07 May 2021

PODCAST: Yves-Marie BERCÉ (Académie des Inscriptions et des Belles-Lettres), 'The Old Regime has never existed' (30 APR 2021)


(image source: canalacadémie)


“L’Ancien Régime n’a pas existé, ou du moins n’a-t-il existé qu’après coup, aux yeux des Constituants de 1790.” C’est par cette assertion à rebrousse-poil du catéchisme républicain que commence le dernier livre de l’historien Yves-Marie Bercé, membre de l’Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, dans la collection Que sais-je ? Pour faire comprendre la France d’avant la Révolution, le moderniste explique les rites de la monarchie, la diversité des institutions, les préoccupations de la vie quotidienne. Il prend soin de montrer les évolutions au fil des siècles mais aussi la continuité de mouvements qui se poursuivront après la grande césure de 1789. Voici un livre dense et passionnant qui revisite bien des idées reçues.

Listen here

BOOK: Francesco MASTROBERTI & Damigela HOXHA, Storie interrotte. I docenti dell'università di Bari e le leggi antiebraiche (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2021). ISBN: 9788815292421, pp. 144, € 15,00

(Source: Il Mulino)


Il volume si propone di illustrare l'impatto delle leggi antiebraiche sul corpo docente dell'Università di Bari. I singoli contributi ricostruiscono, con ricchezza di dettagli e sulla base di fonti edite e inedite, l'applicazione della legislazione razziale fascista nell'ateneo pugliese. Ne emerge con nettezza un quadro accademico complesso e vivace in cui i conformismi e le supine adesioni sono compensati dalla più o meno esplicita resilienza alle politiche imposte dal regime. Attraverso le storie interrotte dei docenti ebrei Ladislao Brüll, Bruno Foà, Renzo Fubini e Giorgio Tesoro - a cui il Magnifico Rettore Antonio Felice Uricchio ha ufficialmente intitolato nel 2019 aule dell'ateneo - è possibile leggere un'intera stagione della giovane università barese, pomposamente intitolata nel 1925 a Benito Mussolini.


Francesco Mastroberti è professore ordinario per il settore scientifico disciplinare IUS/19 - Storia del Diritto Medievale e Moderno presso il Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza dell'Università degli studi di Bari Aldo Moro.

Damigela Hoxha è ricercatrice a tempo determinato tipo b) (senior) presso il  Dipartimento di Scienze Giuridiche dell'Università di Bologna.

More information with the publisher.

BOOK: Dieter HÜNING et al. (Eds.), Auf dem Weg zur kritischen Rechtslehre? Naturrecht, Moralphilosophie und Eigentumstheorie in Kants "Naturrecht Feyerabend" (Leiden/New York: Brill, 2021). ISBN 978-90-04-43261-1, 103.00 EUR


(Source: Brill)

Brill is publishing a new edited collection on Kant’s philosophy of law.


In recent decades, Kant's philosophy of law has increasingly moved into the focus of moral-philosophical discussions. In this context, the "Naturrecht Feyerabend" is of particular importance. On the one hand, it is the only surviving transcription of the lectures on natural law that Kant gave twelve times between 1767 and 1788; on the other hand, it is based on his lectures in the summer semester of 1784 and thus provides important evidence of Kant's reflections during an important phase in the development of his moral philosophy. Despite this special significance, the text has received little attention in previous research. Dieter Hüning, Stefan Klingner and Gianluca Sadun Bordoni present here a volume that emphasizes this special significance. The ten contributions in the volume ask about the relationship of "Naturrecht Feyerabend" to the tradition of natural law as well as its relationship to critical moral philosophy and the late "Doctrine of Right". 

Contributors are: Manfred Baum, Franz Hespe, Philipp-Alexander Hirsch, Dieter Hüning, Stefan Klingner, Markus Kohl, Gabriel Rivero, Gianluca Sadun Bordoni, Michael Städtler, and Gideon Stiening. 


Dieter Hüning ist außerplanmäßiger Professor an der Kant-Forschungsstelle der Universität Trier. Seine Forschungsschwerpunkt ist neben Kants Philosophie besonders die neuzeitliche Naturrechtslehre. Als Mitherausgeber veröffentlichte er mit Jens Eisfeld und Diethelm Klippel zuletzt Die zeitgenössischen Rezensionen zu Kants Rechtslehre (Berlin 2020). 

Stefan Klingner is Assistant Professor for Philosophy at the University of Goettingen. He has published books and essays on Kant's philosophy, e.g. as co-editor with Dieter Hüning: „jenen süßen Traum träumen“. Kants Friedensschrift zwischen objektiver Geltung und Utopie (Baden-Baden 2018). 

Stefan Klingner ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Philosophischen Seminar der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Er veröffentlichte mehrere Bücher und Aufsätze zur Philosophie Kants, etwa als Mitherausgeber mit Dieter Hüning: „jenen süßen Traum träumen“. Kants Friedensschrift zwischen objektiver Geltung und Utopie (Baden-Baden 2018)

Gianluca Sadun Bordoni is Professor of Philosophy of Law at the University of Teramo.
Together with Norbert Hinske he published the critical edition of Kant, Naturrecht Feyerabend. 3 vol. (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 2010-2014; bilingual edition: Lezioni sul diritto naturale, Milano 2016). 

