Histoire et méthodologie / An historical and methodological approach
Over the last sixty years, Europe has been built as a political, legal and economic space. Nevertheless, this process has not been accompanied by the construction of a European public sphere, despite the will of its founders, who wanted to create a European cultural area, recognized as such by its citizens. Now that, through the internet and social networks, the European public space is in the process of reconfiguring, it is time for a comprehensive reflection – both historical and methodological – on this space. When did a European public space appear for the first time in history? What were the institutions, events, developments from the Middle Ages, helped design and perceive Europe as a common sphere – a public space? How, and by whom, was occupied public space in Europe at different times in history? How geographical discoveries and encounters with other cultures have they strengthened the perception of Europe as a common and public? How will the European public space be set in the future? This book gathers essays from specialists (historians, philosophers, legal historians, sociologists) at Labex EHNE, Écrire une Histoire Nouvelle de l’Europe.
The Function of Public Discourse and Public Law in the Evolution of Post-European Global Law
Université de Flensburg
Three preliminary remarks: first, since the 11th century’s Papal Revolution, Western European law has had to cope with a double structure of repression and emancipation. The double structure is due to the specific mix of technically advanced Roman civil law with the ethical law of the Christian religion of salvation, first in learned, then in cannon and civil law, and finally in public law. Whereas Roman civil law was simply the law of coordinating the interests of the empire’s ruling class (class justice), the religious law of salvation claimed to be egalitarian and emancipatory. In the course of the constitutional revolutions of the 18th and early 19th centuries, philosophers invented the paradoxical definition of law as freedom (Dasein der Freiheit) which now represents the double structure of written constitutional law, based on subjective rights and popular sovereignty. However, law is freedom but in the “determination of form” (Formbestimmtheit) of a Dasein that is domination and class justice.
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