Research Projects

Here you will find information about projects concerning natural law which are carried out by the contributors.

Péter Balázs

Natural Law in Hungary and in Transylvania

Transylvania constitutes a case of special interest in this project because of its particular political traditions, its multiconfessionalism and the close links of its Protestant elite to Western academic circles. However, strong linguistic and cultural reasons – such as the common language and religion, as well as the permanent scholarly communication between them – argue for joining research into the development of the natural law tradition in Transylvania  with that in the Kingdom of Hungary. A study of the curricula will show when, by whom and under what circumstances natural law was introduced. Institutions with jusnaturalist curricula were, on the Catholic side, the colleges and the University of Nagyszombat  (founded in 1635, run by the Jesuits), on the Protestant side the colleges of Pápa, Debrecen, Sárospatak, and Kolozsvár (today Cluj-Napoca, Romania) as well as the so-called particular schools, controlled partly by the mother colleges, partly by the local Reformed or Lutheran community . The ideas may have been formulated in the universalist terms of neo-scholasticism (often repetitions from mainstream natural law), but this was the common outward form characteristic of west- and central-European institutions and not particular to Hungary. The library catalogues of most of the aforementioned institutions have been published (so far rarely in a digitalized form), often with ownership recorded. These registers provide a useful point of departure for research on natural law, indicating possible notes in books, evidence of works in the curriculum, evidence of keywords from natural law in official documents or in inaugural speeches (this latter is very promising). The research project will lend particular attention to academic peregrination, since Hungarian political and philosophical culture to a large extent was dependent upon scholars visiting Western universities. The only university in the country, Nagyszombat, was Catholic (with only two faculties of local significance), so that protestant students of all confessions wanting a university degree or aspiring to a post in their church had to go to England, Germany or the Low Countries (or to Padua, where no confession of faith was required for enrollment). These study tours are a well studied segment of Hungarian cultural history. The books and notes these students brought home are not the only sources of the planned research. University studies had to be completed by academic theses and by participation in a scholarly disputation. In Volume III of the so-called Régi Magyar Könyvtár ('Old Hungarian Library'), the texts of several disputations are accessible, and the National Library is permanently striving to purchase all the foreign editions that are still missing from its collection. This voluminous corpus also promises considerable results, especially if we compare it with the very useful bibliographical study prepared by legal historian Béla Szabó, who reviews only the publications of Hungarian law students.

 

Péter BALÁZS
Associate Professor
Department of Modern History
University of Szeged
6722 Szeged Egyetem u. 2.
HUNGARY

tantris17@hotmail.com

Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina

The Circulation of the Ecole Romande du Droit Naturel in Eighteenth-Century Italy

The research project focuses on the publication, translation and circulation of the works of Jean Barbeyrac, Jean Jacques Burlamaqui and Emer de Vattel in the Italian peninsula during the eighteenth century. At the beginning of the century, the so-called Ecole romande du droit naturel was established in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and achieved great success in Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The project proposes to retrace the ways in which the texts of this so-called school were used and adapted to the Italian context (which was extremely different from the one in which these works were written and published), in order to contribute to the constitutionalisation and transformation process of the Italian states during the eighteenth century.

Also the circulation and use of the law of nations played a central role in the geopolitical context of Italy within Europe during the eighteenth-century. For example Emer de Vattel’s Droit des gens (1758), was not classified as merely a text on the law of nations. On the contrary, it was a benchmark for domestic law and diplomacy that provided a political and juridical guide for the foreign office of the small Italian states. The references to Vattel’s work are numerous and continuous in the diplomacy of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Sardinia’s territory, Venice and Lombardy.

The aim is to trace the process of appropriation and reproduction of law of nations theories in the Italian peninsula during the eighteenth century and to investigate how texts on natural law and the law of nations, such as those by Barbeyrac, Burlamaqui and Vattel, circulated and were used.  The focus of the investigation is on doctrinal positions and academic teaching.

 

Director
Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina
Postdoctoral Fellow
Dipartimento di Diritto Privato e Storia del Diritto
Università degli Studi di Milano
via Festa del Perdono n. 7
20122 Milano
Italy

Institution

Dipartimento di Diritto Privato e Storia del Diritto
Università degli Studi di Milano
via Festa del Perdono n. 7
20122 Milano
Italy

Frank Grunert

Editionsprojekt Christian Thomasius

Herausgegeben von Frank Grunert und Werner Schneiders

Die Edition der Ausgewählten Werke von Christian Thomasius wird von dem bisherigen Hauptherausgeber Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Werner Schneiders (Münster) und Dr. Frank Grunert erweitert. Zu den ursprünglich projektierten 24 Bänden, die im Kern die philosophischen Hauptwerke umfassen, kommen 8 weitere Bände hinzu. Sie sind den eher wissenschaftsgeschichtlichen und wissenschaftsreformerischen Arbeiten von Thomasius gewidmet und werden daher eine genauere - nicht zuletzt rezeptionsgeschichtliche - Positionierung von Thomasius' Œuvre in den Auseinandersetzungen um die zeitgenössische Gelehrtenkultur erlauben. Die Erweiterung der Ausgabe soll damit sowohl den veränderten wissenschaftsgeschichtlichen Fragestellungen als auch der neuen Wahrnehmung von Thomasius' Werk im Kontext seiner Zeit Rechnung tragen.