Gianluca Sadun Bordoni ist Professor für Rechtsphilosophie an der Universität Teramo, Italien. Er veröffentlichte zusammen mit Norbert Hinske die kritische Ausgabe von Kant, Naturrecht Feyerabend. 3 Bde. (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 2010-2014; zweisprachige Ausgabe: Lezioni sul diritto naturale, Milano 2016). 


More info here

06 May 2021

SCHOLARSHIPS: 20 Research Scholarships (predoc/postdoc) (DEADLINE 1 JUNE 2021)

(image source: MPILHLT)

The Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory in Frankfurt is a world leader in research on legal history and legal theory. Its international research community of over 70 scholars, the unrivalled collections of its specialist library and its numerous national and international co-operations make it a central research hub for a global scientific community investigating the past, present and future of legal regimes.

We award several Postdoctoral and Research Scholarships annually to enable outstanding researchers to spend time at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory and are now inviting applications for research stays in 2022.

Scholarship holders are expected to pursue their own research project, which should relate to the Institute’s current research agenda.

In 2022, the Department European and Comparative Legal History (Stefan Vogenauer) will award up to 20 scholarships for early career scholars proposing to work on one of the following topics:

  • Legal transfer in the common law world and more generally
  • History of European Union law

Applications should be written in English and consist of the following documents:

  • Research proposal (up to 10,000 characters), including an explanation as to how the project relates to the Department’s main research activities
  • CV
  • List of publications
  • Names and contact details of two scholars who have agreed to provide references (upon request)
  • Scan of the completed and signed form ‘Additional Application Details’
  • Three relevant publications of the last five years (as PDFs)

Deadline: All applications must be submitted via the online application system by 1 June 2021. Decisions will be communicated before the end of the following month.

Scholarships run for either 3 or 6 months, starting at the beginning of January, April, July or October.

Scholars without a regular income receive a monthly stipend of either €2,500 for postdoctoral researchers or €3,000 for senior researchers. Scholars with a regular income from employment or other forms of financial support may still receive compensation for expenses at a fixed rate for up to three months.

Dr Stefanie Rüther, Research Coordinator:

INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP: Jurisdiction(s): Legal and Historical Perspectives, 27 May 2021


(Source: Eventbrite)

The workshop will gather academics from different disciplinary backgrounds for a one- day discussion on the topic of jurisdiction.

For more information, contact the convenors: Alexis Alvarez-Nakagawa ( & Jorge Diaz Ceballos (

You can register and consult the program here.

WEBINAR: Costituzioni e costituzionalismo fra Italia ed Europa - Università del Piemonte Orientale - 7 maggio 2021


BOOK: Saskia LIMBACH. Government Use of Print. Official Publications in the Holy Roman Empire, 1500–1600. (Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann, 2021). ISBN 978-3-465-04425-3



Presenting the most comprehensive account of official print in the Holy Roman Empire during the sixteenth century, this study investigates the use of the printing press as an increasingly important instrument in the expansion of authority. By comparing and contrasting publications printed in the Duchy of Württemberg and in the Free Imperial City of Cologne, the author traces the tentative beginnings of collaboration between rulers and printers. Making use of hitherto unexplored legal and business records, the study offers a sophisticated analysis of the early modern print trade which allows us to ascertain the business and market conditions that shaped the production of administrative and legal documents, such as police ordinances and announcements.

More information: 

05 May 2021

BOOK: Christopher S. MACKAY, "An Unusual Inquisition" - Translated Documents from Heinricus Institoris’s Witch Hunts in Ravensburg and Innsbruck (Leiden/New York: Brill, 2020). ISBN 978-90-04-42378-7, 105.00 EUR


(Source: Brill)

Brill has published a new book on primary sources related to Heinricus Institoris, the major author of the Malleus Maleficarum.


Heinricus Institoris is the major author of the Malleus Maleficarum, the best known early-modern textbook on witchcraft. This work was heavily influenced by Institoris's activities as inquisitor in Ravensburg in 1484 and Innsbruck in 1485. This volume contains the only complete translations of a large number of documents pertaining to these inquisitions, and is a companion to a new (and the only complete) edition of these texts, which shed much light on the composition of the Malleus Maleficarum in general.


Christopher S. Mackay (doctorate in Classical philology from Harvard University, 1994) is full professor in the Department of History and Classics of the University of Alberta. He has published books on Roman history, and translations and editions of texts from the early modern period, including the Malleus Maleficarum.


Translation Notes 
List of Decretals Cited 


1 Letter from the Burgermasters and City Council of Ravensburg to Archduke Sigismund of the Tyrol, December 17, 1484 

2 Urfehde (Guarantee of Good Behavior) for a Woman Presumably Questioned for Witchcraft by Institoris, Ravensburg, October 23, 1484 

3 Instruction from Bishop Georg of Brixen to His Ecclesiastical Subordinates, July 23, 1485 

4 Letter of Bishop Georg of Brixen to Institoris, September 21, 1485 

5 Letter from Bishop Georg of Brixen to Archduke Sigismund, September 21, 1485 

6 Letter from Archduke Sigismund of Austria to Bishop Georg of Brixen, October 8, 1485 

7 Letter of Bishop Georg of Brixen to Sigismund Sämer, Parish Priest of Axams, Undated 

8 Vernacular Protocol 

9 Protocols of the Hearings Conducted against the Seven Arrested Women 

10 Articles of Suspected Crimes and List of Questions for the Further Investigation of the Seven Suspects after Their Release 

