Legal Unity and Pluralism
The Käte Hamburger Kolleg “Legal Unity and Pluralism” examines phenomena of unresolved simultaneity of legal unity and pluralism from a genuinely historical perspective. Our hypothesis is that legal pluralism should not be regarded as a transitional phenomenon but as a structural characteristic of law per se. At the same time, we find various tendencies to standardize and unify law in all cultures throughout history. This tension-laden dynamic between unity and pluralism requires new scholarly assessment. The Kolleg opens up unusual perspectives on the understanding of law and society in general and the (legal) ways of dealing with forms of cultural diversity in particular.
Here you can see our full research agenda.
As an international research centre the Käte Hamburger Kolleg “EViR” has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research since 2021. Inspired by the idea to create freedom for research in the humanities, the Käte Hamburger Kollegs aim to develop internationally visible research specialisations and provide academic networking and interdisciplinarity, as well as the dissemination of knowledge in society.
Each year, we invite ten to fifteen fellows from all over the world to work on their projects in Münster. Twice a year, we call for applications.
As a common space for research and debate the Kolleg brings together (legal) historians, as well as scholars of current law, ethnology and sociology, theologies and literature, Jewish and Islamic studies. It not only provides freedom to work on one’s own projects but also offers a venue for surprising transdisciplinary encounters. We consider both elements to be important for the development of new ideas in an inspiring atmosphere.
The thematic range of the research projects comprises questions of ancient trade law, the royal power to pardon in late medieval France, legal pluralism in zones of cultural contact during colonialism, and phenomena of forum shopping in current economic law. Generally, the Kolleg is characterized by a plurality of disciplines and methods and contributes to a better understanding within the humanities.