The Making and Unmaking of Ordoliberal Language. A Digital Conceptual History of European Competition Law

Anselm Küsters

Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte 340
Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann 2023
XVI, 796 S.
ISBN 978-3-465-04601-1

The ordoliberal school of competition thought is a distinct linguistic community whose conceptual and semantic influence extended far beyond Germany and eventually shaped the European legal order. Linguistic misunderstandings still impacted the negotiations of the founding European Treaties, but in the subsequent application of the new rules, the Freiburg School’s ordoliberal ideas gained in popularity. In the early 2000s, this ordoliberal language was replaced by neoliberal concepts borrowed from the Chicago School. This study combines archival materials, oral history interviews, case law and Text Mining methods. In doing so, it contributes to the historiography of EU competition law, the post-war history of ordoliberalism, and methodological debates about Digital Humanities.

For his outstanding scientific achievements and the PhD research presented in this book, Anselm Küsters received the Otto Hahn Medal by the Max Planck Society as well as the Roman Herzog Research Prize for Social Market Economy in 2023.

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