11 Record of the Proceedings against the Seven Accused, October 29 and 31 and November 3, 1485 

12 Letter from Bishop Georg of Brixen to Institoris, November 14, 1485 

13 Letter from Bishop Georg of Brixen to an Unnamed Parish Priest in Innsbruck, November 14, 1485 

14 Letter of Bishop Georg of Brixen to a Brother Nicholas, February 9, 1486 

15 Letter of Bishop Georg of Brixen to Institoris, February 9, 1486 

16 Brixen Memorandum 


More info here

BOOK: Oliver P. RICHMOND, The Grand Design - The Evolution of the International Peace Architecture (Oxford: OUP, 2021). ISBN 9780190850449, 74.00 USD


(Source: OUP)

OUP is publishing a book on the evolution of the international peace architecture.


The guiding principle of peacemaking and peacebuilding over the past quarter century has been "liberal peace": the promotion of democracy, capitalism, law, and respect for human rights. These components represent a historic effort to prevent a reoccurrence of the nationalism, fascism, and economic collapse that led to the World Wars as well as many later conflicts. Ultimately, this strategy has been somewhat successful in reducing war between countries, but it has failed to produce legitimate and sustainable forms of peace at the domestic level. The goals of peacebuilding have changed over time and place, but they have always been built around compromise via processes of intervention aimed at supporting "progress" in conflict-affected countries. They have simultaneously promoted changes in the regional and global order.

As Oliver P. Richmond argues in this book, the concept of peace has evolved continuously through several eras: from the imperial era, through the states-system, liberal, and current neoliberal eras of states and markets. It holds the prospect of developing further through the emerging "digital" era of transnational networks, new technologies, and heightened mobility. Yet, as recent studies have shown, only a minority of modern peace agreements survive for more than a few years and many peace agreements and peacebuilding missions have become intractable, blocked, or frozen. This casts a shadow on the legitimacy, stability, and effectiveness of the overall international peace architecture, reflecting significant problems in the evolution of an often violently contested international and domestic order.

This book examines the development of the international peace architecture, a "grand design" comprising various subsequent attempts to develop a peaceful international order. Richmond examines six main theoretical-historical stages in this process often addressed through peacekeeping and international mediation, including the balance of power mechanism of the 19th Century, liberal internationalism after World War I, and the expansion of rights and decolonization after World War II. It also includes liberal peacebuilding after the end of the Cold War, neoliberal statebuilding during the 2000s, and an as yet unresolved current "digital" stage. They have produced a substantial, though fragile, international peace architecture. However, it is always entangled with, and hindered by, blockages and a more substantial counter-peace framework. The Grand Design provides a sweeping look at the troubled history of peace processes, peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding, and their effects on the evolution of international order. It also considers what the next stage may bring.


Oliver P. Richmond is a Research Professor in International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies in the Department of Politics at the University of Manchester, UK. He is International Professor at Dublin City University, Ireland, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Tubingen, Germany, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. His publications include Peace Formation and Political Order in Conflict Affected Societies and Failed Statebuilding. He is editor of the Palgrave book series, Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies, and co-editor of the journal, Peacebuilding.


Introduction: The Age of Intervention and the Emergence of a 20th Century International Peace Architecture

Part I: The Early Evolution of the International Peace Architecture

Chapter I: Some Background Observations, Theory, and Concepts

Chapter II: A Sketch of the International Peace Architecture

Chapter III: Stages One and Two in the Development of the International Peace Architecture

Chapter IV: Stage Two: The Rise of Liberal Constitutionalism and Liberal Internationalism

Chapter V: Stages Three and Four and the Expansion of Rights: The Critical Challenge to Stages One and Two

Part II: Derailment and Bifurcation

Chapter VI: The Transition from Stage Four to Stage Five of the International Peace Architecture

Chapter VII: The Derailment of the Transition to Stage Five

Chapter VIII: Stage Five and Neoliberal Statebuilding

Chapter IX: Stage Six: Updating Emancipatory Peace or Revisiting Geopolitics?

Chapter X: Implications for Different Elements of the Contemporary Peace Architecture

Conclusion: The Limits of the Old and New Possibilities


More info here

BOOK: Nikitas E. HATZIMIHAIL, Preclassical Conflict of Laws (Cambridge: CUP, 2021). ISBN 9780521863025, 85.00 GBP


(Source: CUP)

CUP is publishing a new book on the history of private international law.


To better appreciate present-day private international law and its future prospects and challenges, we should consider the history and historiography of the field. This book offers an original approach to the study of conflict of laws and legal history that exposes doctrinal lawyers to historical context, and legal historians to the intricacies of legal doctrine. The analysis is based on an in-depth examination of Medieval and Early Modern conflict of laws, focusing on the classic texts of Bartolus and Huber. Combining theoretical insights, textual analysis and historical perspectives, the author presents the preclassical conflict of laws as a rich world of doctrines and policies, theory and practice, context and continuity. This book challenges preconceptions and serves as an advanced introduction which illustrates the relevance of history in commanding private international law, while aspiring to make private international law relevant for history.


Nikitas E. Hatzimihail, University of Cyprus

Nikitas E. Hatzimihail is Associate Professor of Private Law, Comparative Law and Legal History at the University of Cyprus. His doctoral dissertation received the Addison-Brown commencement prize at Harvard.


