Austria inventa? Zu den Anfängen der österreichischen Staatsrechtslehre
Martin P. Schennach
Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte 324
Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann 2020. XIV, 589 p.
This is the first comprehensive work dedicated to the Austrian doctrine of constitutional law – a topic that has traditionally received little attention in (legal) historical research. The book examines its origins, its authors, its connection with the ‘Reichspublizistik’, its sources and methods as well as its content and, last but not least, its role in university teaching. Of all the laws of the particular political units (Partikularstaatsrechten) making up the Holy Roman Empire, this subject matter was probably the most intensively discussed. In the second half of the 18th century, the Austrian doctrine of constitutional law was a flourishing genre of literature promoted by the Habsburg dynasty. This is due in no small part to its main themes: These encompassed the process of internal integration of the heterogeneous Habsburg ruling complex and aimed at the discursive and legal construction of an Austrian state as a whole as well as the legitimation of absolutism.