30 April 2013

BOOK: Chr. Voilliot reviews G. Sacriste, La République des constitutionnalistes (Presses de Sciences Po, 2011)

The review section of the journal Histoire du XIXe siècle (online on features a discussion by Christophe Voilliot (Paris X-Naterre) of a recent Ph.D. by political scientist Guillaume Sacriste (Paris I) on the use of constitutional law in the legitimation of the French State during the Third Republic (1870-1914). This regime achieved some internal stability in France, after a constitutionally extremely turbulent succession of absolute monarchy, constitutional monarchy, republic, consulate, Empire, constitutional monarchy with intermediate revolutions (1830/1848) and Second Empire. Sacriste's work discusses the intellectual transmission and education infrastructure for the French political elite, and the operation of scientific networks, consecrating the emancipation of public law from the dominant civilist tradition.

Full text here.
Link to the book here.
You can find another review here

29 April 2013

BOOK: V.-Y. Ghebali (+) on the League of Nations and the ILO

Bruylant published the Egyptian scholar Victor-Yves Ghebali (Graduate Institute, Geneva)'s work on interwar international organizations. Ghebali's original approach consists in the legal analysis of the organizations' functioning during World War II. Whereas the League of Nations, without the US from the start on, without Germany, Japan or Italy in the 1930s, declined, the International Labour Organization, on the contrary, knew considerable positive dynamics. A final chapter comes back on the integration of the ILO within the UN System.

Link: table of contents.

(source: MULTIPOL-blog)

28 April 2013

BOOK: Honos alit artes. Studies in Honour of Mario Ascheri

Invitation to subscribe to the tabula gratulatoria of the Festschrift: 

Honos alit artes. Studi per il settantesimo compleanno di Mario Ascheri
ed. by Paola Maffei and Gian Maria Varanini, Reti Medievali - Firenze University Press.

Anticipated date of publication: February 2014

Deadline for subscriptions: 30 October 2013

The Festschrift will consist of about 200 contributions, totalling over 2,000 pages, in four thematic volumes which can be purchased separately
  • The formation of common law
    • Consilia
    • Lawyers, texts and universities in the Middle Ages and early modern period
    • Canon law    
  • Particular worlds
    • Communes, corporations, statutes and other specific legislation
    • Siena and Toscana  
    • Liguria and other places  
  • The development of ideas from the Middle Ages to the Ancien Régime
    • The history of books
    • Legislation and practice  
    • Reflections and theories  
  • Modern and contemporary history    
    • Individuals, ideals and events  
    • Science, legislation and government  
    • The administration of justice and the forensic professions  
    • Lawyers and the countries under common law  
The contributions are by scholars working in Italy and Europe, America and  Japan, and are in Italian, French, English, German and Spanish. They range in time from late antique to contemporary history, treat historical themes in law, institutions, economy, art, philosophy, politics, society, literature, numismatics, bibliography and archival studies, and relate to a wide range of places in the Old and New Worlds. Together they offer a vast fresco of the current state of the historical sciences. The list of authors and titles to be included in each volume can be consulted at the website, which will be regularly updated to include any possible minor changes.
The cost of each volume is 50 euros + postage
On the basis of current Italian prices the cost of postage is fixed per volume at €2 for postage to Italy, €10 to Europe and €15 to other continents.
To avoid postal charges it will be possible to collect volumes from the publisher or the editors; if you intend to do this, please say so at the moment of payment.
Methods of payment

23 April 2013

BOOK: Supreme Courts in the Holy Roman Empire and their Communication Strategies [Bibliothek Altes Reich; 11]

(Holy Roman Emperor Emperor Charles VI by Auerbach, Wikimedia Commons)
In 2012, Anja Amend-Traut, Anette Baumann, Stephan Wendehorst and Steffen Wunderlich edited a collective work (in German) on the Reichshofrat (Imperial Aulic Council) and Reichskammergericht (Imperial Aulic Chamber), the two most important tribunals in the Holy Roman Empire, representing the Emperor as a feudal lord, on one hand, and the members of the Empire, on the other. A lot has been written on these institutions and their considerable archives. Yet, this volume offers a different perspective, looking at the courts and the early-modern juridification of Habsburg rule through the prism of communication and symbolic representation.