Im Augenblick wird der Neudruck der Institutiones iurisprudentiae divinae von Christian Thomasius (Band 3 der Ausgewählten Werke) vorbereitet. Nach der inzwischen erfolgten Fertigstellung der von René Lehniger besorgten Register und des Vorwortes (Frank Grunert) wird der Band in Kürze erscheinen. Die Arbeiten an diesem Band wurden dankenswerterweise durch die Fritz Thyssen Stiftung gefördert.

 

Director
Frank Grunert
Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für
die Erforschung der
europäischen Aufklärung
Martin-Luther-Universität
Halle-Wittenberg
Franckeplatz 1, Haus 54
06110 Halle (Saale)
Germany

Institution

Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für die Erforschung der europäischen Aufklärung
Martin-Luther-Universität
Halle-Wittenberg
Franckeplatz 1, Haus 54
06110 Halle (Saale)
Germany

Frank Grunert

Briefe von und an Christian Thomasius

Zur Vorbereitung der Edition der Briefe von und an Christian Thomasius haben Dr. Martin Kühnel und Dr. Frank Grunert die an den bekannten bzw. inzwischen ermittelten Orten lagernden Schriftstücke erfasst und gesichert. Durch umfangreiche – national wie international unternommene – Recherchen und durch gezielte Nachfragen bei den entsprechenden Einrichtungen wurde eine unerwartet große Anzahl von Briefen ausfindig gemacht, so dass der gesamte Bestand auf derzeit insgesamt 615 Schreiben angewachsen ist. Es handelt sich um 138 Briefe aus der Feder von Christian Thomasius und um die Schreiben von nicht weniger als 171 Korrespondenten. Alle relevanten Daten des bisher ermittelten Bestandes sind in eine Datenbank überführt worden, die eine Abfrage etwa nach Absender, Empfänger, Ort oder Datum erlaubt. Außerdem wurden alle aufgefundenen Schreiben vollständig digitalisiert, so dass die Transkription und die sachliche Auswertung der Briefe ohne Verzögerung aufgenommen werden kann.

Die bisherigen Vorbereitungsarbeiten ergeben folgendes Bild: Abgesehen von nur vereinzelten Schreiben aus den Jahren vor 1682 liegen bis zum Todesjahr 1728 durchgängig Briefe vor. Freilich ist die Überlieferungsdichte nicht immer gleich. Relativ hoch Ende der 1680er Jahre und während der 1690er Jahre, nimmt die Frequenz danach zunächst ab; gut dokumentiert erscheint dann wieder die Zeit zwischen 1706 und 1710 und die letzte Lebensphase in den 1720er Jahren. Geografisch findet der Briefwechsel in Mittel- und Norddeutschland und im Wesentlichen unter Protestanten statt. Mit Ausländern hat Thomasius – abgesehen von wenigen Ausnahmen, z. B. Pierre Poiret – nur vereinzelt Kontakt gehabt. Sofern er mit Partnern in den Niederlanden korrespondierte, handelte es sich durchweg um Deutsche (z. B. Friedrich Breckling), die entweder in den Niederlanden auf Reisen waren oder sich dort niedergelassen hatten. Die bevorzugte Sprache ist in der Regel Deutsch, Latein wurde – vermutlich je nach Gegenstand des Briefes – erst in zweiter Linie verwendet. Der französischen Sprache hat sich Thomasius – nach dem gegenwärtigen Stand der Erhebungen – nicht bedient, umgekehrt existiert durchaus eine nicht unbeträchtliche Anzahl von an ihn adressierten französischsprachigen Schreiben; englischsprachige Briefe liegen nicht vor. Angesichts des unbestrittenen Rangs, der Christian Thomasius auf den unterschiedlichen Feldern seines Wirkens zukommt, darf man von der Briefausgabe – abgesehen von wichtigen Einsichten in die Genese des Werkes – aufschlussreiche Erkenntnisse über die Formierungsphase der Aufklärung in Deutschland und die Gelehrtenkultur an der Universität Halle in den ersten zwei Jahrzehnten ihres Bestehens erwarten.

Gefördert durch die DFG ab 01.04.2010 für zunächst drei Jahre (2½ wiss. Mitarbeiter).

Director
Frank Grunert
Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für die Erforschung der europäischen Aufklärung
Martin-Luther-Universität
Halle-Wittenberg
Franckeplatz 1, Haus 54
06110 Halle (Saale)
Germany

Collaborators
Matthias Hambrock
Martin Kühnel
Andrea Thiele
Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für die Erforschung der europäischen Aufklärung
Martin-Luther-Universität
Halle-Wittenberg
Franckeplatz 1, Haus 54
06110 Halle (Saale)
Germany

Institution
Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für die Erforschung der europäischen Aufklärung
Martin-Luther-Universität
Halle-Wittenberg
Franckeplatz 1, Haus 54
06110 Halle (Saale)
Germany

 

Knud Haakonssen

Completion of a critical edition of Francis Hutcheson’s A System of Moral Philosophy, 2 vols., Glasgow 1755.

