Lecture Series: Law without the State?

Is the development of law escaping the influence of the state in the era of globalisation? Are global systems, such as the international economy, producing their own legal structures? How far does the reach of democratic legislation still extend today? What conditions must be fulfilled if non-state law is even to be recognised as ‘law’ by state authorities and to be implemented as such? How much influence does the state exert in turn on the emergence of non-state law? And how are possible jurisdictional conflicts between the two systems to be resolved? These questions provide the chief focus of the inaugural Lecture Series of the Cluster of Excellence ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’. The series of five presentations will be held over the course of the Winter Semester 2009-10 in the Hörsaalzentrum on the Westend Campus. Under the title ‘Law without the State? On the Normativity of Lawmaking beyond the State’, the series will address a topic whose importance reaches far beyond the legal sciences. Responsibility for organising this inaugural Lecture Series of the Cluster of Excellence lies with Research Area 4 of the Cluster, ‘The Formation of Legal Norms between Nations’.

The concept of law may initially appear to be closely bound up with the form of political organisation of the state. From a historical point of view, however, the phenomenon of ‘Law without the State’ is the rule rather than the exception. Whereas the history of law is measured in millennia, the ‘modern state’ is a comparatively recent phenomenon. Yet it would be shortsighted to regard the beginning of the nation-state as marking the end of the institution of lawmaking outside the ambit of the state. Lawmaking within the state, primarily through democratically legitimated legislation, neither can nor should ever extend so far that it prevents lawmaking by non-state actors. Today, in particular, we can observe, across a whole range of spheres of life, processes of making and applying law involving actors whose regulatory needs are not met by state institutions.

In the cross-border domain, the concept of ‘transnational law’ has been adopted to describe these processes. But within the domestic domain, too, non-state lawmaking is initiated by actors from different sectors of society, ranging from business enterprises, through sports associations, to consumer protection organisations and religious communities. This phenomenon raises the question of the interaction between state power and non-state law-making.

The lecture ‘Law without the State: A Survey of the Legal History’ will address this question from a historical perspective. The lecture will be presented by Prof. Thomas Duve of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt. From the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle comes Prof. Franz von Benda-Beckmann. In his lecture entitled ‘Law without the State in the State’, he will address non-state legal pluralism from an anthropological perspective. As regards the transnational domain of a law without the state, Prof. Klaus Dieter Wolf (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt) will examine the issue of the integration of private actors into transnational political steering processes (‘Corporations As Norm Entrepreneurs’). Prof. Gunther Teubner (Goethe University Frankfurt and London School of Economics) will throw light on the idea of transnational constitutionalism in his lecture on ‘Constitutions without the State? On the Constitutionalisation of Transnational Regimes’. Prof. Rainer Hofmann (Goethe University Frankfurt) will examine a modern example of law beyond the state in his presentation on ‘Modern Investment Protection Law – An Example of the Setting and Implementation of Law outside the State?’

We look forward to interesting lectures and stimulating debates!


„Normative Ordnungen“, herausgegeben von Rainer Forst und Klaus Günther, ist im Suhrkamp Verlag erschienen

Am 17. April 2021 ist der Sammelband „Normative Ordnungen“ im Suhrkamp Verlag erschienen. Herausgegeben von den Clustersprechern Prof. Rainer Forst und Prof. Klaus Günther, bietet das Werk einen weit gefassten interdispziplinären Überblick über die Ergebnisse eines erfolgreichen wissenschaftlichen Projekts. Mehr...

Das Postdoc-Programm des Forschungsverbunds „Normative Ordnungen“: Nachwuchsförderung zwischen 2017 und 2020

Die Förderung des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses ist seit je her ein integraler Bestandteil des Forschungsverbunds „Normative Ordnungen“. Das 2017 neu strukturierte, verbundseigene Postdoc-Programm bietet die besten Bedingungen zu forschen und hochqualifizierte junge Wissenschaftler*innen zu fördern. Zum Erfahrungsbericht: Hier...

Upcoming Events

26. Mai 2022 bis 29. Mai 2022

32nd Annual Conference of the Association for Anglophone Postcolonial Studies: Contested Solidarities: Agency and Victimhood in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures. Mehr...

30. Mai 2022, 18.00 Uhr

Virtuelle Ringvorlesung "Algorithms, Uncertainty and Risk": Prof. Kiel Brennan-Marquez (UConn School of Law, Associate Professor of Law): Automating the Preconditions of Judgment? Mehr...


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Weitere Videoaufzeichnungen finden Sie hier...

Zurück auf Null? Der Ukrainekrieg und seine Folgen

Prof Nicole Deitelhoff (Politikwissenschaftlerin, HSFK, Normative Orders, Goethe-Universität)
51. Römerberggespräche "Nie wieder Frieden? Der Ukraine-Krieg und die neue Welt-Unordnung"

Ein Verbrechen ohne Namen. Anmerkungen zum neuen Streit über den Holocaust

Mit Prof. Dr. Dan Diner (Universitäten Jerusalem und Leipzig), Prof. Dr. Norbert Frei (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena) und Prof. Dr. Sybille Steinbacher (Fritz Bauer Institut, Normative Orders, Goethe-Universität)
Moderation: Rebecca Caroline Schmidt "Normative Ordnungen")

New full-text Publications

Rainer Forst (2021):

Solidarity: concept, conceptions, and contexts. Normative Orders Working Paper 02/2021. More...

Annette Imhausen (2021):

Sciences and normative orders: perspectives from the earliest sciences. Normative Orders Working Paper 01/2021. More...