An extensive review in French by Claude Michaud (Orléans) is available on, in the digital edition of Francia:Recensio (the book review section of the German Historical Institute in Paris' journal Francia).

CONFERENCE: 19th European Forum of Young Legal Historians (Ghent/Lille, 15-18 May 2013): Programme (final)


The final programme of the 19th European Forum of Young Legal Historians ("(Wo)men and the law", Ghent/Lille, 15-18 May 2013) is now online on the AYLH's website.

22 April 2013

BOOK: The Biographical Dictionary of Italian Jurists is now available

BIROCCHI ITALO-CORTESE ENNIO-MATTONE ANTONELLO-MILETTI MARCO N. (cur.), Dizionario Biografico dei Giuristi Italiani (XII-XX secolo), 2 tt., Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013, pp. 2400 [ISBN 9788815241245]

This huge dictionary is the result of the collaboration of some of the most important Italian legal historians who worked together to achieve an ambitious goal: to tell the story of 9 centuries of Italian legal culture through the lives of law professors, judges, notaries and intellectuals involved in the legal world. 

LECTURE: Carlos Petit on Codifications (Macerata, 29 April 2013)

What: Il codice-testo. Questioni di storia della codificazione: a lecture by Carlos Petit
Where: University of Macerata, Piaggia dell'Università 2, Aula Magna
When, 29 April 2013, 5:00 pm

BOOK: Il pregiudizio del colore by Marco Fioravanti

Marco Fioravanti, Il pregiudizio del colore. Diritto e giustizia nelle Antille francesi durante la Restaurazione, Carocci 2012

What: Presentation of the book Il pregiudizio del colore
Where: Napoli, Cappella Pappacoda, Largo S. Giovanni Maggiore
When: 29 April 2013, 3:30 pm

The book will be presentated by the author, together with Ann Thomson, Luigi Nuzzo and Miguel Mellino. Introduction by Girolamo Imbruglia.

21 April 2013

CONFERENCE: Paolo Grossi on collective property (Rome, 23 April 2013)

WhatLe proprietà collettive ieri e oggi by prof. Paolo Grossi, within the framework of the seminar "Dalle pratiche del «comune» al diritto alla città"
Where: Istituto Svizzero di Roma, Via Ludovisi 48
When: 23 April 2013, 7:30 pm

REMINDER: Seminar on citizenship and power between Middle Ages and Modern Era at the RomaTre University

What: Seminar: "Regole di cittadinanza e strategie di potere tra Medioevo ed Età Moderna"
Where: Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza - Università “Roma Tre” - Via Ostiense 161, Stanza 278, II piano
When: March-December 2013

The seminar, which takes place within the framework of the PIMIC Project (Power and Institutions in Medieval Islam and Christendom), is organized by Sara Menzinger, Giuliano Milani and Massimo Vallerani
Papers and teaching documents are available on Seminario cittadinanze Università degli Studi "Roma Tre"

4 March 2013, h. 15.30
Cives prima della cittadinanza: percezioni di identità collettive urbane tra IX e XI secolo nell’Italia centro-settentrionale
Chris Wickham: l’XI secolo lombardo
Mario Ascheri: Privilegi per le città nella crisi post-carolingia

22 March 2013, h. 15.30
Cittadinanza politica nel Medioevo bizantino e islamico
Marco Di Branco: Cittadinanza e rivolte nel Medioevo bizantino
Patrick Lantschner: Civic revolts in Italian and Islamic cities between Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times (14th-16th century)

19 April 2013, h. 15.30
Doveri fiscali e forme di appartenenza alla comunità cristiana e alla civitas
Michel Lauwers: La decima come simbolo di appartenenza alla comunità cristiana (titolo provvisorio)
Sara Menzinger: Pagare per appartenere: giustificazione teorica del prelievo tra XII e XIII secolo
Massimo Vallerani: Obblighi fiscali e livelli di cittadinanza nei comuni italiani

24 May 2013, h. 15.30
Esclusione dalla cittadinanza: forme di allontanamento materiale e perdita di diritti politici e civili
Giuliano Milani: forme di esclusione politica dalla civitas
Giacomo Todeschini: Forme di esclusione dalla comunità (titolo provvisorio)

21 June 2013, h. 15.30
Forme di diminuzione della cittadinanza
Antonia Fiori:infamia e purgatio nel pensiero ecclesiastico
Massimo Vallerani: fama e infamia nel mondo comunale
Caterina Bori: il ruolo della fama nel processo islamico (XIV sec.)

