Knud Haakonssen works on early-modern moral and political thought and on the Enlightenment. His main interest is currently in natural law and natural rights from Hugo Grotius to Immanuel Kant. In addition, the intellectual historian’s central concern with texts is reflected in several large editorial projects.

He is based in Copenhagen as Adjunct Professor of History at the Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen. He is Professor of Intellectual History (part time) at the University of St. Andrews, where he is Co-Director of the Institute of Intellectual History. Until August 2022 he also directed the Forschungsstelle für frühneuzeitliches Naturrecht/Research Centre for Early-Modern Natural Law at the University of Erfurt. He is Professor Emeritus of Intellectual History at the University of Sussex.