1. Introduction

Part I. History and Historiography:

2. Historical literature and historical consciousness in contemporary private international law

3. Preclassical conflict of laws in modern historical consciousness

Part II. Current Concerns:

4. Conflict of laws as a conceptual battlefield

5. Conflict of laws as a doctrinal exercise

6. Conflict of laws in a world system

Part III. Bartolus da Sassoferrato and Medieval Conflict of Laws:

7. Nunc veniamus ad glossam: Bartolus comments on cunctos populos

8. Bartolus in a world system

9. Bartolan conflicts as a doctrinal exercise

10. Bartolus and the modern consciousness

Part IV. Ulrik Huber (1636–1694) and Conflict of Laws in the Early Modern Era:

11. 'It often happens that transactions...': Huber on the conflict of laws

12. The world system of Huber's conflict of laws

13. Huber's conflict of laws as a doctrinal work

14. Huber and the modern consciousness


15. Preclassical conflict of laws configured.


More info here

04 May 2021

BOOK PRESENTATION: Mary GIBSON, "Italian Prisons in the Age of Positivism (1861-1914)" - Università degli Studi di Teramo, 7 maggio 2021 - 16.00 CET, on Google Meet


(Source: UniTe)

Lectio Magistralis di Mary Gibson, City University of New York, con presentazione del suo libro "Italian prisons in the age of positivism (1861-1914)"

Discutono con l’Autrice:
Michele Pifferi, Università di Ferrara
Paolo Marchetti, Università di Teramo
Emilia Musumeci, Università di Teramo

Webinar nell’ambito nel progetto PRIN 2017WLPTRL – Unità di Teramo

BOOK: Deana HEATH, Colonial Terror. Torture and State Violence in Colonial India (Oxford: University Press, 2021). ISBN: 9780192893932, pp. 240, £ 80.00


(Source: OUP )


Focusing on India between the early nineteenth century and the First World War, Colonial Terror explores the centrality of the torture of Indian bodies to the law-preserving violence of colonial rule and some of the ways in which extraordinary violence was embedded in the ordinary operation of colonial states. Although enacted largely by Indians on Indian bodies, particularly by subaltern members of the police, the book argues that torture was facilitated, systematized, and ultimately sanctioned by first the East India Company and then the Raj because it benefitted the colonial regime, since rendering the police a source of terror played a key role in the construction and maintenance of state sovereignty. Drawing upon the work of both Giorgio Agamben and Michel Foucault, Colonial Terror contends, furthermore, that it is only possible to understand the terrorizing nature of the colonial police in India by viewing colonial India as a 'regime of exception' in which two different forms of exceptionality were in operation - one wrought through the exclusion of particular groups or segments of the Indian population from the law and the other by petty sovereigns in their enactment of illegal violence in the operation of the law. It was in such fertile ground, in which colonial subjects were both included within the domain of colonial law while also being abandoned by it, that torture was able to flourish. in which two different forms of exceptionality were in operation - one wrought through the exclusion of particular groups or segments of the Indian population from the law and the other by petty sovereigns in their enactment of illegal violence in the operation of the law. It was in such fertile ground, in which colonial subjects were both included within the domain of colonial law while also being abandoned by it, that torture was able to flourish. in which two different forms of exceptionality were in operation - one wrought through the exclusion of particular groups or segments of the Indian population from the law and the other by petty sovereigns in their enactment of illegal violence in the operation of the law. It was in such fertile ground, in which colonial subjects were both included within the domain of colonial law while also being abandoned by it, that torture was able to flourish.


Deana Heath is Reader in Indian and Colonial History at the University of Liverpool. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and has since held academic posts in four countries: the United States, Ireland, Canada, and the United Kingdom. she has been the beneficiary of grants from numerous national and international funding bodies, including the Independent Social Research Foundation, The Indian Council for Cultural Relations, The Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, The American Institute of Indian Studies, and the Fulbright Scholar programs. She is currently Reader in Indian and Colonial History at the University of Liverpool.


Introduction: Torture, Empire, and the Exception

1: Violence, the Exception and Bare Life

2: The Facilitators I: Policing

3: The Facilitators II: Law and 'Justice'

4: The Perpetrators

Conclusion: Torture in a State of Exception

More information with the publisher.

BOOK: Janine RISCHKE-NESS, Subjektivierungen und Kriminalitätsdiskurse im 18. Jahrhundert - Preußische Soldaten zwischen Norm und Praxis (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2021). ISBN 978-3-8471-1164-1, 60.00 EUR


Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht has published a book on Prussian military law in the 18th century.


Kaum eine Armee galt lange Zeit als derart »diszipliniert« und ausgebildet wie die preußische Armee im frühen 18. Jahrhundert. Kriegsartikel und drastische Strafschilderungen schufen das Bild von einer Militärjustiz, die den einzelnen Soldaten beliebig abstrafen konnte, um das militärische Gefüge zu schützen. Die hohe Anzahl einzelner Delikte und die daraus resultierenden Spannungen belegen jedoch eine gewisse »Verweigerungshaltung« gegenüber der Anerkennung von Normen. Mittels der Analyse von Gerichtsakten vom Infanterieregiment des Fürsten Leopold von Anhalt-Dessau zeigt die Autorin exemplarisch die Handlungsmöglichkeiten der Soldaten vor Gericht und die Interpretationsspielräume für den Umgang mit Kriminalität im preußischen Militär des 18. Jahrhunderts auf.