19-21? September 2013
Paolo Cammarosano: tema da definire

25 October 2013, h. 15,30
Forme di appartenenza alla civitas nell’Italia meridionale (XII-XVI sec.)
Vito Lorè
Serena Morelli

22 November, h. 15.30
Costruzione di teorie di cittadinanza per il mondo coloniale
Enrica Rigo
Luigi Nuzzo

December 2013
Cittadinanza politica in Dante
Justin Steinberg (l’opera): uso di regole ed eccezioni di cittadinanza nella Divina Commedia
Giuliano Milani (la biografia): la perdita di cittadinanza di Dante, da fiorentino di nascita a fiorentino politico

18 April 2013


A friend recently asked me the following question:

Here's one for  you.  Have you ever heard of land transfers being memorialized on coins? A former student claims this was practised in Lebanon in former times and she wonders whether it had a European root.

Any thoughts anyone?

Let me know.

BOOK: Two new books on early-modern French monarchy

Recently, two leading scholars on French early-modern monarchy published new work:

Arlette Jouanna (Univ. Montpellier III), expert on the French Wars of Religion, published Le Pouvoir absolu: Naissance de l'imaginaire politique de la royauté ([L'esprit de la cité] Paris: Gallimard, 448 p.). The books deals with the tension between internal order (power) and royal legitimacy (justice). She argues that the possibility for the monarch to be legibus solutus and thus transgress laws binding upon all legal subjects, should be seen as an exception. Before the Wars of Religion (1562-1598, from Charles IX to Henry IV), rulers in France were bound by the law. Derogations were only exceptionally allowed, in cases of necessity. Moreover, even in those cases, the sovereign remained under the Empire of God and Reason. However, the break-up of the unity between the civitas Dei and secular society turned the King into the sole point of converging consensus amongst the confessions in France. The French way of constructing royal sovereignty was thus characterized by a total breach of the medieval intertwining of God and secular power. The "new prince" had a direct link or proximity with God, conferring a superior legitimacy to his will.

Lucien Bély (Univ. Paris-Sorbonne) published Les secrets de Louis XIV. Mystères d'Etat et pouvoir absolu ([Histoire moderne] Paris: Tallandier, 680 p.), a work on the secret operations of the Sun King. In many cases, Louis XIV bypassed legal procedure to impress the world with "coups de maître" (literally "masterstrokes"), "coups d'état" (spectacular acts of state, which would normally be illegal), used the "lettre de cachet" (royal document allowing for imprisonment without trial), manipulated political trials (e.g. Nicolas Fouquet's case), used elaborate espionage networks, ordered abductions abroad and extensively used both domestic and foreign intelligence. Bély extends the metaphor to the traditional realm of political secrecy in foreign affairs, and looks into the secret subvention treaty of Dover (1670) with Charles II of Britain or the secret partition treaty of the Spanish monarchy (1668) concluded with Emperor Leopold I.

JOURNAL: European Journal of International Law XXIV (2013/1): Symposium on Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars

(image: Oxford Journals)

The European Journal of International Law, one of the leading international law-journals in the world, published a thematic issue on Michael Walzer (Princeton)'s classic Just and Unjust wars. A moral argument with historical illustrations, which appeared for the first time in 1977.

International lawyers comment on and debate Walzer's key positions. Some of the contributions are of interest to legal historians as well (e.g. Robert Howse's "Thucydides and Just War", 17-24; J.H.H. Weiler & A. Deshman's "Far be it from Thee to Slay the Righteous with the Wicked: An Historical and Historiographical Search of the Bellicose Debate Concerning the Distinction between Jus ad Bellum and Jus in Bello, 25-62; Paul W. Kahn's "Imagining Warfare", 199-226; N. A. Shah's "The Use of Force under Islamic Law", 343-365, or G. Blum's "The Fog of Victory", 391-422).

Full text online with Oxford Journals.
Check the journal's very active blog (EJIL:Talk!) as well.

