Kaius Tuori’s new book, Empire of Law. Nazi Germany, Exile Scholars and the Battle for the Future of Europe is coming from Cambridge University Press in 2020. The pre-publication version is now available and fully open access!
European legal integration is often justified with reference to the inherent unity of European legal traditions that extend to ancient Rome. The purpose of this book is to explore the invention of this tradition, tracing it to a group of legal scholars divided by the onslaught of Nazi terror and totalitarianism in Europe. As exiles in Britain and the US, its formulators worked to build bridges between the Continental and the Atlantic legal traditions, incorporating ideas such as rule of law, liberty and equality to the European heritage. Others joined the Nazi revolution, which promoted its own idea of European unity. At the end of WWII, natural law and human rights were incorporated to the European project. The resulting narrative of Europe, one that outlined human rights, rule of law and equality, became consequently a unifying factor during the Cold War as the self-definition against the challenge of communism.