Dr. Janine Rischke-Neß studierte Geschichte, Literatur und Philosophie an der Universität Potsdam und wurde dort 2019 promoviert. Ihr Forschungsschwerpunkt ist die Militär- und Kulturgeschichte des 18. Jahrhunderts. Aktuell ist sie in der Erwachsenenbildung und im E-Learning tätig.


More info here

BOOK: Salvatore SATTA, Lettere a Piero Calamandrei 1939-1956. A cura di Angela Guiso e Carlo Felice Casulla (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2021). ISBN: 978-88-15-29159-2, pp. 224, € 20,00


(Source: Il Mulino)


L'epistolario inedito (1939-1956) tra Salvatore Satta e Piero Calamandrei documenta, nell'intenso rapporto di «comunanza di idee, di sentimenti, di disperate speranze» tra i due grandi giuristi-scrittori, le fasi dell'elaborazione dei romanzi di Satta, a partire dal «De Profundis», del quale un primo estratto fu pubblicato proprio su «Il Ponte». Le lettere documentano anche la temperie politica e culturale del primo decennio dell'Italia repubblicana, della quale Calamandrei fu autorevole, critico protagonista e Satta distaccato, ma fine osservatore, anche per quanto concerne le controverse questioni della morte della patria e della continuità - rottura tra Regime fascista e Italia repubblicana. Illuminano, inoltre, la genesi lontana del suo grande romanzo postumo, «Il giorno del giudizio» e il suo profondo legame con la Sardegna di cui è originale espressione il saggio «Spirito religioso dei Sardi», pubblicato nel numero unico che, nel 1951, «Il Ponte» dedicò alla Sardegna. L'epistolario è integrato da lettere inedite di interlocutori di Satta, giuristi, letterati e politici (Albanese, Capograssi, Tumiati, Moretti, Bacchelli, Cesarini Sforza, Cossiga, Monni, Segni) e da due suoi inediti: uno scritto giuridico del 1950 e un saggio su Oscar Wilde. Introducono e contestualizzano la ricca documentazione inedita due densi saggi di Angela Guiso e Carlo Felice Casula, curatori del libro, dal punto di vista critico- letterario e storico-politico-giuridico.


«Carissimo Calamandrei, sento quanto il tuo animo sia vicino al mio», di Angela Guiso
Salvatore Satta e Piero Calamandrei. «Comunanza di idee, di sentimenti, di disperate speranze nonostante la differenza etnica, così importante almeno nel dominio dell’inconscio», di Carlo Felice Casula
Nota al testo
Salvatore Satta. Un profilo, di Angela Guiso
Piero Calamandrei. Un profilo, di Carlo Felice Casula

More information with the publisher.

03 May 2021

BOOK: Akhil REED AMAR, The Words That Made Us - America's Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840 (New York: Basic Books, 2021). ISBN 9780465096350, 40.00 USD.


(Source: Basic Books)

Basic Books is publishing a book on the formative decades of the American Constitution.


When the US Constitution won popular approval in 1788, it was the culmination of thirty years of passionate argument over the nature of government. But ratification hardly ended the conversation. For the next half century, ordinary Americans and statesmen alike continued to wrestle with weighty questions in the halls of government and in the pages of newspapers. Should the nation’s borders be expanded? Should America allow slavery to spread westward? What rights should Indian nations hold? What was the proper role of the judicial branch?


In The Words that Made Us, Akhil Reed Amar unites history and law in a vivid narrative of the biggest constitutional questions early Americans confronted, and he expertly assesses the answers they offered. His account of the document’s origins and consolidation is a guide for anyone seeking to properly understand America’s Constitution today.


Akhil Reed Amar is the Sterling professor of law and political science at Yale University and the author of several books on constitutional law and history, including America’s Constitution: A Biography and America’s Unwritten Constitution. He lives in Woodbridge, Connecticut.


More info here

BOOK: Andrea ERRERA, Il «movimento giuridico di un popolo». Nino Tamassia e l’insegnamento della Storia del diritto nell’anno accademico 1899-1900 (Napoli: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 2021). ISBN: 978-88-495-4441-1, pp. 392 , € 51,00


(Source: ESI)


Esiste una sola copia superstite dell’intera tiratura di stampe litografiche pubblicate per riprodurre gli appunti del corso di lezioni di Storia del diritto italiano svolto da Nino Tamassia a Padova nell’anno accademico 1899-1900, e questa copia si trova presso l’Istituto di Storia del diritto italiano dell’Università di Parma, in un volume ormai logoro per l’età e malconcio per l’uso. Il presente libro offre non solo la trascrizione della raccolta manoscritta di appunti – con il fine di garantire a quelle dispense una più ampia e più duratura possibilità di conoscenza rispetto alla testimonianza fornita dall’ultima e consunta litografia esistente – ma si propone anche di studiare le forme ed i contenuti di quegli appunti, che documentano in assoluto il primo corso di lezioni di Tamassia di cui sia rimasta memoria, per indagarne e comprenderne più approfonditamente l’impostazione scientifica e la metodologia didattica. Emerge da ciò la mirabile sapienza oratoria e la prodigiosa abilità pedagogica di un brillante comunicatore come Tamassia, che era in grado di accendere magistralmente la passione degli studenti con vividi quadri storici tutt’oggi suggestivi ed avvincenti. 


