Between Norm and Practice (15th to 21st Century)
On 20/21 February 2014 the editors hosted an international and interdisciplinary conference on “Dealing with economic failures: extra-judicial and judicial conflict regulations”. Nine of the thirteen papers presented on that occasion are published in this volume; subsequently Jasper Kunstreich submitted his article. All papers were thoroughly revised before publication.
The editors met under the roof of the LOEWE Research Focus ‘Extrajudicial and Judicial Conflict Resolution’ (2012–2015), a project organized mainly by the Goethe-University Frankfurt a.M. and the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History. LOEWE is an ongoing programme of research funding by the state of Hesse, mainly focused on natural sciences, medicine and engineering; our research focus was among the few social science projects. Margrit Schulte Beerbühl was one of our research fellows, and Albrecht Cordes a member of the steering committee. While Albrecht Cordes is interested in the history of commercial law during the middle ages and early modern times in general, Margrit Schulte Beerbühl has done research on spectacular series of bankruptcies, namely the chain of collapses which originated in Hamburg in 1799 and subsequently shook the economy in Western Europe and even across the Atlantic Ocean. The crossroads of our interests and of the LOEWE subject were quickly identified: The ways medieval and modern societies dealt and deal with economic failure, concentrating on but not limited to the reaction on bankruptcies. Is the failure of an enterprise the ultimate defeat, a punishable crime and the terrible disaster? Or is...
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