and the protection of minorities. This mission emerges from the experience of the Holocaust and the collapse of European civilisation in the 1930s. The Programme is named after Alfred Landecker, who, like so many Jewish people, was murdered as a result of Nazi anti-Semitism.

Research collaboration

The Programme participates in the network ‘Religion, ethnicity, and politics in German, Dutch and Anglo-American contexts: nationalism and the future of democracy’.

This network, including partners from Cambridge, Yale, Utrecht, Göttingen, Helsinki, and Prague, aims to generate in-depth cross-disciplinary study of religion, ethnicity, race and politics. This collaboration seeks to recover a careful contextualisation of the appeal of populism in various European nations as well as the United States of America. For more information, email

The Programme regularly collaborates with the Oxford Programme on International Peace and Security, Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict at the Blavatnik School of Government. For more information, email

Selected outputs

Special issue ‘Solidarity and/or Diversity? Religion, Nation and Immigration in Western Liberal Democracies’, Religion, State, Society, edited by Marietta van der Tol & Phil Gorski (forthcoming)

Special issue ‘Old Testament imaginaries of the nation’, The Journal of the Bible and its Reception, edited by Sophia Johnson & Marietta van der Tol (forthcoming)

‘COVID-19 and Authoritarianism: Two Strategies of Engaging Fear’ Jonathan Wolff, David Elitzer, Anna Petherick, Maya Tudor, and Katie Tyner. Global Justice (forthcoming)

Special issue ‘Nationalism, populism, and the struggle for Christian heritage and identity’, International Journal of Religion, edited by Karina Wendling & Matthew Rowley (forthcoming)

M.D.C. van der Tol, Carys Brown, John Adenitire & Emily S. Kempson (eds.), From toleration to religious freedom?, Oxford: Peter Lang (forthcoming)

M.D.C. van der Tol, ‘Politics of belonging in the nation state: reclaiming Christianity from populism’, in Joshua Ralston & Ulrich Schmiedel, The Spirit of Populism: Political Theologies in Polarized Times, Leiden: Brill (forthcoming)

Federica D’Alessandra, Jelia Sane, et al. 'Advancing Justice for Children: Innovations to Strengthen Accountability for Violations and Crimes Affecting Children in Conflict', Save the Children & the Oxford Programme on International Peace and Security, March 2021

Alfred Landecker Memorial Lecture 2021: ‘On 'Auschwitz': reflecting on the meaning of absolute death’, by Dan Diner.

Federica D’Alessandra, Kirsty Sutherland, ‘Written Evidence Submission, United Kingdom Parliament Inquiry on Xinjiang detention camps’, October, 2020

Federica D’Alessandra, with Ambassador Stephen Rapp et al. ‘Anchoring Accountability for Mass Atrocities: Providing the Support Necessary to Fulfil International Investigative Mandates’Opinio Juris, September 2020

M.D.C. van der Tol, ‘Conscience and cakes: reaffirming the distinction between institutional duties and individual rights’, special issue ‘Religious freedom and sexual orientation discrimination: can the law enforce mere civility? (ed. John Adenitire), Oxford Journal of Law and Religion (2020) Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 372-387

J. Wolff, ‘The Lure of Fascism’Aeon,14 April 2020

Alfred Landecker Memorial Lecture 2020: ‘Political ideology in the 1930s: lessons for the 2020s’, by Jo Wolff