History of Legal Studies within the Max Planck Society after 1945

Research Project

In 2014 a research team was established that focuses on the history of the Max Planck Society since 1945. The research group is based at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. It’s aim is to reconstruct the Max Planck Society’s history as part of the cultural, political, and economic history of the Federal Republic of Germany in its European and global embedding. Heads of the project are Professor Jürgen Renn (MPI History of Science), Professor Carsten Reinhardt (Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) Philadelphia and University of Bielefeld) and Professor Jürgen Kocka (WZB Berlin Social Science Center).

The Max-Planck-Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory collaborates closely with the research programme on the history of the Max Planck Society. A separate collection of articles will be edited and investigates the development of legal studies within the society. It inquires about the dual nature of law related MPIs: what was their role within the society? What was their function within the German landscape of jurisprudence and law faculties? A vantage point are the accounts of individual law relates institutes founded since 1945 and which together formed the cluster of legal studies. A special position, derived from their specialized research agendas is the connecting thread: what did law related MPIs contribute to the German legal landscape that law faculties could not accomplish? The volume addresses this question both in the individual institute’s accounts as well as in the aggregating essays.

We could win six accomplished jurists and legal historians for contributing to the volume. Each of them has excellent expertise in those legal fields their respective institutes covered. The authors meet regularly to discuss the progress of their inquiries, summarize findings, and discuss the overarching research questions.

  • Ulrich Magnus (University of Hamburg) – Max Planck Institute for International Private Law
  • Felix Lange (Humboldt University Berlin) – Max Planck Institute for International Public Law
  • Jan Thiessen (University of Tübingen) – Max Planck Institute for European Legal History
  • Sascha Ziemann (University of Freiburg) – Max Planck Institute for International Criminal Law
  • Eric Steinhauer (Distance-Learning University Hagen) – Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property Law
  • Eberhard Eichenhofer (Technical University Dresden) – Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy
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