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.

BOOK: William G. THOMAS III, A Question of Freedom - The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2021). ISBN 9780300234121, 35.00 USD


(Source: YUP)

Yale University Press has published a new book on legal challenges to slavery from US independence to the Civil War.


For over seventy years and five generations, the enslaved families of Prince George’s County, Maryland, filed hundreds of suits for their freedom against a powerful circle of slaveholders, taking their cause all the way to the Supreme Court. Between 1787 and 1861, these lawsuits challenged the legitimacy of slavery in American law and put slavery on trial in the nation’s capital.

Piecing together evidence once dismissed in court and buried in the archives, William Thomas tells an intricate and intensely human story of the enslaved families (the Butlers, Queens, Mahoneys, and others), their lawyers (among them a young Francis Scott Key), and the slaveholders who fought to defend slavery, beginning with the Jesuit priests who held some of the largest plantations in the nation and founded a college at Georgetown. A Question of Freedom asks us to reckon with the moral problem of slavery and its legacies in the present day.


William G. Thomas III is the John and Catherine Angle Chair in the Humanities and Professor of History at the University of Nebraska. He is co-founder and was director of the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia.


More info here

BOOK: Emanuela FUGAZZA, Tra liberismo e solidarismo: il lungo percorso scientifico di Ercole Vidari (Padova: Cedam, 2018). ISBN: 8813365403, pp. 268, € 29.00


(Source: Cedam)


Collana: Studi nelle scienze giuridiche e sociali. Pubblicazioni dell'Universita di Pavia. Nuova serie.

La scelta di dedicare un saggio monografico ad Ercole Vidari muove dalla volontà di celebrare ancora una volta il valore del giurista. La consapevolezza che solo la biografia rilevante per la comprensione di un'opera è quella che interessa sotto il profilo giuridico ha in seguito orientato la ricerca verso una precisa direzione, quella di dare preponderante, se non quasi esclusiva, valorizzazione agli scritti del docente, del quale sono stati ricordati solo quei dati biografici ritenuti utili per interpretarne il pensiero. Dati, questi ultimi, che si sono ricavati soprattutto dalle fonti conservate presso l'Archivio Storico dell'Università di Pavia, data la dispersione, a quanto risulta, di gran parte dell'archivio di famiglia.


Emanuela Fugazza è ricercatore di Storia del diritto medievale e moderno presso la Facoltà di Giurisprudenza dell’Università degli Studi di Pavia. Nel 2006 ha conseguito il titolo di dottore di ricerca in Storia del diritto medievale e moderno presso l’Università degli Studi di Milano. È autrice della monografia Diritto istituzioni e giustizia in un comune dell’Italia padana. Piacenza e i suoi statuti (1135-1323), Padova, CeDam, 2009 e di articoli e saggi concernenti la storia del diritto statutario e la storia della giustizia, civile e penale, in età comunale e signorile.

The table of contents is available here.

More information with the publisher.

28 April 2021

JOURNAL: Rivista de historia de las prisiones. Nº 10. Jan./Jun., 2020. Open Access.



I. Historiografía de las Instituciones de reclusión.

More information:

JOURNAL: Almanack nº 27 (OPEN ACCESS)


The journal Almanack, specialized in the nation building in the Americas and the 19th century, has published its last number, with some articles of legal historical interest.



More information: 

27 April 2021

WEBINAR: "The common core of European Administrative Laws - Paradigmi di giustizia amministrativa in Europa fra Otto e Novecento" - 28 aprile 2021 - Università di Bologna



 (Source:  ESCLH)

The ESCLH seeks to recruit new bloggers to strengthen its current team as volunteers. The ESCLH Blog is a reference for information on publications, calls and vacancies in the field of comparative legal history. The blog aggregates relevant scientific information from legal history and various related fields in the humanities and social sciences, and has so far had a (non-exclusive) focus on Europe. The blog equally serves to disseminate information regarding the activities of the European Society for Comparative Legal History (biannual conferences, postgraduate conferences, zoom seminars) and its journal Comparative Legal History (Routledge). With just under 20,000 pageviews a month, announcements are eagerly received and shared by members of the virtual academic communities built around our blog and Twitter account (@esclh). 

We are welcoming applications: please send your CV and a brief covering letter or email to by 30 April 2021.  Participation in the Blog Team can consist of adding posts, answering messages on the blog’s email address ( or developing a new Facebook page for the society and its blog. Inquiries for further information can be directed to this address as well. The ESCLH welcomes applications from everyone, including those from diverse personal and professional backgrounds.