Director
Knud Haakonssen
Professor Emeritus of Intellectual History
Sussex Centre for Intellectual History
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

Visiting Professor
Max-Weber-Kolleg
Universität Erfurt
99105 Erfurt
Germany

Institution

 

Sussex Centre for Intellectual History
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

Knud Haakonssen

After Grotius, Before Kant: Studies in Natural Law and Natural Rights

A collection of the author's essays, some of them revisions of previously published pieces, others based on lectures and seminar papers.

Director
Knud Haakonssen
Professor Emeritus of Intellectual History
Sussex Centre for Intellectual History
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

Visiting Professor
Max-Weber-Kolleg
Universität Erfurt
99105 Erfurt
Germany

Institution

Sussex Centre for Intellectual History
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

Knud Haakonssen

A re-edition of Samuel Pufendorf’s The Law of Nature and Nations

Director
Knud Haakonssen
Professor Emeritus of Intellectual History
Sussex Centre for Intellectual History
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

Visiting Professor
Max-Weber-Kolleg
Universität Erfurt
99105 Erfurt
Germany

Institution

 

Sussex Centre for Intellectual History
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

Dieter Hüning

Edition "Die zeitgenössischen Rezensionen zu Immanuel Kants Metaphysischen Anfangsgründen der Rechtslehre"

Hrsg. von Prof. Dr. Diethelm Klippel (Universität Bayreuth) und PD Dr. Dieter Hüning (Kant-Forschungsstelle der Universität Trier)

Das Editionsprojekt wird erstmalig dem modernen Leser die zahlreichen zeitgenössischen Rezensionen zu den Metaphysischen Anfangsgründen der Rechtslehre Immanuel Kants zugänglich machen. Die Rechtslehre erschien im Jahre 1797 in erster, 1798 in zweiter, um einen Anhang erläuternder Bemerkungen vermehrte Auflage.

Kants Rechtslehre erfuhr eine gespaltene Aufnahme. Einerseits wurde das Erscheinen des Buches mit großen Erwartungen herbeigesehnt, insbesondere weil Johann Gottlieb Fichte schon ein Jahr zuvor seine Grundlage des Naturrechts nach Principien der Wissenschaftslehre veröffentlicht hatte. Insbesondere erwartete man von Kant die in den zeitgenössischen Debatten aufgeworfene Beantwortung der Frage, in welchem Verhältnis Moralphilosophie und Naturrecht bzw. Sittengesetz und Rechtsgesetz zueinander stehen. Einer der Rezensenten Karl Ludwig Wilhelm von Grolman beschreibt die Erwartungshaltung der Zeitgenossen folgendermaßen:

"Noch nie war wol das philosophische Publikum auf ein versprochenes Buch begie­ri­ger, als auf dieses, welches schon vor einigen Jahren unsre Wünsche, den Besitz des­selben zu erlangen, gerade in dem Augenblick getäuscht hatte, als wir der Reali­si­rung derselben völlig gewiß zu seyn glaubten. Es ist zu erwarten, daß dieses Buch, da es nun endlich erschienen ist, sowol von den Freunden, als auch den Gegnern der Kan­ti­schen Philosophie werde verschlungen werden, und es mag allerdings sehr interes­sant seyn, die Sensation zu beobachten, die es nothwendig bey beiden, vor­züglich aber bey den letztern, verursachen muß."

Andere Rezensenten glaubten demgegenüber nach dem Erscheinen der Rechtslehre "beklagenswerte Proben der Alterschwäche, Unkunde des status quaestionis, ja eine gedrängte Zahl von Willkührlichkeiten und klaren Inconsequenzen", feststellen zu können. Einige der Rezensionen lassen erkennen, daß ihre Verfasser nur unzureichend in der Lage waren, der Argumentation Kants zu folgen.

Die Edition umfaßt 15 Rezensionen der ersten Auflage, 5 Rezensionen der "Erläuternden Anmerkungen", 6 Rezensionen der zweiten Auflage und schließlich eine Rezension der 1799 erschienenen lateinischen Ausgabe der "Rechtslehre". Die bekannteste der Rezensionen ist diejenige von Friedrich Bouterwek in den "Göttingischen Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen", denn auf diese Rezension antwortete Kant noch selbst mit einem "Anhang erläunternder Bemerkungen zu den metaphysischen Anfangsgründen der Rechtslehre". Weitere bekannte zeitgenössische Rezensenten waren: Julius Friedrich Heinrich Abegg, Johann Gottlieb Buhle, Friedrich Bouterwek, Gottlieb Hufeland, Karl Ludwig Wilhelm Grolman, Christian Gottfried Schütz, Johann Christoph Schwab, Dietrich Tiedemann.

