Key Biographies of EU Legal History under Scrutiny at the MPIeR Frankfurt

Research Field holds its Second Annual Conference

June 29, 2018

The research field “Legal History of the European Union” at the Max Planck Institute continues to broaden and deepen its agenda. It held its second annual conference on 21 and 22 June 2018 on “Key Biographies in the Legal History of European Union 1950-1993”. The event brought together scholars of today’s law of the EU as well as legal and general contemporary historians, including both experienced scholars and junior researchers before or shortly after completion of their PhD.

The contributions to the conference confirmed that biographical approaches are a valuable addition to the new academic field of the history of European Union law. This is very much in line with the findings of other disciplines that are situated at the intersection of law and history. For example, the historiographical turn in international law which was initiated by Finnish scholar Martti Koskenniemi has been particularly successful in illustrating the nuances of how the doctrines of international law were created and further developed. Biographical approaches have also made a significant comeback in international history in recent years, in particular to transcend the national context and capture the social practice of the new international and transnational reality that emerged during the twentieth century.

The numerous biographies analysed and discussed at the Frankfurt conference will contribute to the development of the intellectual history of European Union law, focusing on the development of ideas and doctrines and at the same time exploring the links between social practices and the broader context of law and legal thinking.

It is hoped to publish the conference proceedings in due course.

Photos: © Christiane Birr

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