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Mattias Decoster

Doctoral Researcher

  • Email Mattias.Decoster[@]UAntwerpen.be
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Mattias Decoster's Bio

Mattias (they/them) is a queer legal scholar, who writes on themes that relate to the law’s involvement in upholding certain social hierarchies based on sex/gender, race, sexual orientation and bodily ability. Firmly grounded within critical strands of legal theory, such as Feminist and Queer Legal Theory, Critical Race Theory, Crip Theory and TWAIL, Mattias’ writings aim to challenge the heteropatriarchy, racism and ableism (amongst other isms) from a legal theoretical perspective.

In 2017, they obtained both a bachelor’s in law and a bachelor’s in philosophy at the Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles. Afterwards, they pursued a Master of Law with an emphasis on human rights and sustainable development at the University of Antwerp. In 2019, they received the Fulbright scholarship in order to enroll in the LLM program of the University of California, Los Angeles, where they specialized in Critical Race Studies and Law & Sexuality. Before starting their doctoral research, Mattias spent the summer of 2020 working as a UCLA Promise Institute Summer Human Rights Fellow of the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

In 2020, they started their doctoral research at the University of Antwerp and Ghent University as a Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) fellow. The title of their joint PhD is ‘“Masculinity as property”: Towards a new legal theory on the relationship between gender-based forms of privilege and the law’. Influenced by Harris’ “Whiteness as Property”, their research aims to assess whether and how European law protects (cisgender, straight and white) masculinity as a form of property.

Mattias Decoster's Publications

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Mattias Decoster's Professional Positions

  • PhD Fellowship Fundamental Research (Research Foundation – Flanders, FWO) in order to start a joint PhD at the University of Antwerp and Ghent University (2020-ongoing)
  • UCLA Promise Institute Summer Human Rights Fellow of the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (Summer 2020)

Mattias Decoster's Education

  • Master of Laws, specialization Critical Race Studies and Law & Sexuality (University of California, Los Angeles, 2020)
  • Master of Laws, specialization Human Rights and Sustainable Development (University of Antwerp, 2019) . Thesis: Towards a performative understanding of sex/gender in law: considering genderless identity documents.
  • Bachelor of Philosophy (Université Saint-Louis-Bruxelles, 20107).  Thesis: Droit de l’Homme, droit de l’Être: une approche phénoménologique des droits fondamentaux à partir de Jan Patocka.
  • Bachelor of Laws (Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles, 2016).  Thesis: Droits fondamentaux et post-colonialisme: une défense de l’universalisme réitérée.

Mattias Decoster's Awards and fellowships

  • PhD Fellowship Fundamental Research (Research Foundation – Flanders, FWO) in order to start a joint PhD at the University of Antwerp and Ghent University (2020-ongoing)
  • UCLA Promise Institute Summer Human Rights Fellow of the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (2020)
  • Fulbright student scholarship (Fulbright Commission) in order to pursue an LLM at the University of California, Los Angeles (2019)
Mattias Decoster's work details
  • Contact Hours: On appointment
  • Visiting Address UGent: Paddenhoek 5, 1st Floor, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Visiting & Postal Address UAntwerpen: Faculty of Law Office V.291 - Stadscampus Venusstraat 23 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Mattias Decoster's expertise
  • feminist legal theory
  • queer legal theory
  • sex/gender in law
  • critical race studies
  • crip theory/critical disability studies
  • human rights

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