Author Archives: Bertram Lomfeld

Choice Theories of Law

Free University Berlin (FUB) organizes together with Humboldt University (HU) and in cooperation with Columbia Law School and Tel-Aviv University (TAU) a workshop on “Choices Theories of Law” on June 2018 in Berlin, Germany. The workshop starts from comments on the book “Choice Theories of Contract” by Hanoch Dagan and Michael Heller (CUP 2018) and inquires into general use and critique of choice theories in law.

PLT 2018 choice

Berlin Workshop: The Laws of Merit

PLT co-hosted a Berlin Workshop, 06 October 2017, on meritocracy in the US and Germany (organised by Bertram Lomfeld, FU Berlin). A group of German lawyers, economists and sociologists is discussing the manuscript of Daniel Markovits’ (Yale Law School) new book “Meritocracy and Its Discontents” (forthcoming with Penguin and C.H. Beck). In discussion with the workshop participants aim to reconstruct the significance and development of a meritocratic structure and attitude in Germany. | PLT 2017 meritokratie

German Private Law Theory Meeting in Münster

There is a great new initiative in German private law theory. On 12 and 13 February Nils Jansen (Münster University) and Michael Grünberger (Bayreuth University) organized a conference on German “Perspectives of Private Law Theory”. The format of the conference was to discuss on three recent private law theory books on the basis of four invited commentaries in each case. It is intended to repeat such book discussions on a regular annual basis.

Program Münster 2016

PLT 2015 Workshop, The Core of Property

The next PLT Workshop on property theory in Königswinter (Germany) will gather leading US and European property scholars to find out if there is something like “The Core of Property” and what it might look like. The workshop is organized by Dan Wielsch (Cologne University), Bertram Lomfeld (Free University Berlin) and Hanoch Dagan (Columbia Law School)

PLT 2015 property

First CLE-Berlin Talk with Daniel Markovits

Bertram Lomfeld initiated at Free University Berlin in cooperation with Heike Schweitzer (Free University Berlin) and Gerhard Wagner (Humboldt University Berlin) a CRITICAL LAW & ECONOMICS LECTURE SERIES which aims to reflect law & economics scholarship within a broader social theory perspective. The first lecture will be:



26-May-2014  |  19°°  |  FU Berlin  |  Bibliothek FB Jura  |  R 203  |  Van’t-Hoff-Str. 8


Lawyers, economists, and even philosophers conventionally understand markets as technologies for distributing goods across persons in the service of efficient investment, production, and (ultimately) consumption. But markets also serve a second function, which is very different and equally substantial. Market orderings establish an important and free-standing site of social cohesion. Market solidarity — as market based social cohesion might be called — exerts a powerful centripetal force that sustains order against the centrifugal forces that constantly threaten to tear cosmopolitan societies apart. Market solidarity, moreover, is not merely second-best. Rather, commercial self-interest achieves what political virtue cannot. Market solidarity arises through two mechanisms: Price-commensuration, solves the epistemic problem associated with value difference; and contract-integration, solves the normative problem associated with the authority of the market. Markets establish shared rather than merely coordinated intentions; but the sharing stops at intentions and does not reach cooperative motives. Market solidarity, one might say, involves neither mere coordination nor full cooperation, but rather, intermediately, collaboration.

Daniel Markovits is Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School. After earning a B.A. in Mathematics, summa cum laude from Yale University, Markovits received a British Marshall Scholarship to study in England, where he was awarded an M.Sc. in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from the L.S.E. and a B.Phil. and D.Phil. in Philosophy from the University of Oxford. Markovits then returned to Yale to study law and, after clerking for the Honorable Guido Calabresi, joined the faculty at Yale.