17 April 2013

CONFERENCE: Peace of Utrecht (1713-2013) conferences: an overview

(Louis XIV in high age, receiving the Persian ambassador at Versailles, 1715; Wikimedia Commons)

The Peace of Utrecht (11 April 1713), 300 years and six days old, is not only at the centre of an international conference next week (cf. conference "Perfomances of Peace", 24-26 April, mentioned earlier on the ESCLH blog, Utrecht University/Dutch-Belgian Society for 18th Century Studies). 

In the course of the year, scientific meetings are planned at Utrecht (19 September; Utrecht's legacy today), The Hague (19-20 September: Peace Treaties 1913-2013), Paris (24-26 October; "Une Paix pour le monde: Utrecht, 1713"; Paris-Sorbonne/Bordeaux/Barcelona)), Montréal (22 November) and Ypres (29 November; UGent/Ypres Archives). 

The "Rechtsgeschiedenis blog" gives a handy overview of most of the activities.

15 April 2013

SEMINAR: Luis Lloredo Alix on Rudolf von Jhering (Madrid, 23 April 2013)

What: "Rudolf von Jhering y Unsere Aufgabe. En torno a la jurisprudencia de conceptos by Dr. Luis Manuel Lloredo Alix (Universidad Carlos III)

Where: Facultad de Derecho, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Seminario IV)

When: 23 April 2013, 10:30 am

Organization: Mª Julia Solla
Coordinadora del Área de Historia del Derecho y de las Instituciones

Suggested reading:

Luis Lloredo Alix, Rudolf von Jhering: Nuestra tarea (1857) En torno a la jurisprudencia de conceptos: surgimiento, auge y declive, in "Eunomia. Revista en Cultura de la Legalidad", 4 (2013), 234-275. 

12 April 2013

CONFERENCE on judicial practice and power in France (Université du Maine, 6-7 June 2013)

What: La pratique judiciaire à l’épreuve du pouvoir. Les procès politiques sous Louis XI
Where: Université du Maine, Salle Pierre Belon (BU Vercors)
When: 6-7 June 2013, 9:30 am

More information (and program) here.
Source: Nomodos

CONFERENCE: The Spanish, Europe and the Utrecht Treaties

What: Los españoles, Europa y los Tratados de Utrecht
Where: Instituto Cervantes, Domplein, 3, 3512 JC Utrecht
When: 23 April 2013, 7:00 pm  
On the occasion of the 300th Anniversary of the Utrecht Treaties, which established a new political map of Europe, Ana Crespo Solana and David Onnekink will discuss the meaning and consequences of this treaty for Europe and in particular for Spain and the Netherlands.
Admission free. Reservations here:
More information here

08 April 2013

CALL FOR PAPERS: Work and Property in Europe (1500-1900): Toward a Connected History

Michela Barbot (ENS Cachan, Paris), Fabrice Boudjaaba (CRH-EHESS Paris), Andrea Caracausi (University of Padua), Luca Mocarelli (Bicocca University, Milan)

Session Proposal for the European Social Science History Conference (Wien, 23-26 April 2014) Networks: “Labour” and “Economics”

Work and Property in Europe (1500-1900): Toward a Connected History

Deadline: 25 April 2013 

General Aims of the Project
Over the last decades the history of property rights and the history of work have been deeply renewed. Recent investigations have challenged the traditional idea that the rise of European capitalism was due to a linear transition from ‘non-private’ to ‘private’ property and from ‘non-commodified’ to ‘commodified’ labour (Grossi 1992; Brass, Van der Linden 1997; Steinfeld 2001). Different institutional forms coexisted indeed for many centuries, far beyond the Industrial Revolution.
Despite this new evidence, few studies have analysed the historical evolution of work and property together. This absence is regrettable. Work and property were indeed both at the basis of the social inclusion, citizenship rights and other fundamental institutional devices which are usually considered as typical of the economic growth and political modernity. Therefore an analysis that jointly investigates the evolution of the forms of property and work could significantly help to better clarify the historical mechanisms of development and modernization.
Following this perspective several key questions remain still open. They can be summarized as follow: how did ‘work’ and ‘property’ as historical institutions reciprocally interact, and, in turn, which were the socioeconomic implications of this interaction? This macro-session aims to answer to these questions, investigating the relationship between labour and property using a wide European comparison and a long-term perspective, since the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century. This wide perspective will allow us to evaluate the impact on ownership and work practices of some outstanding legal changes, such as the movement of English enclosures, the 1804 French Civil Code, or the Second Serfdom in the Eastern Europe.
Starting from the main research questions sketched above, we welcome papers articulated around three major research lines, which reflect three different sub-sessions:

Sub-session 1. Communities, households, individuals
In this first research sub-session we encourage papers dealing with the analysis of the role of the various historical property regimes (private, collective, dissociated, etc.) and labour relations (free and unfree labour; reciprocal and wage labour) in the (supposed) process of ‘emancipation’ of individuals from family or communities. More specifically, we would like to understand: (a) If, and how were the forms of work and property based on the model of the domestic household and (b) how did the relations between household systems, property regimes and labour organisations evolve across centuries.