Homepage

Director
Diethelm Klippel
Universität Bayreuth
Rechts- und Wirtschafts-
wissenschaftliche Fakultät
Gebäude B 9
95440 Bayreuth
Germany

Dieter Hüning
Universität Trier
FB I: Philosophie
Kant-Forschungsstelle
Universitätsring 15
D-54286 Trier
Germany

Institution

Universität Trier
FB I: Philosophie
Kant-Forschungsstelle
Universitätsring 15
D-54286 Trier
Germany

 

Mads Langballe Jensen

Natural law in Denmark 1690-1750: The History of an Enlightenment

The project is a study of the reception and influence of German natural law in Denmark 1690-1750. It is a central aim of the project to describe how the reception of German natural law in these years was central to a Pufendorfian-Thomasian enlightenment largely overlooked in its Danish form.

The central focus of the project is the teaching of post-grotian natural law in Copenhagen from the 1690s onwards. To write this history, the project addresses a range of hitherto unused sources, including printed treatises, translations, manuscripts, textbooks, university disputations and student notes, placing these sources in their intellectual and political contexts. As the teachers of natural law, the most important of which were Henrik Weghorst, Christian Reitzer, Andreas Hojer and Christian Ludwig Scheidt, either came from Germany or had studied there, the project is simultaneously a study of the connections of scholars, students and publishers in Denmark to universities such as Kiel, Göttingen and in particular Halle.

Many of the teachers and writers of natural law in early eighteenth-century Denmark were followers of Samuel Pufendorf and Christian Thomasius and had studied in Halle. The early enlightenment in Denmark is arguable a particularly interesting case for studying the historical significance of modern, particularly Pufendorfian-Thomasian, natural law. Teaching of natural law was first introduced in the Danish capital in the years immediately following Christian Thomasius's polemics with the court preacher in Denmark, Hector Gottfried Masius. Pufendorfian-Thomasian natural law theory was not the only kind propounded, however, and the project describes how followers of Pufendorf and Thomasius vied for control over universities, politics and public debates with proponents of other forms of natural law, of orthodox Lutheranism and Pietism, and ultimately how in doing so they determined the character of the early Danish enlightenment.

Director
Mads Langballe Jensen
University of London

Diethelm Klippel

The History of Natural Law in Germany 1625-1914

Director
Diethelm Klippel
Universität Bayreuth
Rechts- und Wirtschafts-
wissenschaftliche Fakultät
Gebäude B 9
95440 Bayreuth
Germany

Collaborators
Katharina Beiergrößlein
Iris von Dorn
Universität Bayreuth
Universitätsstraße 30
95447 Bayreuth
Germany

Institution
Universität Bayreuth
Rechts- und Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Gebäude B 9
95440 Bayreuth
Germany

Gerhard Lingelbach

Law, State and Nature around 1800

The project is associated with the collaborative research centre SFB 482 The Weimar-Jena Phenomenon. Culture around 1800.

At the end of the 18th century a reorientation took place in legal theory and philosophy that also involved the legal experts and philosophers of Jena. On the one hand, these new impulses resulted from the impact of the French Revolution in the range of politics and, on the other hand, from the debates on the implementation of new philosophical - Kantian - postulates in the area of philosophy.

Project B7 "Law, State and Nature around 1800" was therefore faced with the task of identifying the interaction between jurisprudence as a science and theory and legislation and jurisdiction as its authoritative practical implementation.

Jena around 1800 stands for a place where the new postulates of philosophy united with current issues and with methodology and, at the same time, were reflected by the problems that existed in jurisprudence and politics. Furthermore, the literature that was produced in Jena during this time is of considerable importance for the theory of the democratic constitutional state.

In the last two decades of the 18th century a discussion arises among the legal experts as well as philosophers that concerns the question of a legitimation of law in general and of human rights in particular. The intensity of these discussions, in which scholars of both faculties - the faculty of philosophy and the faculty of law - participated, can be demonstrated by a large number of writings, and the phenomenon itself can be summarized under the term of Jenaer Naturrechtsdebatte (Jena Debate on Natural Law). Until the end of the first decade of the 19th century this debate did not only have a strong influence on legal philosophy, it also had an effect on the development of legal practice and policy.

During these three decades several seminal works on constitutional law [G. Hufeland], criminal law [particularly by P. J. A. Feuerbach] and on private law [particularly by A. F. J. Thibaut] were written in Jena. These works, which had a lasting effect on legislation and the study of civil law - the German Pandektistik that influenced the entire 19th century -, were also the results of an interaction between the humanities and the natural sciences in the area; as in the reverse case of philosophical and legal debates that affected other academic fields. Based on the diversity of questions posed in legal theory and philosophy around 1800, the project has been divided into three substudies:

One substudy will focus on the "Jena Debate on Natural Law". This study will highlight the role of this debate in the discussions about the foundations of law and human rights in the German-speaking area.

Another study analyzes the different approaches of legal theory in Jena in the fields of criminal law and in the German Pandektistik as well as the structural development of the Faculty of Law and the content of its curriculum.

