Law, Exile and the Making of a Transnational Constitution: A Life of Eric Stein
Posted: 24 Jan 2014
Date Written: September 15, 2013
My project of an intellectual biography of Eric Stein reconstructs the life of one of the 20th century’s leading scholars in international and European law. Born 1913 in the Bohemian lands of the then Habsburg empire, educated at Charles University in Prague and emigrated to the US in 1940, Eric Stein shaped for more than 50 years the emergence of new transnational order in his native Europe – and actively took part in the evolution of European Law as an academic and professional field since the mid-1950s.
The biography of Eric Stein connects the history of international law, the experience of emigration and exile, the evolution of the UN system, the transformation of American universities and research institutions through cold-war-philanthropy and many other aspects of 20th century-history (which are currently re-discovered and are undergoing a profound 'historization') with the narrative of the European 'Integration Through Law' and the emergence of a transnational constitutional paradigm which Eric Stein himself had suggested in his probably most influential article (Stein 1981; see also Weiler 1999). A biography of Eric Stein from a legal-historical perspective contains the potential and the promise to see, through the prism of a long life of legal scholarship and academic networking, the broader contexts of European law, and its close interconnections with international law (see also Stein/Halberstam 2009). It shall offer a unique opportunity to critically reflect not only upon the European Union and its law, but also, in a wider sense, upon transnational law as it stands at the beginning of the 21st century.
Keywords: European Law, European Legal History, International Law, History of International Law, European Integration, Transnational Law, legal Theory
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