Konrad Zweigert Scholarship

Konrad Zweigert Scholarship

With the Konrad Zweigert Scholarship the Association supports guest stays at the Institute by exceptional junior foreign researchers. The scholarship is geared towards researchers who are at the start of their academic career path and who would like to develop their personal research projects further by means of collegial exchange with other scholars working at the Institute. The scholarship is named in honour of the jurist Konrad Zweigert, who led the Institute from 1963 to 1979.

The Konrad Zweigert Scholarship is awarded under the framework of the Institute scholarship programme. Further information on the application process can be found here:

Each year the Institute awards a number of scholarships supporting the research stays of foreign scholars. As a component of the scholarship award, recipients are assigned an individual workspace in the reading room of the library where, with access to the comprehensive library holdings, they can focus on their personal research projects. Scholarship recipients are, in addition, invited to participate in the academic life at the Institute. more

Who was Konrad Zweigert?

Konrad Zweigert studied law at the Universities of Grenoble, Göttingen and Berlin. After sitting for his two state exams in 1933 and 1937, he began working at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Berlin, the forerunner of today's Hamburg Max Planck Institute. Confronted with the turmoil and destruction of the Second World War, Zweigert, together with other fellows, took the step of relocating the Institute from Berlin to Tübingen in the spring of 1944. In so doing they were able to rescue the Institute's extensive library from the effects of the war.

In 1946 Zweigert received his professorial qualification from the University of Tübingen. Following the Institute’s incorporation into the Max Planck Society in 1949, it moved once again in 1956, this time from Tübingen to Hamburg, where Zweigert became director of the Institute. His academic work made him, alongside Ernst Rabel, one of the most significant figures in comparative law.

Over the course of several treatises, Zweigert developed the "functional method of comparative law", which today as well remains the leading approach. Together with Hein Kötz, he elaborated the method in the textbook "Introduction to Comparative Law", which first appeared in two volumes in 1969 and 1971 and which is still the authoritative reference work in the field of comparative law.

Konrad Zweigert distinguished himself as an anti-dogmatic thinker who always considered law in close relation to its actual role in society, politics and institutions. In recognition of his academic accomplishments, the Konrad Zweigert Scholarship carries his name.

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