Andrea Errera è Professore Ordinario di Storia del diritto medievale e moderno nel Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza, Studi politici e internazionali dell’Università degli Studi di Parma, ove insegna Storia del diritto italiano e Tecniche dell’argomentazione e della comunicazione efficace tra storia e attualità. Tra le numerose pubblicazioni, è autore delle monografie: Arbor actionum. Genere letterario e forma di classificazione delle azioni nella dottrina dei Glossatori (Bologna 1995); Processus in causa Fidei. L’evoluzione dei manuali inquisitoriali nei secoli XVI-XVIII e il manuale inedito di un inquisitore perugino (Bologna 2000); Il concetto di scientia iuris dal XII al XIV secolo. Il ruolo della logica platonica e aristotelica nelle scuole giuridiche medievali (Milano 2003); Lineamenti di epistemologia giuridica medievale. Storia di una rivoluzione scientifica (Torino 2006). 

The table of contents can be downloaded in PDF format here.

BOOK: Martin LÖHNIG & Anna MOSZYNSKA, Laboratorium für internationale gesetzgeberische Arbeit - Die Geburt der polnischen Rechtsordnung der Zwischenkriegszeit im europäischen Kontext (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2021). ISBN 978-3-205-21227-0, 65.00 EUR


Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht is publishing a new book on Polish legal history during the interbellum.

Polen stand nach dem Großen Krieg vor der Herausforderung der innerstaatlichen Rechtsvereinheitlichung über die Grenzen der europäischen Rechtskreise hinaus und der Integration in das System internationaler Rechtsnormen. Die Zweite Polnische Republik bot deshalb den Anblick eines Laboratoriums en miniature für internationale gesetzgeberische Arbeit, in welchem die Idee, eines neuen, modernen polnischen Rechts mit der lex lata fremder Rechtsordnungen verglichen werden konnte. Die Arbeit der polnischen Kodifikationskommission erfolgte in einem europäischen Umfeld, das vom Streben nach Rechtsvereinheitlichung gekennzeichnet war, und ist deshalb als Pionierunternehmen für eine europäische Rechtsvereinheitlichung über die Grenzen der in Kontinentaleuropa bestehenden Rechtskreise hinaus anzusehen.


More info here

WEBINAR: Legal history and mass migration. 14 april-5 may



30 April 2021

BOOK: Richard BUTTERWICK, The Constitution of 3 May 1791. Testament of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Warsaw: Museum for Polish History, 2021), 183 p. ISBN 978-83-65248-48-0, OPEN ACCESS


The Museum for Polish History published a free ebook by Prof. Richard Butterwick (UCL) on the Constitution of 3 May 1791.

An interview with the author accompanies the publication.

Download the book for free here.

BOOK: Jana OSTERKAMP, Vielfalt ordnen - Das föderale Europa der Habsburgermonarchie (Vormärz bis 1918) (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2020). ISBN 978-3-525-37093-3, 80.00 EUR


Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht is publishing a new book on the Habsburg federalism.


Die Habsburgermonarchie mit der Vielfalt ihrer Völker, Sprachen und historischen Räume war ein faszinierendes „Europa im Kleinen". Föderalismus wurde im 19. Jahrhundert zur umkämpften Leitidee. Das föderale Laboratorium reichte von Metternichs »Föderativstaat« über die Personalautonomie der Austromarxisten bis zu Verfassungsentwürfen unter Franz Ferdinand und Kaiser Karls Nationalitätenbundesstaat von 1918.

Neben föderalen Reformentwürfen beschreibt das Buch das Habsburgerreich als gelebte Föderation. Diese umfasste eine gemeinsame Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, die dualistische Konkurrenz von Österreich und Ungarn und eine zunehmende Eigenständigkeit und Zusammenarbeit der österreichischen Kronländer gerade in modernen Politikbereichen wie Bildung, Gesundheit, Fürsorge und Infrastruktur. Diese föderale Geschichte im europäischen 19. Jahrhundert führt weit über die Geschichte des habsburgischen Reichs hinaus bis in die europäische Gegenwart.


PD Dr. Jana Osterkamp ist Historikerin und Juristin. Sie ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin des Collegium Carolinum und lehrt an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.


More info here

29 April 2021

JOB: Senior Researcher position - KBR/VUB - FED-tWIN mandate (DEADLINE 15 MAY 2021)


(image source: VUB/twitter)

1 - Context

This function is part of the FEDtWIN program of the federal science policy, which aims to combine and mutually reinforce the expertise of a federal scientific institution and a university by financing a long-term research project. The "KBR Data Science Lab" project is a joint initiative of Frédéric Lemmers, head of the KBR Digitization Department and Ann Dooms, head of the Research group Digital Mathematics (DIMA) at the Department of Mathematics and Data Science (WIDS) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).


The objective of the KBR Data Science Lab is the development of applications that increase the value of the digitized and born-digital collections in the cultural heritage sector by means of data- and model-driven artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML). In particular, the function aims to improve/automate the digitization workflow on the one hand and developing innovative library services on the other.


