Monday, 10 June 2013

Research specialisations of German legal scholars at UK universities

A week ago I posted an updated list of Germans at UK law schools (here).  Now, a very simple analysis of their research: I looked at everyone who had at least two publications on his/her website. Then, I used the following categories, identifying the dominant focus (of course often there are overlaps): scholars whose research is predominantly “European” (including secondary EU law and European human rights), “international”, “comparative”, “German” and “UK”. So, here is the result, in terms of hits (and percentages):
  • European: 21 (34.4 %)
  • International: 19 (31.2%)
  • Comparative: 16 (26.2%)
  • German: 5 (8.2%)
  • UK: 0 (0%)
Overall, not a surprise: European, international and comparative were expected to be most popular; some predominantly German research is also plausible, in particular as regards the most recent arrivals; it also seems plausible that foreigners do not want to become completely ‘UK’, but consider UK (English, Scots) law in its comparative, European or international context.
The question remains what impact a possible UK exit from the EU may have. EU law would not disappear completely, also noting that some non-EU universities have a specialisation on EU law (eg, in Norway but also in the US). Yet, if it really happens (and, as a consequence, EU law would not be a mandatory subject any more, funding opportunities for EU law would disappear etc), I could well imagine that many of the European-law specialists would be inclined to consider posts elsewhere – possibly good news for Irish, Dutch etc universities.