Sub-session 2. Appropriations, dispossession, capabilities
Until recently, the history of the industrial revolution has been seen as a process of dispossession started in Europe since the agricultural enclosures. Following this interpretation, the closure of openfields had two main effects: the spread of a culture of a ‘full owner’ and the transformation of a mass of landless peasants excluded from their communities into an exploited and unskilled working class. In our opinion, this too rigid interpretation could be questioned. We argue that the integration of wage labour in a series of rules and contractual arrangements may have contributed to the development of a set of individual or collective ‘capabilities’ (in line with the interpretation of Amartya Sen), which were able to generate inclusion and improve labour skills rather than create division, separation or exploitation. The two main questions here will be: (a) how did property rights and labour relations help, or dampen, the process of acquisition of skills in the various times and context? (b) Was there a relationship between the fragility/imperfection/uncertainty of property rights and the ‘precariousness’ in labour relations? How did the status of owners interact with the professional status?

Sub-session 3. Embeddedness, evaluation and commodification
A third line of research would test the (‘supposed’) progressive depersonalization and commodification of economic relations in property and labour systems. The basic question can be expressed as follow: the Polanyi’s hypothesis concerning the “disembeddedness” of the economy from society starting back from the Industrial Revolution can be proved comparing and connecting the histories of property and work? The authors are invited to reflect on these points: (1) when, how and why did the work turn into a commodity? (2) Did the emergence of full private property have some effects on contractual conditions and negotiations between employers and employees in labour relations, especially in term of wages fixation and working times?
We welcome both micro-historical studies on single cities or communities and macro-approaches on entire regions and States. From a micro perspective, our aim is to compare urban and rural contexts, in order to understand when and how the so-called ‘modern’ concepts of property and work appeared first. From a macro perspective, we would explore the property and labour ‘divergences’ within Europe, in order to better highlight the role played by these two institutions in the supposed ‘Great Divergence’ between continental Europe and Great Britain, as well as between Eastern and Western Europe. Authors should indicate in which sub-session the paper refers.

Abstracts (100-500 words) and one-half page CV have to be sent by 25 April 2013 to:

More information about the ESSHC 2014 Conference here

CONFERENCE: Law and Architecture (Aix-Marseille University, 11-12 April 2013)

What: « Droit et architecture » reconsidérer les frontières disciplinaires, leurs interactions et leurs mutations

Where: Faculté de droit et de science politique Aix-en-Provence - Amphi Favoreu (entrance free)

When: 11-12 April 2013 


To download the pdf click here 

02 April 2013

SEMINAR: The Institute for Constitutional History Summer Research Seminar at Stanford Law School (July 7-13, 2013)

What: The Institute for Constitutional History Summer Research Seminar at Stanford Law School
When: July 7-13, 2013

DEADLINE: April 15, 2013
The Institute for Constitutional History is pleased to announce a Residential Summer Research Seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty, which will be co-sponsored by the Stanford Constitutional Law Center. This year's seminar will take place at Stanford Law School and is entitled PUBLIC AND PRIVATE.

The seminar will meet at Stanford Law School, from July 7—13, 2013. The Institute for Constitutional History will reimburse participants for their travel expenses (up to $350), provide accommodation at the Munger Graduate Residence on the Stanford campus, and offer a modest stipend to cover food and additional expenses. Seminar enrollment is limited to fifteen participants.

Applicants for the seminar should send a copy of their curriculum vitae, a brief description (three to five pages) of the research project to be pursued during the seminar, and a short statement on how this seminar will be useful to them in their research, teaching, or professional development. Materials will be accepted until April 15, 2013, and only by email at Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter.
More information here Successful applicants will be notified soon