About the VUB: 

For already 50 years, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has stood for freedom, equality and connectedness. These values are strongly present on our campuses, in our students as well as our staff. At the VUB, you’ll find a diverse collection of personalities: pure innovators, but especially people who are 100% their authentic selves. With about 3,500 employees, we are the largest Flemish-speaking employer in Brussels, an international city with which we are all too happy to be affiliated and around which our four campuses are located. Our education and research are grounded in the principles of free research with an eye on human progress. We disapprove of every purely authoritative argument and guarantee the free formation of judgement that is necessary for this basic principle to be incorporated in the community. The VUB is autonomous and managed democratically. As such, we guarantee fundamental freedoms within our university, as well as the right of the university community to be involved in making and checking university policy.


The research group Digital Mathematics (DIMA) of the Department of Mathematics and Data Science (WIDS) specializes in the mathematical foundations of Data Science, i.e. digital data acquisition, representation, analysis, communication, security and forensics (in particular the mapping of special properties of thestudy of source material purely through mathematical calculations on its digital counterpart). We develop techniques in discrete mathematics (graphs, ...), harmonic analysis (wavelets, ...) for image processing and machine learning (deep learning, transfer learning, ),
GANs, ...). The research group has a strong track record in the application of mathematics in the cultural heritage sector.


About the KBR: 

The Royal Library of Belgium (KBR) is located at Mont des Arts in Brussels and is one of the ten federal scientific institutions. The Royal Library is the national scientific library. It collects all Belgian publications and plays an essential role in preserving the country's historical, scientific and literary memory. Providing scientific information as well as acquiring, preserving, managing and enhancing an important and extensive contemporary and historical cultural heritage are the absolute basic tasks of this institution. 

2 - Job Description

Teaching area/research area 

KBR Data Science Lab


  • In the first five years of the mandate, the teaching task will be limited in accordance with the objective of the function.
  • The candidate will contribute to the Master programs in which the department provides education with a 6SP course on Data Science in the cultural heritage sector.
  • In addition, guest lectures and research-related workshops at both institutions and their partners are part of the duties.
  • The candidate will also supervise internships, Master's theses and PhDs.


The Belgian government has invested considerably in the digitization of the collections of the Federal Scientific Institutions, for example the digitization of the Belgian press (1830-1950). Although the digitization of these valuable Belgian literary, cultural and historical heritage collections is an important step forward, the real potential of these sources for research is still insufficiently exploited. Without the help of advanced digital methods, it is simply impossible to extract additional value from this large quantity of mostly unstructured data.


The candidate, with his/her combined position, will change this by helping to set up the KBR Data Science Lab.


The FED-tWIN researcher is expected to conduct and supervise groundbreaking research (at Ma and PhD level) within DIMA as well as to acquire competitive research resources. He/she will initiate and coordinate several, also simultaneous ,research trajectories leading to the development of applications that increase the value of the digitized and born-digital collections in the cultural heritage sector using data- and model-driven artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML). In particular, the function aims on the one hand to improve/automate the digitization workflow (e.g. automatic quality assessment) and on the other hand to develop innovative library services (e.g. document recognition and processing, iconography) based on new mathematical concepts, theories and tools. 



  • mathematical data science
  • data- & knowledge-driven AI/ML
  • digitization workflows in libraries
  • information harvesting & iconography in libraries


The candidate becomes a member of the Digitization Department at the KBR and the Department of Mathematics and Data Science at the VUB.


In addition to strengthening the collaboration and research lines between KBR and DIMA, he/she will also contribute to the operational and administrative tasks of the departments as well as to the valorisation of the research on the KBR collections, both within the (inter)national research community (R&D projects, ...) as well as to interested bodies and the general public (outreach).

3 - Job profile

  • As a formal minimum requirement, the applicant must hold a doctorate in Science - Mathematics, Computer Science or Engineering awarded on the basis of an original dissertation.


  • The doctorate may not have been defended more than 12 years ago (counting from the day of submitting the application). This period of 12 years is extended by one year for each absence due to pregnancy, parental or adoption leave, as well as any long term absence due to illness of the candidate or any long term absence due to illness of a first-degree family member.


  • Ideally, the candidate has:
    • at least one year postgraduate experience at the time of recruitment. The term is determined on the basis of the date mentioned on the diploma requested above.
    • competencies in creative thinking and the development of mathematical concepts and theories
    • a strong scientific file (ISI publications) with proven research expertise in
      • data science, particularly in data- and model-driven AI/ML
      • mathematical, statistical and computational models for image processing
      • digital document recognition, processing and quality assessment
    • experience in developing software algorithms (e.g. in Matlab, Python or C++)
    • good communication skills, both to fellow researchers and colleagues with a non-mathematical background as well as to the general public
    • an international network
    • experience with inter/multidisciplinary projects
    • experience in fundraising and project management
    • research valorization experience
    • demonstrable educational expertise
    • experience in supervising Ba, Ma and/or PhD students.


  • The candidate writes and speaks English fluently. Knowledge of Dutch on recruitment and experience with the library sector are a plus.


  • The candidate is expected to subscribe to the university’s vision of education. (The full text in relation to this is available on the university website.)


  • Every initial appointment is also dependent on the successful teaching of a trial lesson.


  • Language requirements:
    • KBR: This position is open to candidates who can be assigned to the Dutch language role, in application of the rules laid down by the laws on the use of languages in administrative matters.
    • VUB: Members of the academic staff who, as title-holders, are charged with teaching assignments, must be able to demonstrate the required knowledge of the language of instruction for the relevant course units. Example: When a course unit is taught in English, the candidate is required to have the appropriate certificate. More information about the regulations concerning the language proficiency you can find via  

4 - Offer

We offer a full-time Senior Research position for an initial period of 5 years, renewable twice upon positive evaluation, with prospects for permanent employment at the end of this mandate. 


