Lukas Gschwend«Wirtschafts-Rechts-Geschichte»? Gedanken zu einem St. Galler Programm

Lukas Gschwend, «Wirtschafts-Rechts-Geschichte»? Gedanken zu einem St. Galler Programm, in: Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Germanistische Abteilung vol. 121 (2004), p. 471–492.


The within text is part of a lecture held by Prof. Dr. Lukas Gschwend on 27 May 2003 at the University of St. Gallen (HSG).

Prof. Gschwend wants to introduce a legal history program that offers an improved understanding of the complex relationship between law and economics from a historical perspective. At the same time, he also wants to see a revival of the interdisciplinary scientific discussion of historical themes in the area between economics and law. In his opinion, the University of St. Gallen should offer an interdisciplinary legal history program; in particular, the students of legal history should come into contact with specialists from various fields of study.

In his inaugural lecture, Prof. Gschwend presents a selection of topics for the economic legal history program. The topics show the links between economy and law. Prof. Gschwend wishes to utilize these topics as an impulse for the legal history program. He believes that knowledge of economically significant matters in legal history is important for understanding the economically relevant areas.

The history of labor law, for example, can only be explained if attention is given to the combination of social, economic and technical aspects. Legal history can only be understood if we also consider the economic / historical backgrounds of the society.

All those who have development perspective comprehension of law, economy, state and community encounter the dynamics of alteration more confidently. An economically and historically shaped and therefore interdisciplinary basic education constitutes a scientific and developable basis and thus will improve a mutual subject specific understanding. In this respect history of law as a field of study wants to contribute to an interdisciplinary communication and mutual understanding and respect.


You can find a scan (PDF) of the original text here: Gschwend Lukas – Wirtschafts-Rechts-Geschichte