Deputy Professor,
TU Darmstadt

Areas of Expertise
Corporate Social Responsibility, European Union, Global Governance, Globalization, Human Rights, Indigenous People, International Organizations, The Private Sector and Private-Public Partnerships, UN Human Rights System, United Nations.

Region of Focus


PD Dr. Janne Mende is the deputy professor for Transnational Governance at the TU Darmstadt during the winter term 2019/2020. Beyond her position in Darmstadt, she is a senior researcher at the University of Giessen, where she leads her DFG-funded research project about “Business Actors beyond Public and Private: Authority, Legitimacy and Responsibility in the United Nations Human Rights Regime” (BAPP).

Prior to that, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the division for Globalization & Politics at the University of Kassel. She has held visiting positions at the WZB – Berlin Social Science Center, the Danish Institute for Human Rights (Copenhagen), the Max-Planck-Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg), the School of Global Studies (Gothenburg), and the New School for Social Research (New York), among others.

Her research interests include power and legitimacy in global governance, business responsibilities for human rights, and international institutions. Currently, she is working on the relation between power, legitimacy and common interests in the authority of business enterprises as global governance actors. Furthermore, she aims at connecting business responsibility for human rights with the hybrid agency of enterprises, between and beyond public and private.

Recent Publications

Mende, Janne (2020): Public, Private and Societal: A Threefold Approach to Human Rights Responsibility, in: Michael Stohl/Alison Brysk (eds.): Research Agendas for Human Rights, Northampton/Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Pub. (forthcoming)

Mende, Janne (2020): From Exploration to Explanation. Researching the United Nations and other International Institutions, in: Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law Research Paper Series (forthcoming)

Mende, Janne (2019): Global Governance, in: Scott N. Romaniuk/Manish Thapa (ed.): The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Security, Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Mende,Janne (2019): Business Enterprises and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Hybrid Approach, in: Philani Mthembu/Miguelángel Verde Garrido/Adam S. Wilkins (ed.): The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (forthcoming)

Mende, Janne (2019): Are Human Rights Western – and Why does it Matter? A Perspective from International Political Theory, in: Journal of International Political Theory, online first: (peer-reviewed)

Mende, Janne (2019): The Concept of Modern Slavery: Definition, Critique, and the Human Rights Frame, in: Human Rights Review, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 229-248, online: (peer-reviewed) [OA]

Mende, Janne (2018): Normative and Contextual Feminism: Lessons from the Debate around Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, in: Gender Forum, An Internet Journal for Gender Studies, vol. 17, no. 68, pp. 47-69. [OA]

Mende, Janne (2018): The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, in: Fritz Thyssen Foundation Working Group on Human Rights in the 20th Century (ed.): Sources on the History of Human Rights, online: [OA]


Updated January, 2020