The position consists of two 50% contracts at the KBR (scientific personnel, level SW2, 19 hours/week) and VUB (ZAP, lecturer level) respectively.


The candidate should be willing to hold both half-time positions and should also apply for both positions. It is not possible to apply for only one of the two half-time positions. The candidate shall abide by the regulations of both institutions.

5 - Additional information

The planned starting date of the appointment is 01-10-2021. 


Applications need to be submitted at latest on 16-05-2021. 


For more information concerning these vacancy, you can contact: 

  • Ann Dooms ( 
  • Frédéric Lemmers ( 

6 - Application

Applications can only be made ONLINE

Your application must include the following as a minimum:

  • A concise CV;
  • The academic dossier with all relevant elements;
  • Vision of education and research and a list of your five most important publications;
  • A brief statement of reasons for the candidature, including an explanation of the expansion of future research;
  • Degrees and diplomas.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Decolonial comparative legal history: indigenous and global South law prior to colonialism (Oxford, University of Oxford/MPIPRIV, 9-10 September 2022)

Paper submission deadline: 9 February 2022                                   Decisions: 9 May 2022          


THEME: The second Decolonial Comparative Law Workshop will focus on comparing indigenous law and pre-colonial law, both in settler-colonial regions of the global North and in the area now often referred to as the global South. Decoloniality, as we understand it, promotes a pluriversal understanding of “law,” which means that each society defines and practices law distinctly, such that no society’s law is either universal or inherently superior. In the modern era, the ideology of coloniality promoted narrow expressions of law, particularly (though not exclusively) as “positive law.” In addition, colonizers distinguished positive law from colonial notions of “religious law,” “customary law,” and “native law,” which had significant implications for legal understandings and practices in colonized areas—as well as for the self-understanding of the colonized. Reacting against colonialism, many colonized peoples looked to pre-colonial or indigenous law to counter the hegemony of colonial law. In contemporary courtrooms and political debates, lawyers, legal scholars, and activists dispute the nature and applicability of pre-colonial and indigenous laws. Yet, present concerns and ideas always shape historical inquiry and the pre-colonial or indigenous law that they “excavate” is often a contemporary construct—albeit one based on history, historiography, and memory. We seek to engage critically with indigenous and global South histories, avoiding both romanticized nostalgia and imposing colonial historiographic methods. Although law is pluriversal and historically contingent, colonial law remains hegemonic in historiography and in legal practice. Consequently, pre-colonial and indigenous legal traditions are translated habitually into the language of coloniality. The challenge for scholars of decoloniality is to decolonize the concept of law shared by both colonizers and the colonized. Accordingly, our workshop aims to interweave several objectives: delinking from colonial notions of law; exploring decolonial (legal) historiography; comparing indigenous law in settler-colonized regions and pre-colonial law in colonized regions; offering decolonial translations of pre-colonial law.


PAPER SUBMISSION: We invite papers that destabilize coloniality by engaging with how indigenous and global South societies defined or practiced law prior to colonialism. Papers should be based on original research, ideally relying on primary or indigenous sources from prior to the colonial era (broadly defined). Papers should identify “law” in a specific tradition or place, with particular attention to indigenous or pre-colonial epistemologies and practices. Since colonial legal notions continue to distort historiography, we welcome papers that decolonize (i.e., identify and replace) coloniality in the legal historiography of the precolonial global South and indigenous communities. (Authors may want to make use of the bibliographies of decolonial theory and decolonial legal studies provided on the DCL Project website.) Please send your paper to (i) as an attachment in the template provided on the Decolonial Comparative Law Project website (ii) in any language (iii) not exceeding 5000 words (iv) by 9 February 2022. The advisory committee will review all papers and decisions will be sent by 9 May 2022.


ACCEPTED PAPERS: Authors of accepted papers will have an opportunity to submit revised versions of their papers for the workshop, with a deadline of 9 June 2022. Submitted papers that are written in a language other than English will be professionally translated. Papers will be pre-circulated prior to the workshop. The workshop will bring together authors of legal historiography with discussants (primarily legal scholars specializing in indigenous, global South, or decolonial legal studies). Authors will not present their papers at the workshop. Final submission of papers will be 9 December 2022. After peer-review, the papers will be published in an edited volume or journal symposium issue.


ORGANIZATION: The British Academy Global Professorship and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and Private International Law provide funding for the workshop. Organizers expect to offer two nights of accommodation and travel reimbursement for authors of accepted papers. Authors and discussants will have the option of participating remotely. The Decolonial Comparative Law Workshop is co-organized by Lena Salaymeh (University of Oxford) and Ralf Michaels (Max Planck Institute for Comparative and Private International Law). In addition to the organizers, the advisory committee includes Claire Charters (Auckland Law School), Farhat Hasan (University of Delhi), Kentaro Matsubara (University of Tokyo), Ethelia Ruiz Medrano (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia), Blaise Alfred Ngando (Université de Yaoundé 2 – Soa), and Mark Walters (Queen’s University).


LOCATION: The Oxford School of Global and Area Studies will host the workshop, which will take place at the University of Oxford. Translation services can be provided at the workshop.