A third study concentrates on the development of jurisdiction in the Weimar-Jena area on the basis of the concrete case of the "Spruchkörper Juristenfakultät" and the "Jena Schöppenstuhl.

Homepage

Director
Gerhard Lingelbach
Rechtswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Carl-Zeiß-Straße 3
07743 Jena
Germany

Christoph Halbig
Lehrstuhl für
Praktische Philosophie
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Zwätzengasse 9
07743 Jena
Germany

Collaborators
Michael Morris
SFB 482
Humboldtstr. 34
07743 Jena
Germany

Institution
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
PF 07737 Jena
Germany

 

Per Nilsén

A ”Swedish” International Law 1648-1815? The doctrines and teaching of international law at the Swedish universities

The development of international law as a teaching subject at the Swedish universities goes hand in hand with natural law. The ideas of Hugo Grotius as they were presented in “De jure belli ac pacis” played an important role for the introduction of both subjects in the academic curricula. The statutes of Uppsala University were revised in the 1650ies under the aegis of the university chancellor M. G. De la Gardie and in the correspondence with his former teacher Mattias Biörenclou – Swedish delegate at the peace negotiations in Osnabrück and Münster – it was pointed out, that it was desirable to furnish the university with three chairs in law. According to the proposal of Biörenclou, the holder of the first chair should be responsible for giving lectures in natural law and international law in accordance with Grotius, the second professor should answer for Roman law and the third for Swedish law. Biörenclou described “De iure belli ac pacis” as a “golden book”, necessary for the statesman as well as for the legislator. Despite the original plans, an ordinary chair in natural and international law was not established at the Uppsala University. In the statutes, however, natural law became a kind of mandatory pedagogic tool – or even a superior ideology – in the disciplines of the two ordinary chairs of law: the professor in Swedish law should show the more progressed students how the law of the land had its roots in both natural and divine law and his colleague, the professor in Roman law, should in a similar way rather seek the foundations of Roman legislation in natural law than in the views of the many but futile interpreters. The international law was not forgotten: the two professors should exert themselves to give private lectures in the discipline on an annually basis or delegate the matter to an assistant master. Topics related to natural law could also be treated by the faculty of philosophy: the professor in “philosophia civilis”, i.e. practical philosophy, should primarily base his lectures on Aristotle but was allowed to devote himself to other authors as well, especially in his private teaching. In other words: the introduction of natural and international law as a discipline at the Swedish universities was no coincidence – it was the result of a deliberate policy. This policy also had consequences when new or vacant university chairs were to be filled. Most well-known – but not unique in its kind ? is the call of Samuel Pufendorf to Lund University. In Lund, the law faculty was provided with three chairs and Pufendorf was appointed “professor jurisprudentiae primarius” with a proportionately generous salary. Here also his “De jure naturae et gentium” (1672) and “De officio hominis et civis” (1673) were printed. Pufendorf’s importance for the development of natural and international law at the Swedish universities can hardly be overestimated.

The developments up to the Peace of Westphalia and the role of Sweden in the European state system thereafter had in other words direct impact on the curriculum of the country’s universities – and this for a long period of time: formally, the university statutes were not revised until 1852. The notion of the Peace of Westphalia as a caesura in European history can be regarded as an established “truth” ? in the historiography of international law the peace treaty and its effects has been studied at length. The Peace has also been used as a landmark in different periodizations, e.g. in Wilhelm G. Grewe’s “Epochen der Völkerrechtsgeschichte/The Epochs of International Law” (1984, English translation 2000) where the author from a political perspective describes the period between the Peace of Westphalia and the Congress of Vienna as an epoch of “Droit public de l’Europe” or “Die Völkerrechtsordnung des französischen Zeitalters 1648-1815”. Even if Grewe’s division into epochs can be discussed, it has been followed by Karl-Heinz Ziegler in his “Völkerrechtsgeschichte” (1994) and we believe that a similar temporal limitation of our project can be defended on good grounds – especially since Sweden was one of the guarantee powers of the Peace of Westphalia.

Questions concerning the historical development of international law have during the last 10-15 years enjoyed a growing interest among researchers in the fields of history, legal history and positive international law. A number of research projects have been launched outside the borders of Sweden and since 1999, a scientific journal, explicitly devoted to the subject ? “Journal of the History of International Law/Revue d’histoire du droit international“ ? is being published. Nevertheless: important aspects of the development of international law within Sweden have never or only superficially been subject of investigation. This is especially the case of international law as an academic discipline, being observed from an internal perspective where the established ? essentially Continental European ? doctrine is put in focus as it was presented for the students, i.e. for the future civil servants of an emerging and increasingly professionalized administrative organisation. The existing studies of the development of international law in Sweden discuss the subject either from a more general legal history perspective or a narrower, institutional (university history) perspective. Regarding natural law (jus naturale), historically the sister subject of international law (jus gentium), studies including broader perspectives are available. A need of research exists also in matters concerning the relations between policymaking and teaching.

