The birth of Austria from the spirit of public law

Volume 324 of ‘Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte’ has been published

November 02, 2020

The most recent volume in our series ‘Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte‘ deals with the origins of the Austrian doctrine of constitutional law in the second half of the 18th century. Although it represented a flourishing literary genre promoted by the Habsburg dynasty, this subject matter has seldom been the focus of systematic analysis. With this fundamental work, Martin Schennach, Professor of Legal History at the University of Innsbruck, closes this gap in the research. Based on a wide range of early modern sources, he analyses the emergence of this genre by examining the relevant authors (also in connection with university teaching), ascertains their main themes and methods as well as establishes connections to the ‘Reichspublizistik’. As a result, he shows that the Austrian doctrine of constitutional law provides a significant contribution to the discursive and legal construction of the Austrian Gesamtstaat in the age of absolutism.

In the most recent edition of our Institute’s journal Rechtsgeschichte – Legal History 28, the author has published a summary of the central tenets of his contribution in English.

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