Contact: max [dot] waltman [at]

Bild på Max Waltman.
Copyright: Madeleine Söder.

Max Waltman’s research addresses fundamental problems in democratic theory related to the meaning of citizenship, equality, and freedom. It is problem-driven and seeks to understand and explain the obstacles and potential for political systems to tackle exploitation, violence, and discrimination productively. His book, published by Oxford University Press (New York, 2021), offers an interdisciplinary analysis of how the explosive spread of pornography contributes to violence against women, including prostitution, and constructs a political theory on how to address the problem consistent with legal free speech guarantees. The research is comparative, situated within the fields of politics and gender, political theory, specifically democratic theory, and constitutional, civil, and criminal law and courts. It is also complementary to the work of researchers in the department who work in the field of human rights.

Waltman’s work appears in Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, Political Research Quarterly, Michigan Journal of International Law, Women’s Studies International Forum, Law & Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice, and Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society, as well as in other publications. His op-eds have been published in the New York Times, Toronto Star, in Swedish newspapers (e.g., DN, SvD, GP), and various online news sites. Legislative bodies domestically and abroad have consulted him, and he works on policy initiatives with prostitution survivors and feminist groups.

During the academic year 2016–2017, Waltman was a visiting researcher and fellow at Harvard University, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. During the academic year 2017–2018, he was a visiting researcher at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Waltman has received post-doctoral research funds from the Wenner-Gren Foundations (Sweden) and was awarded the Sweden-America Foundation’s Prins Bertil fellowship 2016. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Stockholm University.


Pornography: The Politics of Legal Challenges. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021 (552 Pages; $35; available in September) (UPDATE: temporarily SOLD OUT as of Sept 10)

Articles in Peer-Reviewed and Law Review Journals

“The Politics of Legal Challenges to Pornography: A Comparative Analysis.” Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society 35, no. 1 (2020): 1–41.

“Appraising the Impact of Toward a Feminist Theory of the State: Consciousness-Raising, Hierarchy Theory, and Substantive Equality Laws.” Law & Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice 35, no. 2 (2017): 353–91.

“Assessing Evidence, Arguments, and Inequality in Bedford v. Canada.” Harvard J. Law & Gender 37 (2014): 459-544.

“Prohibiting Sex Purchasing and Ending Trafficking: The Swedish Prostitution Law.” Michigan J. Int’l Law 33 (2011): 133-57 (translated into Korean).

“Sweden’s Prohibition of Purchase of Sex: The Law’s Reasons, Impact, and Potential.” Women’s Studies Int’l Forum 34, no. 5 (2011): 449-74 (free version on SSRN).

“Rethinking Democracy: Legal Challenges to Pornography and Sex Inequality in Canada and the United States.” Political Research Quarterly 63, no. 1 (2010): 218-237 (free version on SSRN) (additional podcasts available with Amy Mazur, co-editor of PRQ, Catharine MacKinnon, Kathleen Mahoney, William Hudnut, and Max Waltman).

Ph.D. Dissertation

The Politics of Legal Challenges to Pornography: Canada, Sweden, and the United States. Stockholm Studies in Politics 160. Stockholm University, 2014. ISBN 9789176490471 (monograph; limited edition)

Other Publications, Reports, and Submissions.

“Pornografins koppling till prostitution och våld mot kvinnor: En analys av forskningsläget och rättspolitisk diskussion” [Pornography’s Association to Prostitution and Violence Against Women: An Analysis of Extant Research and Discussion of Legal Politics]. In Stora porrboken, edited by Nina Rung, 41–51. Stockholm: Rebel Books, 2021.

Pornografi och mäns våld mot kvinnor, with a preface by Catharine A. MacKinnon, in collaboration with Unizon. Part 2 of Porr och prostitution: en rapport om utsatthet och efterfrågan, edited by Unizon, pp. 31-108. Stockholm: Unizon, 2016.

Pornography and Men’s Violence Against Women, translated by Marion Söderström, reviewed and revised by Max Waltman, with a Preface by Catharine A. Mackinnon, and in collaboration with Unizon. Part 2 in Pornography and Prostitution: A Report on Exploitation and Demand, edited by Unizon, pp. 31-108. Stockholm: Unizon, 2016.

Remissvar till SOU 2016:42, ”Ett starkt straffrättsligt skydd mot köp av sexuell tjänst och utnyttjande av barn genom köp av sexuell handling, m.m.” [considerate party brief], submitted Oct. 24, accessed Oct. 30, 2016 at Sweden’s government.

With Catharine A. MacKinnon, “[Gemensamt] Svar till Förbud mot köp av sexuell tjänst: En utvärdering 1999-2008 (SOU 2010:49)“ (remissvar) / “A Response to Prohibition Against Purchase of Sexual Service: An Evaluation 1999-2008 (SOU 2010:49)“ (considerate parties’ brief) (Feb. 2, 2011) (submission with 12 signatories, NGOs/individuals).

