Community in historical perspective : a translation of selections from Das deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht (The German law of fellowship)


Community in historical perspective : a translation of selections from Das deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht (The German law of fellowship)

by Otto von Gierke ; translated by Mary Fischer ; selected and edited by Antony Black

Cambridge University Press, 1990


Deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht


Deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 17



Princiaplly from volume 1 Rechtsgeschichte der deutschen Genossenschaft (The leagal and moral history of the German fellowship)

Includes a translation of the author's Deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht, vol. 1 plus two chapters of vol. 2 and the introduction to vol. 3



This is the first English translation of the first work of Otto von Gierke, arguably the greatest historian of ideas of the nineteenth century. Community in Historical Perspective includes much of the first volume of Das Deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht, originally published in 1868, and the texts translated here have become essential reading for anyone interested not only in the history of ideas and alternatives to conventional socialism and liberalism, but also, as recent experience has shown, contemporary European affairs. Von Gierke's represented an unparalleled attempt to justify a political programme of structural pluralism, and to interpret the entire course of European history from the Dark Ages onwards as a progressive interaction between 'fellowship' (or 'comradeship') and 'lordship' (or 'sovereignty'). This interaction was to generate a polity of autonomous associations within a constitutional state based upon consent and federal unity, and von Gierke here laid the basis for a distinctively Germanic programme of federalism and quasi-pluralism, with a strongly nationalist emphasis upon the unique capacity of Germans, despite long periods of absolute rule, for corporate self-management.


  • Preface
  • Note on the translations
  • Life of Otto von Gierke
  • List of the major works of Otto von Gierke
  • Editor's introduction
  • Glossary
  • Part I. The German Law of Fellowship: Volume I. The Legal and Moral History of the German Fellowship: Preface to volume I
  • Introduction: the meaning of association, scope and plan of the work
  • 1. The five periods of European history
  • 2. Up to AD 800
  • the feudal system
  • 3. Free union: gilds and craft gilds
  • 4. The medieval cities
  • 5. The golden age of the craft gilds
  • 6. Political unions, city leagues, the Hansa
  • 7. The Empire as union
  • 8. Rural communes and federations: Switzerland and North Germany
  • 9. The estates, representation and the territorial state
  • 10. The peasantry and rural fellowships
  • 11. Corporations and the sovereign state, 1525-1806
  • 12. Rural communities, 1525-1806
  • 13. Towns and cities from 1525 to the present
  • 14. Parliamentary representation and the development of the modern state
  • 15. The Empire, 1525-1806
  • 16. Fellowships under benevolent despotism, 1525-1806
  • 17. Free fellowships for economic purposes from 1525 to the present
  • 18. Economic fellowships based on property: the joint-stock company
  • 19. Economic fellowships based on personality: the producers' co-operative
  • Part II. The German Law of Fellowship: Volume II. The History of the German Concept of Corporation: Outline of contents
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 20. The concept of fellowship
  • 21. Corporation and institution
  • Part III. The German Law of Fellowship: Volume III. The Doctrine of State and Corporation in the Ancient World and the Middle Ages, and its Reception in Germany: Introduction: the genesis of the academic theory of state and corporation
  • Notes
  • Index.

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