Our project aims to investigate the doctrines and teaching of international law at the Swedish universities during the period 1648-1815. The investigation of the international law teaching will be conducted by Per Nilsén and result in a monography. In the rich source material relevant for this study, the Swedish university lecture catalogues stands out. Evidently, they are of central importance for our project but are also of a wider, general interest. Because of that, a digitalization of the issues ca. 1620-1815 is planned within the frames of the project. Joachim Östlund will analyze the teaching in international law when the international status of Sweden declined in the 18th century and when neutrality became the dominant strategy of Sweden´s foreign policies. In the long distance trade areas, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, neutrality provided Sweden with a crucial competitive advantage. The aim of Östlunds project is to show how neutrality strategies influenced the teaching in international law. At the same time, we plan a series of workshops devoted to the history of early modern international law theory in the Baltic area. Those workshops will result in a publication, which can be used as a textbook in the history of North European international law – comprehensive in outline, detailed in the regional aspects. The mentioned activities will, so we hope, put the history of international law on the map not only in a Swedish, but in a Scandinavian/Baltic perspective. In that way, the project will provide a considerable, long-term reinforcement and renewal of early modern research and generate interest in further investigations and a strengthening of the interdisciplinary environment in question. As K.-H. Ziegler puts it in his “Völkerrechtsgeschichte”: “Jede vertiefte Betrachtung des Rechts bedarf der historischen Perspektive. Das gilt in besonderem Maße für das Völkerrecht, denn wie kein anderes Gebiet des geltenden Rechts ist es mit der Geschichte verbunden”. An application for a planning grant was approved by Riksbankens jubileumsfond in 2011; an application for the total project was rejected by Riksbankens jubileumsfond in 2012.

 

Director
Per Nilsén
Associate Professor in Legal History
LL.D Chairman
Study Programmes Board
Faculty of Law
Lund University
Box 207
SE-221 00 Lund
Sweden

Joachim Östlund
Dept. of History
Lund University
Box 207
SE-221 00 Lund
Sweden

Institution

Lund University
Box 207
SE-221 00 Lund
Sweden

Per Nilsén

A commentated edition of David Nehrman Ehrenstråles (1695-1769) lectures on Swedish constitutional law

David Nehrman (1695–1769) was professor in Swedish and Roman law at the Lund University from 1721 to 1753. Having this position at the rather small, provincial university in southern Sweden – one out of totally four universities in the realm, including the German university in Greifswald – meant being responsible for teaching the whole field of legal disciplines. David Nehrman’s lectures were highly estimated by his contemporaries, they were written down in student’s manuscripts and circulated in the country and quite a few were also edited by David Nehrman himself and published as textbooks: in 1729 his Introduction to Swedish Private Law (Inledningtil then swenskajurisprudentiamcivilem) was published, followed in 1732 by a similar Introduction to Swedish Private Procedure (Inledningtil then swenskaprocessumcivilem). The Swedish Code of 1734 – which finally replaced the mediaeval rural and urban codes – came into force in 1736. This did not only necessitate updated versions of the already published works (a supplement to his introduction to private law was published in 1746 and a new edition of the introduction to private procedure came in 1751), but also stimulated to new publications: Lectures on the Book on Marriage (Föreläsningaröfwergiftermålsbalken [1747]), Lectures on the Book on Inheritance (Föreläsningaröfwerärfdabalken [1752]), and two new Introductions: one to Swedish Criminal Law (Inledningtil then swenskajurisprudentiamcriminalem [1756]) and one to Swedish Criminal Procedure (Inledningtil then swenskaprocessumcriminalem [1759]).

David Nehrman was born in Malmö in 1695 – 37 years after the annexation of the former Danish province of Scania to Sweden in 1658. In order to make good Swedish subjects of the inhabitants of the province, a university was opened in the neighbouring cathedral city of Lund in 1668. But the actual peace was short-lived: in 1676–1682 and in 1709 the academic activities were discontinued as a consequence of war and in 1712, the plague raged in both cities. There were no possibilities to study law at the province’s university and the young David Nehrman had to seek other ways – following the Swedish tradition of peregrination, he studied at several foreign (mainly protestant German) universities, such as Rostock, Jena and Halle. In Halle, Nehrman was profoundly influenced by the natural law thinking of the period. Being tired of teaching after 32 years in Lund, Nehrman – in 1746 raised to nobility as Ehrenstråle – retired in 1753 to his estate in the province of Småland. Here his library was kept for many years after his death. Today, the library is a part of the collection of the City Library in Linköping.

The works of David Nehrman Ehrenstråle have had a long lasting value for Swedish law: not only as manifested in the mentioned textbooks, but also in the numerous student manuscripts. There are also manuscripts, written by Nehrman himself, which have not been published, e.g. his lectures on Swedish constitutional law (written between 1731 and 1739). In this manuscript of 623 pages, the author gives rather precise references to the literature he used in composing his lectures: approximately 35 titles are of Swedish origin, 35 of German, two of Dutch. Danish titles have been used four times, English six and French two times. In studying Nehrman’s work in this way, it is possible to not only to get a first-hand picture of the Swedish constitutional law of the period but also to get a good overview of the scientific (cross-border) world of one of the most important scholars in Swedish legal history. The publication of this manuscript with commentaries regarding Nehrman’s sources and literature has been discussed several times and is now well under way. An application concerning (part-) funding was approved by Institutet för rättshistorisk forskning – Olin Foundation – Grundatav Gustav och Carin Olin in 2011.

