School of Law | Our staff | Dr Anton Schütz | Research interests
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Research interests

Research interests are located, in part, in Legal History – contemporary, modern and early modern law, medieval law and, at least to the extent to which it constitutes the condition of access to any one of the legal strata just mentioned, also ancient. Now “Legal History” is not really the word : despite the extraordinary shadow that the integrally professionalized Roman Law has thrown, and arguably continues to throw, over two millennia of legal history of the so-called Western world, and indeed to some non-negligible extent global law today, many and perhaps most law-related matters have evolved outside of the legal and lawyerly region properly speaking – in Theology, for instance, throughout medieval and early modern times – or, later on, in “fields” such as Philosophy, or even Psychoanalysis. Normative history, part of which is Legal History, strictly speaking, is important, in my view, because, not unlike diseases (I borrow this comparison from a German 18th/19th century writer and lawyer, J. W. von Goethe), legal institutions make their way often unbeknownst, with people being subjects, not having their word to say (the Romans called this a “necessary inheritance”). The vocabulary itself belongs to this non-negotiable inheritance; the concepts for right and law in European legal cultures and the programmed misunderstandings that have their roots in it are an example; the sulphurous issue of 'legal dogma' is another one; the most sulphurous issue being that of Western legal culture’s claims to universality.

• In detail my interest is in the historically unique split of Common and civil law cultures - the entire set of problems related to their differential evolution, long-term coexistence, mutually exclusive rationalities; genealogical interest in divergence - evolutionist interests on convergence; problems of the convergence thesis; comparative method as compared to historical method; political predispositions of methodological choices.

• Another field of research concerns the genesis of the concept of a system in recent sociological narratives of modernity. What does autopoietic systems theory see?; the philosophical and political genealogy of the autopoietic account of the law; the question of the aspirations that can still be linked to politics if Niklas Luhmann is right with his re-assessment of the position of politics within society; comparing Luhmann with his contemporaries; Luhmann and Habermas; the singular path of Gunther Teubner.

• A third field relates to law and Christianism on the one hand, to the clarification of the status of Western Christianism on the other hand. The understanding of the conceptual array related to the inherited “squint” of the Western normative tradition: the legal norm as law/loi/ lex, etc., and as right/droit/ius etc. The evolutionary steps of the Western Legal Tradition. The culture of representation and interpretation underlying the legal system - specifically with respect to the history of the Western approach of the text and, more specifically, at its medieval and early modern religious and politico-legal underpinnings; their analysis in terms of an anthropological inquiry into current and traditional constructions of 'Western culture'.