Webinar: "Ireland, the law, and a long history of the English colony in Ireland" with Coleman A. Dennehy - 7th May 2021 - University of Belgrad, Forvm Romanvm


(Source: Forvm Romanvm)

The lecture is held over Webex on May 7th, 19:00 Belgrade time (GMT+2). The link to the lecture itself is

Or one can enter the event code “181 333 6001” directly into the Webex Meetings app.

The meeting password is “Forvm”.

More information is available here.

BOOK: Luisa STELLA DE OLIVEIRA COUTINHO SILVA, Nem teúdas, nem manteúdas: História das Mulheres e Direito na capitania da Paraíba (Brasil, 1661−1822) (Frankfurt: MPI for European Legal History, 2021). ISBN 978-3-944773-29-2, OPEN ACCESS


The Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory has published a new open access book in its Global Perspective on Legal History series.


This book develops a legal history of colonial women as a methodological approach to studying the women of Paraíba, a captaincy on the northeast coast of Brazil, from the end of the Dutch occupation (1661) to Brazilian independence in 1822. It uses the concept of multiple normativities to analyse dozens of daily life cases from Portuguese and Brazilian archives.

To study women’s everyday normative contexts in a colonial space, the author analyses traditional Ius Commune and Portuguese legal sources from different jurisdictions (including compilations of laws, Roman law, Visigothic influences, canon law and inquisitorial regulations), but also legal doctrines, medical treatises, moralist works and literature to enrich interpretations in women’s history, gender studies, feminist legal theory and legal history. Furthermore, a comparison of the works of Portuguese legislators, jurists, writers and moralists was carried out in order to reveal how these sources from different normative spheres defined and described women.

In order to show the impact of these normative traditions in the colonial Captaincy of Paraíba, the book examines how the administration, the application of justice and the resolution of conflicts were carried out not only by the secular administration, the Church and the Inquisition, but also by newly created institutions and practices specific to Paraíba, which were the result of adapting the law of the metropole to local circumstances.

To do so, the study focuses on normativities of a more pragmatic character, analysing archival documents portraying women’s daily life situations relating to both secular and religious jurisdictions. The issues touched upon include marriage and other family formations, single parenthood, concubinage and cohabitation; different experiences of motherhood, filiation and illegitimacy, loss of virginity in cases of rape, and widowhood; as well as consanguinity, bigamy, adultery and divorce. The legal and normative experiences of married women are also compared with those of women living in monasteries, houses of retreat (recolhimentos) or prisons, and with those of prostitutes. The book examines questions of women’s ownership of goods and land, and whether adherence to a certain religion influenced their room for manoeuvre and experiences in normative contexts.

These analyses demonstrate that the law from the metropole neither offered pre-established solutions for women’s daily lives, nor was it applied unchanged in the colony. On the ground, law was dynamic, and the interplay of multiple normativities provided different possibilities that depended on the intersection of women’s condition and status, religion and sexual options, proving that sex and gender categories are not immutable, but, on the contrary, flexible according to the practices of law in colonial Paraíba.





Introdução: Uma História do Direito das Mulheres Coloniais

Capítulo 1


Um Portugal transplantado? Normatividades imperiais na capitania da Paraíba

Capítulo 2


A vida das mulheres casadas na capitania da Paraíba: vozes femininas e normatividades no Império português

Capítulo 3


Promessas frustradas

Capítulo 4


As experiências da maternidade

Capítulo 5


As possibilidades de uma vida fora do casamento tridentino

Capítulo 6


Os espaços de segregação da vida pública

Capítulo 7


Desfazendo um vínculo eterno?

Capítulo 8


Adquirindo e possuindo: donas de terras e herdeiras

Capítulo 9


Religião e cotidiano: as mulheres e a prática do judaísmo na Paraíba




Fontes e bibliografia


About the Author


More info here

JOURNAL: Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geographico Brazileiro (OPEN ACCESS)


The Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brazileiro, from Rio de Janeiro, one of the oldest historical journals in the world, has published its first number of 2021, with some papers of legal historical interest.






