AutorElisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina - Simona Tarozzi
This volume is the result of the interdisciplinary workshop entitled Histor-
ical Perspectives on Property and Land Law – An interdisciplinary dialogue
on methods and research approaches that took place at the University of
Zurich on 11th and 12th April 2019.1 The dialogue between legal historians, his-
torians, and scholars of Roman and comparative law was established around
central themes: property law, transfer and registration of property. Topics
that, in every time and place, have played a signicant role in the organisation
of society, in establishing legal relations, but which have also caused discus-
sions and conicts.
The interdisciplinary approach enriches scientic research, giving several
impulses to academic disciplines, but it is also relevant in searching for differ-
ent methods and perspectives, which contribute to the examination of legal
historical implications in current problems. The era of globalisation has cre-
ated global interconnections, global circulation of ideas, models and institu-
tions. New technologies enabled by digitalisation, for example electronic reg-
istries for property, allow historians, legal historians, and scholars of Roman
and comparative law to formulate or reformulate specic legal questions, in
order to understand how the past shapes and determines our present.
This volume aims to investigate how legal property regimes, land law and
land registration systems are intertwined with economic, social, and political
spheres; to analyse the social functions and legal and political implications of
various land registration systems in different contexts and how, for example,
they operated in a colonial framework; to scrutinise the relations between
politics and property, as well as the transformation of the property concept,
in its meaning and function.
In this perspective the concept of property (dominium) and possession
(possessio) in Roman law served as starting point for the interdisciplinary
discussion in the workshop. Worth mentioning are the difculties which oc-
curred in the use of modern language: especially with regard to the transla-
tion of Latin texts, difculties arose with the ambiguity of certain denitions.
1 We are very grateful to Prof. José Luis Alonso, Prof. Ruth Arnet and Prof. Gisella
Bassanelli for their partipation, encouragement and for their fruitful comments during the
workshop. Special thanks go to Prof. Gisella Bassanelli for having supported us in pursu-
ing this interdisciplinary project from its beginning.

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