Transformation of the Concept of State and Rethinking “Allgemeine Staatslehre” in Turkish and German Perspectives

The modern state has undergone a profound transformation as a result of globalization and new forms of governance. Economic activities have been embedded in cross-border networks, while the border between public law and private law has become blurred. Transnational and supranational organizations have introduced a multilevel governance, while transgovernmental relations between states have been replaced by a network society. Against this background, the classical concept of sovereignty has been confronted with significant challenges in this period. The changes in the nature of modern states are still in progress. Therefore, it is evident that today the concept of state is by far different from the state of the beginning of the last century.

Under these circumstances, what should be the response of the discipline of the “General Theory of State” (Allgemeine Staatslehre)? The General Theory of State has been taught in Turkish law schools since 1940s, and it also stands for a division of public law departments. The German tradition of “Allgemeine Staatslehre” has been very influential on the development of General Theory of State in Turkish law schools, as well as the French tradition. On the other hand, transformation of the concept of state and the revision of the Allgemeine Staatslehre have recently appeared on the agenda of both German and Turkish legal academia. Following the success of the workshop of the GKHT on “the Future of Teaching General Theory of State in Turkey” in April 2018, this conference aims at bringing together Turkish and German legal scholars focused on revisiting the content and methodology of the General Theory of State in view of the recent transformation of the contemporary state. For this purpose, Prof. Dr. Thomas Vesting’s (Frankfurt) recently published book “Staatstheorie” will be the main focus of the conference.

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