WEBINAR: "Legal and Historical Narratives: A Talk with Lira Neto" – 03 May 2021, 10 AM, GMT-3 – Unifacisa, Campina Grande, Brazil – Free of charge

(image source: LinkedIn)

Brazilian university center Unifacisa, in Campina Grande, is promoting a debate on “Legal and Historical Narratives” with laureate historian Lira Neto and jurist Marcílio Franca, who is listed as arbitrator for Mercosur, WIPO and the Court of Arbitration for Art (CAfA). The webinar is hosted by Henrique Lenon, Professor of Legal History.

The conference is free of charge and will be transmitted live in Portuguese, but requires previous registration at this link:

Lira Neto has published several laureate books in Brazil, including biographies of former Presidents Getúlio Vargas and Castello Branco, musician Maysa and the famous religious leader Cícero Romão of Ceará.

As recently as February, Lira Neto released “Arrancados da Terra”, which depicts the persecution of Jews in Europe and Colonial Brazil during the 17-th century. The author deals with legal proceedings of the Holy Inquisition kept in Portugal, with political and religious issues of the Netherlands, with the Portuguese-Dutch dispute to control Northeastern Brazil and the final destination of then persecuted Jews: New York City.

 “The conference intends to provoke law students and professionals to understand how historians research, reflect and write History”, says Henrique Lenon, who holds a PhD in International and Comparative Law from the University of São Paulo and teaches Legal History and Legal Anthropology at Unifacisa.

Webinar: "Legal and Historical Narratives: A Talk with Lira Neto"  
When: May 03, 2021, at 10 AM (GMT-3)
Language: Portuguese
Live event, free of charge

26 April 2021

COLLOQUIUM: La Commune de Paris (1871) au prisme du droit (Paris, 25 May 2021)


The Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis is organising a seminar on the Paris Commune and the law. The programme can be found here

BOOK: Joanne YATES & Craig MURPHY, Engineering Rules - Global Standard Setting since 1880 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2021). ISBN 9781421440033, 39.95 USD


(Source: JHUP)

JHUP has published a new book on the history of global standard setting.


Private, voluntary standards shape almost everything we use, from screw threads to shipping containers to e-readers. They have been critical to every major change in the world economy for more than a century, including the rise of global manufacturing and the ubiquity of the internet. In Engineering Rules, JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy trace the standard-setting system's evolution through time, revealing a process with an astonishingly pervasive, if rarely noticed, impact on all of our lives.

This type of standard setting was established in the 1880s, when engineers aimed to prove their status as professionals by creating useful standards that would be widely adopted by manufacturers while satisfying corporate customers. Yates and Murphy explain how these engineers' processes provided a timely way to set desirable standards that would have taken much longer to emerge from the market and that governments were rarely willing to set. By the 1920s, the standardizers began to think of themselves as critical to global prosperity and world peace. After World War II, standardizers transcended Cold War divisions to create standards that made the global economy possible. Finally, Yates and Murphy reveal how, since 1990, a new generation of standardizers has focused on supporting the internet and web while applying the same standard-setting process to regulate the potential social and environmental harms of the increasingly global economy.

Drawing on archival materials from three continents, Yates and Murphy describe the positive ideals that sparked the standardization movement, the ways its leaders tried to realize those ideals, and the challenges the movement faces today. Engineering Rules is a riveting global history of the people, processes, and organizations that created and maintain this nearly invisible infrastructure of today's economy, which is just as important as the state or the global market.


Yoanne Yates is the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management, Emerita, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the author of Control through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management and Structuring the Information Age: Life Insurance and Technology in the Twentieth Century. 

Craig N. Murphy is the Betty Freyhof Johnson '44 Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College. He is the author of The United Nations Development Programme: A Better Way? and International Organization and Industrial Change: Global Governance since 1850.





Part I. The First Wave

1. Engineering Professionalization and Private Standard Setting for Industry before 1900

2. Organizing Private Standard Setting within and across Borders, 1900 to World War I

3. A Community and a Movement, World War I to the Great Depression

Part II. The Second Wave

4. Decline and Revival of the Movement, the 1930s to the 1950s

5. Standards for a Global Market, the 1960s to the 1980s

6. US Participation in International RFI/EMC Standardization, World War II to the 1980s

Part III. The Third Wave

7. Computer Networking Ushers in a New Era in Standard Setting, 1980s to 2000s

8. Development of the W3C WebCrypto API Standard, 2012 to 2017

9. Voluntary Standards for Quality Management and Social Responsibility since the 1980s


Essay on Primary Sources




More info here