Notify Me of Each Issue:


Russell Miller

Advisory Board:

Gregor Bachmann
Nina Boeger
Matthias Casper
Helge Dedek
Hans-Michael Heinig
Florian Hoffmann
Alexandra Kemmerer
Frank Schorkopf

Senior Editors: 

Besty Baker
Jurgen Bast
Gralf-Peter Calliess

Patrycja Dabrowska
Elisa Hoven
Jen Hendry
Malcolm MacLaren
Stefan Magen
Ralf Michaels
Christoph Safferling
Emanuel Towfigh
Floris de Witte

Associate Editors:

Anna Katharina von Oettingen 

Law, the State, and Evolutionary Theory: Introduction

By Gralf-Peter Calliess & Peer Zumbansen
Read the Full Contribution as a PDF

A. Introduction

The 2007 Annual International German Law Journal Conference, "Law, the State and Evolutionary Theory", was hosted by the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) "Transformations of the State" at the University of Bremen, Germany on 5 October 2007. It brought together scholars from Switzerland, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium and Canada for a full day of presentations on the influence of evolutionary theory in contemporary law and governance debates. The meeting's agenda ties closely into the ambitious research project of the CRC pursued at the University of Bremen. The CRC combines, in an interdisciplinary and international endeavor, a total of twenty projects from political science, law, and economics to explore changes of state-based and state-originating governance modes. The researchers in these projects are exploring two major transformations of political governance, which have been unfolding over the past decades. These transformations are marked by unprecedented processes of internationalization on the one hand and remarkable trends of privatization on the other, the latter concerning activities and functions that were traditionally performed by and ascribed to the democratic, constitutional and interventionist, twentieth-century nation-state. While the first research phase (2003-2006) had aimed at empirical descriptions of these internationalization and privatization processes, the current phase (2007-2010) is dedicated to explaining the observed changes in statehood.

B. The Transformation of the State is the Transformation of Society

At the centre of such a research program we find attempts from various perspectives to design theories of institutional change. In this context, the German Law Journal Conference brought such different approaches into sharper relief, focusing particularly on the role of evolutionary theory to explain the dramatic transformations in political and legal governance. The papers in this Symposium issue bring together a variety of different theoretical perspectives mainly from law, economics, sociology and legal theory. The 2007 Conference was the 5th time that the Editors of the German Law Journal invited scholars from around the world to address crucial themes in contemporary socio-legal debate. The particular...