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Cosmopolitanisms in Enlightenment Europe and Beyond


Edited By Mónica García-Salmones and Pamela Slotte

This volume offers critical, historical and theoretical perspectives on cosmopolitanism, paying attention to its implications and manifestations both within and outside Europe. It also explores the links between cosmopolitanism and teleological understandings of Europe: there is an idea of «progress» not far below the surface of the concept, but what does it mean and what is its ultimate aim? Through this analysis, the authors uncover several cosmopolitanisms originating and playing out in different periods of European history, most notably during Antiquity and during the European Enlightenment. The book shows that some of the languages of cosmopolitanism did not originate in or locate themselves exclusively in Europe, but that they nonetheless spread through connections with that continent, most commonly through the colonial encounter. The study contains valuable historical analyses of cosmopolitanism in context, in Europe, Russia, the Ottoman Empire and Africa. The book is based on papers presented at the conference «Revisiting the Imaginations of Europe and the World: Coming to Terms with Teleologies and Assessing Cosmopolitanism», held at the University of Helsinki in 2010.


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PART II EUROPEAN COSMOPOLITANISMS? 39 Is there a “European Law” of the Early Modern Period? Jan SCHRÖDER In this essay I would like to discuss, whether a “cosmopolitan”, that is common European Law existed in the early modern period. This position has been consistently maintained or suggested. A little more than twenty years ago, Helmut Coing wrote a two-volume opus on “European Private Law” (“Europäisches Privatrecht”)1 which he under- stood as referring to the Roman common private law of the early mod- ern period and the nineteenth century. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, one finds several books on the subject of a public law of Europe; for example Le droit public de l’Europe by Gabriel Bonnot de Mably.2 A “European natural law” is also envisaged, for instance, in the title of a collection of papers edited by Diethelm Klippel four years ago.3 And perhaps one can even consider the law of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation as being a precursor to current European Law. Accordingly, there would be four candidates for a “European Law” of the early modern period, namely 1) the Roman common law (jus com- mune); 2) the so-called “European public law”; 3) natural law; and 4) the law of the German Empire. I do not, at this time, intend to “substantively” inquire as to the con- tents of these laws or their effects on modern European law (that is about constitutional models, human rights, notions and terms of proper- ty,...

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