Nordic Inheritance Law through the Ages

Spaces of Action and Legal Strategies


Nordic Inheritance Law through the Ages – Spaces of Action and Legal Strategies explores the significance of inheritance law from medieval times to the present through topical and in-depth studies that bring life to historical and contemporary inheritance practices. The contributions cover three themes: status of persons and options in the process of property devolution; wills, gift-giving and legal disputes as means to shape the working of the law; processes of inheritance legislation.

The authors focus on instances where legal strategies of various actors particularly reveal inheritance law as a contested and yet constrained space of action, and somewhat surprisingly show similar solutions to family law issues dealt with in other Western European countries.

Contributors are: Simone Abram, Gitte Meldgaard Abrahamsen, Per Andersen, Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir, John Asland, Knut Dørum, Thomas Eeg, Ian Peter Grohse, Marianne Holdgaard, Astrid Mellem Johnsen, Már Jónsson, Mia Korpiola, Gabriela Bjarne Larsson, Auður Magnúsdóttir, Bodil Selmer, Helle I. M. Sigh, and Miriam Tveit.

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Marianne Holdgaard is Professor of Family and Inheritance Law, and heading the FamLaPP Research Centre at University of Aalborg, Denmark. Her research revolves around the interconnection between family and inheritance law, especially regarding children’s (lack of) legal and de facto rights to inheritance in various (non-)legal family forms.

Auður Magnúsdóttir is Associate Professor in History at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg. Her main research interests concern power and political culture, as well as kinship and gender relations in medieval Iceland and Scandinavia.

Bodil Selmer is Associate Professor at The Institute of Culture and Society, Aarhus University. She specializes in Legal Anthropology and Kinship Studies. Her most recent research concerns the meaning of material and financial inheritance as affecting life prospects, identity and sense of belonging.
All scholars, researchers and students interested in inheritance law and its practices and disputes over a long historical period, as well as specialist and historians concerned with the Nordic region.
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