Shai Lavi, Ph.D.



Professor of law

Faculty of Law

Tel Aviv University

Director, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

Co-Director, Minerva Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the End of Life

Areas of research: Sociology of Law



2001      University of California, Berkeley: Ph.D. in the Program of Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP)

1995      Tel-Aviv University: A direct Masters in the Interdisciplinary Program for Fostering Excellence

1995      Tel-Aviv University: M.A. (Cum Laude) in Sociology & Anthropology



2017-present      Director, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute


2019- present     Full Professor, Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University


2012-2017          Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics


2011-2018          Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University


2006-2011          Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University

2002-2006          Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University

2011-present      Co-Director, Minerva Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of End of Life, Tel Aviv University

2009-2012          Director, Minerva Center for Human Rights, Tel Aviv University

2006-2008          Director, Taubenschlag Institute for Criminal Law, Tel Aviv University


Membership in Professional Societies:

  • Law and Society Association
  • Law, Culture and Humanities Association


Current research projects:

  • The religious/secular tension in Germany, Israel, and Turkey.

    Shai Lavi, Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Law, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

    Gökce Yurdakul, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Berlin Institute of Migration and Integration Research

  • A research on advanced directives sponsored by the National Institute for Public Health in collaboration with Prof. Nurit Guttman. The aim of this empirical research is to identify the reasons patients have for and against signing advanced end-of-life directives (2018)


Selected recent publications:

Lavi, S., “The Mourning After: Posthumous Sperm Retrieval and the New Laws of Mourning” in Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Umphrey (eds.) Law and Mourning (University of Massachusetts Press, 2018), 36-58


Lavi, S., “Beyond Natural Potentiality: Brain-Death Pregnancy, Viable Fetuses, and Pre-implanted Embryos,” Law and Ethics of Human Rights 11(2), 161-187, 2017


“Brain Death and Organ Transplantation” in Boas H. et al. (eds.) Bio-Israel: Bioethics, Law and Politics in Israel (Cambridge University Press, 2017), 258-276


Lavi, S., “The Inevitable Hour: A History of Caring for Dying Patients in America,” American Historical Review 121 (2): 578-579


Shai Lavi et al. (eds.), Bioethics and Biopolitics in Israel: Socio-legal, Political, and Empirical Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 2017).


Lavi, Shai. 2010. “Der Islam zwischen christlicher Tradition und jüdischer Geschichte. Das Beispiel ritueller Tierschlachtung in Deutschland nach 1945.” In Religionskonflikte Im Verfassungsstaat, edited by Astrid Reuter and Hans Kippenberg, 393–416. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH KG.

Lavi, Shai. 2009. “Unequal Rites: Jews, Muslims and the History of Ritual Slaughter in Germany.” In Juden und Muslime in Deutschland: Recht, Religion, Identitaet, edited by Shai Lavi and Jose Brunner, 164–184. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag.

Lavi, Shai. 2008. “How Dying Became a ‘life Crisis’.” Daedalus 137 (1) (January): 57–65. doi:10.1162/daed.2008.137.1.57.

Lavi, Shai. 2008. “From Bioethics to Bio-optics: The Case of the Embryonic Stem Cell.” Law, Culture and the Humanities 4 (3) (October 1): 339–351. doi:10.1177/1743872108093101.

Lavi, Shai. 2006. “Animal Laws and the Politics of Life: Slaughterhouse Regulation in Germany, 1870-1917.” Theoretical Inquiries in Law 8 (1) (January 10): 221–258. doi:10.2202/1565-3404.1149.

Lavi, Shai. 2006. “Autopoiesis, Nihilism and Technique: On Death and the Origins of Legal Paradoxes.” In Paradoxes and Inconsistencies in the Law, edited by Oren Perez and Gunther Teubner, 247–273. Oxford: Hart.

Lavi, Shai. 2005. The Modern Art of Dying: a History of Euthanasia in the United States. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Lavi, Shai. 2003. “Euthanasia and the Changing Laws of the Deathbed: A Study in Historical Jurisprudence.” Theoretical Inquiries in Law 4 (2): 729–761.

Lavi, Shai. 2001. “The Problem of Pain and the Right to Die.” In Pain, Death, and the Law, edited by Austin Sarat, 137–160. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.





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