Thursday, August 04, 2011

On the Passing of Eric Stein

Eric Stein, one of the great voices in comparative and international law studies has recently died at the age of 98.  His life and importance was nicely described in the announcement of his passing posted by the University of Michigan, where he taught.  Prof. Eric Stein, "Europe's Prophet," Dies at 98, Michigan Law School Press Release, July 28, 2011.  I will quote from his 2004 ASCL Lifetime Achievement Award:
Eric Stein has built and maintained bridges between the United States and Europe for over half a century. As a member of the emigrant generation who came to this country in the 1930s and 1940s, he has been instrumental in opening teaching and scholarship in American law schools to the comparative dimension. This is particularly true with regard to our understanding of post World War II Europe, much of which American scholars owe to his work. He is an internationally renowned scholar not only in comparative law but also in European Community law--a field he virtually founded in the United States--and international law. The comparative approach pervades virtually all of his work.

In the field of comparative law, Eric Stein's main accomplishment has been the study of divided power systems, especially of the comparison between American federalism and the emerging European Community. His writings in this area, some of which were published in the American Journal of Comparative Law, have recently been collected and published in a book appropriately entitled Thoughts from a Bridge: A Retrospective of Writings on the New Europe and American Federalism (Ann Arbor 2000). Yet, Eric Stein has looked to other divided-power systems as well, most notably in his prize-winning book Czecho/Slovakia: Ethnic Conflict, Constitutional Fissure, Negotiated Breakup (Ann Arbor 1997) which has also been translated into Czech. In addition, Eric Stein has published several noted articles on comparative law more generally, at least one of which has become a classic, "Uses, Misuses, and Nonuses of Comparative Law, 72 Northwestern Law Review 198 (1977).
 Professor Stein's work remains current.   They are worth revisiting, often. 

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