Director
Per Nilsén
Associate Professor in Legal History
LL.D Chairman
Study Programmes Board
Faculty of Law
Lund University
Box 207
SE-221 00 Lund
Sweden

Institution
Lund University
Box 207
SE-221 00 Lund
Sweden

Sebastian Olden-Jørgensen

The interaction between natural law, moral philosophy and history in the historical works of Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754)

These studies are part of a research project organized by Jørgen Magnus Sejersted at the University of Bergen (Norway) and connected to the planned digital edition of Holberg's collected works.

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Director
Sebastian Olden-Jørgensen
Associate professor
Saxo-Institute
History Section
Njalsgade 80
DK - 2300 København S
Denmark

Institution
University of Bergen
Postboks 7800
NO-5020 Bergen
Norway

Pärtel Piirimäe

The diffusion and reception of ideas and theories in the Baltic provinces of Swedish and Russian empires (17th c. - early 20th c.)

The diffusion and reception of ideas and theories in the Baltic provinces of Swedish and Russian empires (17th c. - early 20th c.)

The project studies mainly the dissertations and other sources of intellectual history that are part of the collections of Tartu University Library. It employs six researchers (Arvo Tering, Jürgen Beyer, Meelis Friedenthal, Aira Võsa, Lea Leppik, Ljudmila Dubjeva) who study different fields of intellectual history (theology, medicine, history, astronomy, etc.). The project is interested in questions such as the spread of ideas from centres to peripheries, the tension between imperial centres and the provinces, the transformation of ideas in the course of the reception, and their assimilation according to local ideological, political and social contexts

As part of the project, a database of 17th-century disputations and dissertations at the University of Tartu was created and corrected the database of 17th century prints in Tartu. The director's research within this project concerns the development of legal traditions in the Baltic provinces, including the reception of modern natural law.

Director
Pärtel Piirimäe
Associate Professor
Institute of History and Archaeology
University of Tartu
Senior Researcher
University of Tartu Library
W. Struve 1
Tartu 50091
Estonia

Collaborators
Arvo Tering
Jürgen Beyer
Meelis Friedenthal
Aira Võsa
Lea Leppik
Ljudmila Dubjeva
University of Tartu Library
W. Struve 1
Tartu 50091
Estonia

Institution
University of Tartu Library
W. Struve 1
Tartu 50091
Estonia

Pärtel Piirimäe

International law between natural law and a code of civility: discourses of international morality in early modern northern Europe

The project is going to focus on the replacement of the universalist, natural-law based aspirations of seventeenth-century international law scholars with a Euro-centric conception of 'international law of civilized nations', and on the reception and development of these views in Northern Europe.

Director
Pärtel Piirimäe
Pro Futura Research Fellow
Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study
Linneanum
Thunbergsvägen 2
S-752 38 Uppsala
Sweden

Institution

Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study
Linneanum
Thunbergsvägen 2
S-752 38 Uppsala
Sweden

Alexander Schmidt

Laws for Desirous Beings: Anthropology, Sociability and the Crisis of Natural Right in German Enlightenment Thought

Monograph project pursued at the John U Nef Committee on Social Thought, University Of Chicago, funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 2015-2016, continued at Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

... more information coming soon!

Director
Alexander Schmidt
Juniorprofessor of Intellectual History
Historisches Institut
Friedrich Schiller University
Fürstengraben 13
D-07743 Jena
Germany

Alexander Schmidt

Natural law teaching at Jena, c. 1740-1820

The project explores the teaching of natural law during a crucial period of intellectual transformation from the theories of Christian Wolff, Christian Thomasius and their respective followers to the reformulation of natural law in the wake of Kant’s epistemology and moral philosophy. While many scholars claim that natural law was demolished by the rise of positivism, utilitarianism and the German historical school of law around 1800, the project advances the claim that the reformulation of natural law which it went through in the last decades of the eighteenth century preserved it as a critical legal, moral, and political idiom of liberal reform in the nineteenth century. By focusing on the “engine room” of academic teaching we want to gain a clearer and more detailed understanding of the processes of reformulation of given theories and vocabularies of natural law as well as the inclusion of new themes by members of the different faculties of law and philosophy, which were competing in the teaching of natural law at Jena. An obvious point of departure for the project is the work and teaching of the philosopher, lawyer and economist Joachim Georg Darjes (1714-1791) who taught at Jena from 1735 to 1763. Darjes is central because he both set up a continuous stream of lecture courses on natural law and further developed Wolffianism in his teaching, transferring it into the new science of political economy. One aspect of the project here will be how his lectures, textbooks and the works of his students did reflect this transformation to questions of political economy. Another aspect will deal with his critical engagement with the Thomasius-school, especially in his theory of action. From Darjes distinction between inner and outer freedom the project moves on to the debates of the 1790s. It is often ignored that some of the most crucial German texts on natural law in the later eighteenth-century, such as Fichte’s Foundations of Natural Law according to the Principles of the ‘Wissenschaftslehre’ of 1796 and 1797 were basically course-books. The university of Jena in the 1790s here is of particular interest because some of Germany’s most aspiring young legal thinkers and philosophers competed simultaneously for academic fame and (paying) students. Here the aim of the project is to bring these competing lecture courses, and their printed offshoots, in a closer dialogue by studying lecture notes, correspondence and reviews by students who often were to become influential scholars and philosophers themselves.

