Rechtskulturen took on the challenges of internationalizations and responded to the necessity to understand law in its particular cultural contexts. One central aspect was the interest in systematic confrontations of different understandings of law, its functionalities and specific cultural techniques. From a genuinely legal perspective that acknowledges legal studies as an academic discipline geared towards specific professions (“Professionsfakultät”), the program provided spaces for transregional and interdisciplinary communications about law. At the same time, the irritation by the particular “others” should not be tamed and circumvented by the premature assumption of a common tertium comparationis, and should not be functionalized by a narrow, purely legal-pragmatic perspective.

Rechtskulturenintegrated as a network of interdisciplinary research on law systematic and area-specific approaches. The program explored the foundations and contexts of law in a plural world where competitive and complementary multiplicities of legal and normative orders were part of social reality. Sophisticated comparisons and productive confrontations were facilitated and encouraged by the invitation of seven research fellows per year, coming from all corners of the globe, as well as by the exploration and development of new communication and research formats.

Rechtskulturen was a project of the Berlin research network Recht im Kontext (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin/Institute for Advanced Study) at the Forum Transregionale Studien running from 2010 until 2014. The program was funded by the Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung, Berlin and was associated with the Faculty of Law at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. It was directed by Susanne Baer, Christoph Möllers and Alexandra Kemmerer.