Lecture: The “Cultural” – In An Introduction to German Law and Legal Culture

Professor Russell Miller, Washington and Lee University School of Law (USA)

Date: 17.06.2024, 06:00 p.m.
Venue: Room L603, 6th floor | Faculty of Law | Sigmund Freud Privat University | Lassallestraße 3, 1020 Vienna

Russell Miller will present his new textbook An Introduction to German Law and Legal Culture (Cambridge University Press), which is the first new, comprehensive survey of German law in a generation. As a matter of discipline – and theory – the book self-consciously positions itself as a work of comparative law. But is it? Some comparative legal scholars might dismiss it as merely “foreign legal studies” because its exclusive study of the German legal system, conducted by a scholar positioned outside that system, does not involve the systematic juxtaposition of two or more legal phenomena to identify their similarities and differences. Nor is the book a work of socio-legal studies or law-and-anthropology. It is neither theoretically rigorous enough nor does it employ the empirical method. The book’s disciplinary ambition is best captured by the claim in its title that it introduces German legal culture. It does not, however, resort to the strained and contested concept of legal culture that has been the subject of critical work in the anthropology of law or the law-and-society movement. Instead, it reaches out to the meaning of culture that informs the discipline known as cultural studies and it calls on comparative legal studies to embrace that work as part of its enterprise. The book asks the question: How should one survey and present a discrete legal system? It answers that question with the appeal to make comparative law “cultural.”.

Please register until 16.6.2024: johannes.steinboeck@jus.sfu.ac.at


Russell A. Miller is the J.B. Stombock Professor of Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law where he teaches and researches in the areas of public law and comparative law. He is a leading foreign commentator on German law. His books include An Introduction to German Law and Legal Culture (CUP 2024); Privacy and Power: A Transatlantic Dialogue in the Shadow of the NSA Affair (CUP 2018); and The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany (Duke Press 2012). Prof. Miller is a two-time Fulbright Senior Research Award recipient and in 2020 he was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize. He is the co-founder and co-Editor-in-Chief of the German Law Journal. He also founded the Berlin-based Rule of Law Academy with support from the Adenauer Foundation. From 2020-2022 he served as the Head of the Max Planck Law Network while on leave from his university. Miller has degrees from Washington State University (B.A.), Duke University (M.A. and J.D.), and the University of Frankfurt (LL.M.).

Sigmund Freud Private University Vienna
Faculty of Law

Address Lassallestrasse 3, 6th floor, 1020 Vienna
Phone 0043 1 4700 104
E-mail jus@sfu.ac.at
Web: https://jus.sfu.ac.at