Dr. Stefanie Rüther
Stefanie Rüther
Research Coordinator
Phone: +49 (69) 789 78 - 190
Fax: +49 (69) 789 78 - 169


Summer Academy

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Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History

The Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History introduces doctoral students to methodologies, research approaches and practical scientific tools beyond those that prevail in their own countries. It is intended to develop graduate students' abilities to transfer legal terminologies and theories across linguistic and cultural contexts, thus providing a basis to build and consolidate international research networks.

The Summer Academy addresses a selected group of highly motivated early-stage researchers, usually PhD candidates, working on a research project with an interest in the basic research of historical formation and transformations of law and other normative orders.

The presentations and workshops held by members of the MPIeR research staff as well as guest researchers are meant to offer insights into the methodological concepts, research perspectives and scientific practices of the various areas of legal history. Moreover, the roughly 20 invited participants have not only the opportunity to present their own projects within the context of the overarching research topic, but also further develop their research over the course of the 14 day event.


Researchers and fellows of the Institute alongside invited guest speakers give introductions to the manifold facets, sources, theoretical foundations, research perspectives and methodologies of the different subfields of Legal History.

  • Antiquity and Roman Law
  • Ius Commune and Canon Law
  • History of Private Law
  • History of Common Law
  • History of Criminal Law
  • Constitutional History
  • Contemporary Legal History
  • History of International Law
  • History of European Union Law
  • Legal history in a global perspective

As a summer academy should not consist of academic activities only, a variety of extra-curricular activities, such as visits to nearby historical sites and several get-togethers in the evenings are offered.

This year’s theme : The World and the Village. The Global and the Local in Legal History

As an academic discipline, legal history emerged both in Europe and several other world regions in the 19th and early 20th centuries: the age of the nation-state. Research in legal history that focuses on local and regional contexts—Europe, for example—is a largely product of this heritage.

Global history, historiographic reflection and new methods in the humanities have helped to bring the complexity of local, national, regional and global relationships into the purview of legal history. Moreover, the increasing importance of supranational and transnational law make it all the more urgent from the perspective of legal studies to consider the relation between world and village.

Applicants to the 2018 Summer Academy are encouraged to present research projects that give special consideration to the connection between local and global legal discourses.


The next Summer Academy for Legal History 2019 is currently being planned.

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