Call for Papers: Law, Legal Language, and Ideas of Justice in Poland

On the Consequences of Socio-Political Upheaval from the 18th to the 21st Century

International Workshop, MLU Halle-Wittenberg, Aleksander Brückner Center for Polish Studies, 14-16 March 2017

Deadline for Submissions: 15 December 2016

The Workshop „Law, Legal Language, and Ideas of Justice in Poland: On the Consequences of Socio-Political Upheaval from the 18th to the 21st Century” aims at a historically rooted analysis of legal culture(s) in Poland in their European and global context. This implies to examine Poland – understood as varying entities – in times of sovereign legal development, as part of other legal systems (e.g. the empires of the 19th century, the socialist world or the European Union) and in permanent communication with her neighbors. The focus is on periods of political upheaval provoking an intensified debate on the dominance of foreign law, competing ideas of law as well as on the development of sovereign law. Equal importance is attributed to social upheavals that had (and have) immediate consequences on understandings of law and justice. It is our special concern to put the analysis of the Polish development into larger contexts of research, e.g. entangled history, (Post)Imperial Studies, and Transitional Justice. In doing so we want to avoid polarization, known from Cold War research on Ostrecht (Eastern European Law), and establish a new integrative paradigm.

Methodologically the workshop aims at bringing together the fragmented legal research, undertaken at different faculties and institutes mostly separately from each other, in an interdisciplinary project. The organizers will provide a common pool of sources and data on positive law and legal culture(s) in Poland enabling also scholars beyond Polish Studies to formulate specific research questions and to discuss a variety of methodological approaches. This exchange is intended to foster an interdisciplinary reflection on the concept of law, be it juridical, sociological, philosophical, ethnological, historical or philological. We are interested in positive law and legal scholarship as well as in the social rootedness of law, law in practice, social values as well as performative aspects of law. In a transnational perspective legal transfer and international law will be of special concern.

Presentations based on empirical research on past and present Poland could focus on the following fields:

  • the formal and informal production of law
  • legal actors
  • law in society: values, taboos, understandings of justice
  • legal language(s) and the aspect of translation
  • the integration of Poland into superordinate legal systems
  • European and global entanglements of law in Poland
  • debates on past injustice in times of transformation

The conference will be held in English.

Venue: Aleksander Brückner Center for Polish Studies in Cooperation with the Historical Institute at Warsaw University.

Concept: Yvonne Kleinmann & Paulina Gulińska-Jurgiel

Travel costs and accommodation will be covered by the Polish-German Foundation for Scholarly Cooperation (DPWS) and the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Please send your proposal as well as a short CV (altogether max. 2000 characters) to paulina.gulinska-jurgiel@geschichte.uni-halle.de by 15 December 2016.


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