Director
Alexander Schmidt
Juniorprofessor of Intellectual History
Historisches Institut
Friedrich Schiller University
Fürstengraben 13
D-07743 Jena
Germany

Simone Zurbuchen

Natural law in Switzerland and beyond: sociability, natural equality, social inequality

The research project forms the Swiss contribution to the international network. Funded by the Swiss National Foundation, it has been conducted at the Philosophy Department of the University of Lausanne, 2014-2018. One of its goals consisted in collecting primary and secondary literature as well as digitizing manuscript sources documenting the teaching of natural law at various Swiss institutions. The focus was on materials related to the ‘école romande du droit naturel’, with its main representatives Jean Barbeyrac, who taught natural law at the protestant Academy of Lausanne (1711-1718), and Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui, who was professor of natural and civil law at the Academy of Geneva (1723-1739). The project also accounts for little known teachers of natural law in the Suisse romande and at other Swiss institutions of higher education (Basel, Berne, Zurich, Fribourg). Natural Law in Switzerland.

The second goal of the project was to study major themes in the Swiss, French, Scottish and partly also the Italian natural law traditions. The results can be presented under four headings:

1/ Tracing important changes in the account of the social relationships within the family, or household (husband and wife, parents and children, master and servant, or slave) in modern natural law from the 17th to the late 18th century: the major outcome will be a doctoral dissertation, which analyses the hypothetical-historical account the Scottish jurist John Millar provided of social inequalities and of domination within the family. In order to bring out the originality of Millar’s position, the dissertation first reassesses the contractual justification of social hierarchies within the family in 17th century natural law theories (Hobbes, Pufendorf, Locke). It then examines how these theories were discussed and modified in the Scottish enlightenment (Hutcheson, Hume, Smith), which took a more descriptive and historical turn in assessing social relationships and related institutional settings. Complementary studies on the classical 17th century theories and their reception in the context of the French enlightenment will be presented in a paper on Rousseau’s major deviation from Pufendorf’s theory in his account of the relationship between the sexes, and in a paper on human dignity and equality in Pufendorf’s natural law doctrine and his theory of servitude, or slavery. Continuities and discontinuities between the French and the Scottish enlightenment on these themes are presented in the paper ‘Métamorphoses de la sympathie’.

2/ The law of nations and natural law: this theme is treated in the volume The Law of Nations and Natural Law 1625-1800, which was prepared by the second workshop of the international network at the University of Lausanne in 2015. This volume explores, for the first time, a wide range of formerly obscure literature related to the law of nature and nations. It presents studies conducted by participants in the international network, many of whom are currently working on archival materials related to the teaching of the law of nature and nations in various European countries, as for example in Switzerland and Denmark. These case studies show how the conception of the law of nations varied in intellectual content and practical function, depending on the contexts in which it was developed and applied. They are supplemented by new interpretations of classic texts in the field and by studies of figures and theories hitherto largely neglected in research. The volume is supplemented by more specific studies devoted to Emer de Vattel’s treatise on the law of nations.

3/ Natural law and moral sentimentalism: a series of studies has been devoted to Francis Hutcheson, notably to his treatment of luxury, which differed remarkably from that of Mandeville, and to his critique of slavery and the colonies’ right of resistance.

4/ Liberty, equality and the perfectibility of mankind in B. Constant’s liberal constitutionalism. This theme is dealt with in yet another dissertation project. The main idea here consists in reassessing the legacy of Enlightenment natural law in the post-revolutionary period. Major chapters concern Constant’s account of the liberty of the Moderns and individual rights, his controversy with Bentham about the place of individual rights in moral and political philosophy, and his highly critical commentary on Gaetano Filangieri’s Scienza della legislazione, a major outcome of the natural law tradition in modern Italy.

Together, these studies highlight the significance of the modern natural law tradition, especially in its distinctive Swiss manifestations, for understanding key concepts in modern and contemporary legal and moral discourse.

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Director
Simone Zurbuchen
Professor of modern and contemporary philosophy
University of Lausanne
Department of philosophy
UNIL Anthropole
bureau 5078
CH-1015 Lausanne
Switzerland

Collaborators
Amévor Adzado
Lisa Broussois
Justine Roulin

Institution
University of Lausanne
Department of philosophy
UNIL Anthropole
bureau 5078
CH-1015 Lausanne
Switzerland