With Catharine A. MacKinnon, “Förslag till regeringens utredning av sexköpslagen / Suggestions to the Government’s Review of the Sex Purchase Act (Sweden)“ (March 17, 2010) (submission with 13 signatories, NGOs/individuals).

Selected Popular Media Publications

”’Pleasure’ visar en tillrättalagd och falsk bild av porrindustrin” [“Pleasure” Shows a Doctored and False Image of the Pornography Industry]. Kulturdebatt, Svenska Dagbladet, January 13, 2022, pp. 24–25 (print version).

“Barnombudsmannens förnekelse liknar klimatskeptikerns” [The Child Ombudsman’s Denial Is Similar to the Climate Skeptic’s] Göteborgs-Posten, October 13, 2021.

"Barnombudsmannen förminskar pornografins påverkan” [The Ombudsman for Children Minimizes the Pornography’s Effect]. Debatt, Göteborgs-Posten, September 29, 2021.

”Förstör inte stödet att lämna prostitution” [Don’t Destroy Support For Exiting Prostitution]. (With Stockholm Girls’ Shelter et al.) Op-Ed, SvT-Opinion, December 8, 2016.

“Criminalize Only the Buying of Sex.” Op-Ed, Room for Debate, New York Times, April 20, 2012.

“The Scars of Prostitution.” Op-Ed, Toronto Star, Oct. 31, 2011.

“Evidence Shows Ending Demand Works.” Op-Ed, (News Site), Oct. 11, 2012.

“Stärk prostituerade personers möjlighet att kräva skadestånd” [Empower Prostituted Persons' Options for Demanding Damages]. (With MP Carina Hägg (S), MEP Eva-Britt Svensson (V), Olga Persson (SKR) et al.) Op-Ed, Göteborgs-Posten, May 10, 2011.

“Vårt förslag handlar inte om tvång” [Our Proposal is Not Compulsory]. (With SKR [Olga Persson], Gudrun Schyman, Luis Ramos-Ruggiero et al.) Op-Ed, SvD Opinion-Brännpunkt, Svenska Dagbladet, Apr. 14, 2011.

“Prostituerade är brottsoffer” [Prostituted Persons are Crime Victims]. (With SKR [Olga Persson], Gudrun Schyman, Luis Ramos-Ruggiero et al.) Op-Ed, SvD Opinion-Brännpunkt, Svenska Dagbladet, Apr. 9, 2011.

“Torskarna ska betala skadestånd till de prostituerade [personerna]” [The Johns Shall Pay Damages to Prostituted Persons]. (With Catharine A. MacKinnon, Gudrun Schyman, et al.), Newsmill, Nov. 4, 2008.

“Porr inspirerar till våld” [Porn Inspires Violence]. (With Gurdun Schyman). Brev till Ledarsidan [Letter on Editorial Page], Expressen, Aug. 6, 2006, sec. 1, p. 1.

“Ge skadestånd till prostitutionens offer” [Give Damages to Victims of Prostitution]. (With MP Gudrun Schyman) Op-Ed, DN-debatt, Dagens Nyheter, July 25, 2006.

Selected Media Activity

Quoted and cited by Sarah Glazer in “Decriminalizing Prostitution,” Congressional Quarterly Researcher, April 15, 2016, 337–60 (CQ Researcher, requires subscription).

Interviewed by Margaret Wente in “Sweden’s Prostitution Solution,” Globe & Mail, March 17, 2015, p. A11.

Debating in "Punish the Prostitute or Fine the Client?," TV-debate with Max Waltman, Pauline Arrighi, Gil Mihaely, and Cari Mitchell, moderated by François Picard, France 24, Nov. 27, 2013 (part 1, part 2).

Interviewed by Ally Foster in “What’s Next for Canada’s Prostitution Laws?” Embassy: Canada’s Foreign Policy Newspaper, Jan. 23, 2013, pp. 10, 13.

Interviewed by Birgit Schmid in «Warum Prostitution verboten werden muss», Das Magazin, September 15–21, 2012, p. 23 (no. 37) (weekly magazine).

Past Event

Organizer of “Legal Challenges to Gender-Based Violence: An APSA Short Course sponsored by Law & Courts, Human Rights, and Women’s Politics Research’s sections.” Preconference workshop held at the annual meeting for the American Political Science Ass’n (APSA), Washington DC, September 1, 2010. Twenty two (22) scheduled presenters and interlocutors including Melissa Farley, Leslie Goldstein, Neil Malamuth, Wendy Murphy, and others.

Forskningsprojekt (in Swedish):

Att hålla stater och andra aktörer ansvariga under internationell rätt för prostitutionens skadeverkningar

Att möjliggöra för brottsoffren att tillvarata sina rättigheter under prostitutionslagstiftningen