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Funding for 25 years

Historical-critical edition of the works of jurist Hans Kelsens is adopted into Mainz Academy program

Freiburg, Nov 15, 2017

Funding for 25 years

Hans Kelsen in the 1920s. © Mohr Siebeck Verlag/Hans-Kelsen-Forschungsstelle

The Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz (GWK) decided to fund the Hans Kelsen works, a proposal by the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur (Academy of Sciences and Literature) Mainz, as one of three new projects at the academy in 2018; the funding will run for 25 years. Freiburg law professor, Prof. Dr. Matthias Jestaedt, is responsible for the historical-critical edition of the works of Professor Dr. Hans Kelsen (1881–1973), who is considered one of the most famous jurists of the 20th century and the most important legal theorist in the German-speaking world. His academic oevre includes groundbreaking works in legal theory and many essays on the theory and dogma of constitutional and international law, on the sociology of law, as well as legal, constitutional, and social philosophy.  Kelsen, a teacher of constitutional law, had to leave Germany in 1933 because of his Jewish roots; in 1945 he became a US citizen.

Since 2006 the German Research Foundation (DFG) has sponsored a Hans-Kelsen research office, which has been based at the University of Freiburg Faculty of Law since 2011. The research office will publish the complete edition in 32 volumes - both in printed and digital form - by the end of 2042; five volumes have already come out. Matthias Jestaedt heads a project team of four further researchers in Freiburg; another research office is located at the University of Frankfurt am Main. The works are being collated in cooperation with the Hans Kelsen Institute in Vienna, Austria, where Kelsen’s papers are kept; and with the support of Kelsen experts from around the world.

The German federal government and the German states each finance half of the Mainz Academy’s program, the biggest humanities research program in Germany. It is coordinated by the umbrella organization of Germany’s eight Academies of the Sciences and the Humanities.

Hans Kelsen research office

Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz press release


Professor Dr. Matthias Jestaedt
Institute for Staatswissenschaft & Philosophy of Law -
Department 3: Philosophy of Law
University of Freiburg
Phone: 0761/203-97800