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Wolfgang Fikentscher

Wolfgang Fikentscher

Wolfgang Fikentscher (born 17 May 1928 in Nuremberg, Germany) is a German jurist and legal anthropologist.


  • Life 1
  • Work 2
  • Publications (selection) 3
  • External links 4


Fikentscher earned his Dr. juris (1952) and S.J.D (1957) at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich/Germany. His professional career began as assistant in the law department of Wackerchemie (Munich), at that time under Allied IG Farben control, and as teacher of labor law at trade union schools (Kochel and Niederpoecking/Bavaria). In 1952, he received the degree of LL.M at University of Michigan Law School (Ann Arbor, MI, U.S.A). In 1957, he was appointed full professor at University of Münster School of Law. In 1965, he went to University of Tübingen and in 1971 to Munich, holding a chair for civil and commercial law, intellectual property and copyright law, and comparative law, until being emerited in 1996. Since then he teaches the anthropology of law at Munich University Law School as an adjunct, intermittently (1996–2000) also as a guest professor at University of California at Berkeley School of Law.

Since 1972, Fikentscher ist External Scientific Member of Max Planck-Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Munich, working on competition law in developing countries and on the laws controlling market domination. In 1977, he was elected ordinary member of Bavarian Academy of Humanities and Sciences, Philosophical-Historical Class, Munich, chairing its Commission on Studies in Cultural Anthropology. In 1994, he was granted, together with Professor Robert D. Cooter, Berkeley, the Max-Planck Research Prize for fieldwork and publications in Native American tribal law. Fikentscher holds the Federal Cross of Merits 1st Class of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Bavarian Order of Merits. In 1995, he was awarded the degree of Doctor juris honoris causa of the University of Zurich/Switzerland.

Memberships, fellowships: Humanwissenschaftliches Zentrum, University of Munich; Parmenides Foundation for the Study of Thinking, Munich; Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Wassenaar/Netherlands (1971/72); Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, N.M, U.S.A. (1992/93, 1995/96, 2002); Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research, Portola Valley, CA, U.S.A. (since 1992). Guest professorships: Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. (1962, 1966); University of Michigan School of Law, Ann Arbor, MI, U.S.A. (1955, 1987); Yale Law School and Yale's Department of Anthropology, New Haven, CT, U.S.A. 1986; University of Nanjing (1993); University of California School of Law, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A. (1980/81, 1988; 1992, 1996–2000).

Fikentscher is married with Irmgard, née van den Berge, and has four children and four grandchildren.


Fikentscher´s scientific work is focused on intellectual property law, competition law, comparative law and anthropology of law. His publications on antitrust law and international economic law were seminal and influenced German, Greek, European, Japanese and Taiwanese (RoChina) legislation and theory of competition law (PRChina). Fikentscher consulted German, European and UN authorities and the U.S. Senate on antitrust and unfair trade practices law. He authored a textbook on obligations (contracts, quasi contracts, torts). In his later years, Fikentscher contributed to the cultural anthropology of law, or comparative legal cultures, a field less known in Germany. He performed fieldwork, for example in Native American (especially South Western Pueblo) and Taiwanese aboriginal tribal legal cultures, trying to trace basic axioms of human legal and economic thinking.

Publications (selection)

  • Law and Anthropology. Munich 2009: C.H. Beck & Bavarian Academy of Sciences
  • Modes of Thought. 1994, 2nd ed. 2004 Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck
  • Culture, Law and Economics: Three Berkeley Lectures. Berne & Durham, NC, 2004: Staempfli & Carolina Academic Press (CAP)
  • Die Freiheit und ihr Paradox. Graefelfing 1997: Dr. Resch
  • Demokratie - eine Einführung. Munich 1993: Serie Piper
  • Wirtschaftsrecht, vol. 1 Weltwirtschaftsrecht, Europäisches Wirtschaftsrecht, vol. 2 Deutsches Wirtschaftsrecht. Munich 1983: C.H. Beck (translated to Chinese Beijing 2010 by Zhang Shiming)
  • Methoden des Rechts in vergleichender Darstellung, vol. 1-5. Tübingen 1975 - 77: Mohr Siebeck
  • Wettbewerb und gewerblicher Rechtsschutz. Munich 1958: C.H. Beck
  • "A Theory of Legal Monopolies." LL.M. Paper, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MU, U.S.A. 1953
  • "Schadensersatz aus rechtswidrigem Streik unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des politischen Streiks." Unprint. doctoral thesis, Munich 1952

External links

  • Literature by and about Wolfgang Fikentscher in the German National Library catalogue
  • selected works for download at
  • Schriftenverzeichnis
  • Interview with Wolfgang Fikentscher (PDF-Datei)
  • CV (vita=Lebenslauf) Wolfgang Fikentscher (PDF-Datei)
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