Papers from the panel discussion “Der Code des Kapitals” published in RabelsZ 85 (2021)

November 16, 2021

Comparative private law, commercial law and capital markets law – three disciplines relevant for the work at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. Recently, the topics were addressed in a panel discussion titled “Der Code des Kapitals” (The Code of Capital), held jointly with the Hamburg Institute for Social Research (HIS). The presentations can now be read in the latest edition of the Rabel Journal of Comparative and International Private Law. 

Katharina Pistor, Edwin B. Parker Professor of Comparative Law at Columbia University in New York, delivered the Ernst Rabel Lecture at the Institute in the spring of 2021, while she was a virtual fellow of the MPI and the HIS. On 11 May, as a component of the fellowship, the two institutions hosted an online panel discussion devoted to Pistor’s internationally successful book, “The Code of Capital”, published in 2019 in German as “Der Code des Kapitals”. In the book, Pistor critically analyses the central role of law in the production of capital and global inequality.

Hans-Bernd Schäfer, doyen of the economic analysis of private law in Germany and professor at Bucerius Law School, critically observes in his comments that private law has also had positive effects and has, for example, furthered equality and prosperity in Europe. Pistor’s response includes her observation that the traditional law and economics competes with the approaches of political economics. Ralf Michaels, in his contribution, describes Pistor's arguments in the context of U.S. academic thought and outlines how the role of private international law might be further considered in light of her analysis.

The current issue also contains an article by Jaako Husa on the interaction of public international law and comparative law, a contribution by Malte Kramme on the relationship between consumer law and the law of capacity, a report by Jürgen Samtleben and Gonzalo A. Lorenzo Idiarte on Uruguay’s new General Law of Private International Law (which is also printed in translation), and a number of book reviews.

The Rabels Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht (Rabel Journal of Comparative and International Private Law – RabelsZ) was established in 1927 by Institute founder Ernst Rabel. It publishes foundational articles on all areas of Institute research, new statutory texts, treaties, comparative draft proposals and reviews of domestic and international legal literature. The Institute journal has since 1961 carried the name of its founder.

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