Panel 3: The rule of law: Rethinking the political history of law in European and global context
Typically, political historians regard law as the product of politics. Alternatively, they encounter law as a means to organize the political system. In both cases, law as an object of examination is largely outside of their scope. However, there are good reasons to question this sharp distinction into politics and law, and consider to what extent law, as a field of expertise and expectations, should be considered as an integral part of politics. Political scientists for their part have examined areas of political contestation including the environment and human rights by considering the ‘judicialization’ of politics. They have studied how the jurisprudence of national and international courts has both responded to and shaped policymaking. Their research also highlights that the boundaries between the local/regional, the national and the (European) international arenas are blurred.
Against this backdrop our panel proposes that an understanding of the interaction between politics and law is crucial to examine a wide range of areas of political contestation over time. We will consider and rethink the relation between law and politics over the longer term. To do this, the panel will bring together historical researchers who, drawing on their respective areas of expertise, work on the boundaries between politics and law on the one hand, and the boundaries between the local/regional, national and (European) international, on the other.
Together, they raise questions amongst others about:
- Chronology: is the judicialization of politics a recent phenomenon as political science research would have us believe? How far can we look back without projecting back into history? And how do we deal with the progressivist narratives about ‘constitutionalization’ for example, written from within the legal discipline?
- The relation between national and international politics: how can we relate the place of law in modern society to the emergence of international and regional legislative frameworks – which to a large extent were deliberately set up after 1945 to bind in national legislatives?
- Actors: what new arenas and what new actors does the inclusion of law in political history require? To what extent does including different actors including courts, legal offices within ministries, litigants, legal professionals change the political histories we are writing?
- Trends and themes: How does this political history of law relate to the broader ‘political' field? How might this research agenda interact with broader trends and phenomena including constitutionalism, individualization, neoliberalism, new social movements, and social advocacy?
Chair: Joris Gijsenbergh
Postdoctoral researcher at the Departments of Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law - Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Wim van Meurs (discussant)
Professor in European political history (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)
Brigitte Leucht is a senior lecturer in European Studies and the Chair of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Ethics Committee at the University of Portsmouth. She is also a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Theory in Frankfurt (Apr-Sept 2022). Her fields of research and expertise include the history of European integration and transatlantic relations in a global context. Brigitte’s publications draw on multi-lateral archival research and they are guided by innovative interdisciplinary approaches focused on collaborating with researchers in the social sciences and law.
Dieter Plehwe is a senior research fellow in the research group of the president at the Berlin Social Science Research Center (WZB) and a private lecturer at University of Kassel in the department of political science, subdivision globalization and politics. His research interests are related to the larger question of the history and transformation of globalized capitalism, including regional integration in North America and Western Europe, the history and varieties of neoliberalism, transnational expert, consulting and lobby/advocacy networks, and the austerity related makeover of the welfare state.
Milan Hrubes is assistant professor and head of the department of political science at the University of Hradec Králové. His research has focused on various aspects of contemporary Czech politics, including rule of law and the role of think tanks.
Karin van Leeuwen
Karin van Leeuwen is assistant professor in European political history at Maastricht University and recently finished a postdoc project on the history of international law and the League of Nations at the University of Copenhagen. Her research has dealt with the boundaries between law and politics from the angles of Dutch constitutional law, European (EU) law and most recently interwar international law.
Wiebe Hommes is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG). Trained as a historian and lawyer, his research focuses on a reception history of the European Convention on Human Rights in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, 1945 until present day.
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Researchschool Political Historybureau@onderzoekschoolpolitiekegeschiedenis.nlhttps://www.aanmelder.nl/politicalhistorytoday2022
Political history today: exploring new themesPolitical history today: exploring new themes0.00EUROnlineOnly2019-01-01T00:00:00Z
Conference venue: KNAW TrippenhuisConference venue: KNAW TrippenhuisKloveniersburgwal 29 1011JV Amsterdam Netherlands