Legal Theory

Legal experts claim to know what the law is. Legal theory explores whether such knowledge claims are warranted.

As a discipline it emerges, not by accident, when the self-confidence of legal scholarship and judicial craftsmanship becomes severely shattered. The relevant crisis sets in at the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century and continues to this day.

In my own work, I have studied how major currents of legal theory, such as American legal realism, modern legal positivism, sociological system’s theory, institutionalism or critical legal studies have been engaged in a tug-of-war over the legitimate claims of legal knowledge. I seek to find a way out of persistent predicaments and propose a new perspective on legal sources. Concededly, my writings are reminiscent of what used to pass as “constructivism” in the nineteenth century.

Sample reading:

Was ist nachpositivistisches Rechtsdenken?