Introducing Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft
The publisher trades under the name Nomos Verlag since 1964 and counts as one of the leading academic publishers in the fields of Law, Social Sciences and Humanities throughout the German-speaking world. Every year Nomos publishes more than 850 books and over 50 journals. Almost all of them are accessible online. Although being part of the Beck Group since 2002, Nomos has maintained to be an independent publisher and cooperates successfully with many publishers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the UK and other countries.
Nomos over the Years
Nomos originated from August Lutzeyer Verlag which was situated in Baden-Baden since 1953. After World War II Lutzeyer established itself as a legal publisher with a special focus on loose-leaf text editions. In particular “Das deutsche Bundesrecht” has gained increasing significance over time. Ever since the passing of the Treaties of Rome in 1957 European legal provisions have also been thoroughly documented.
In 1963 the shareholders of Suhrkamp Verlag, Siegfried Unseld and the Swiss brothers Reinhardt, acquired August Lutzeyer Verlag. Shortly after an earlier acquisition of Insel Verlag by Suhrkamp, the three were especially interested in the printing shop that belonged to August Lutzeyer Verlag, as this was specializing in lightweight printing of small editions. In addition to this, the aspiring academic publisher was seen as a profitable investment.
Nomos as Part of Suhrkamp
Approximately a year after the acquisition, the publishing house was renamed Nomos Verlag. The name derives from the classical Greek term for “Law” (νόμος). Since the loose-leaf editions and other collections of legal texts, like the “Handbuch des Europäischen Rechts”, have never been mere editions of legislative texts, but have been incorporating various annotations, the publishing company steadily developed a wide program of legal commentaries and handbooks. Simultaneously an extensive academic program developed, including dissertations, habilitations and other monographs and anthologies.
At first Nomos focused on Public Law, European Law and International Law on the one hand, and Comparative Government, EU Studies and International Relations on the other. Gradually more fields of study were added. Until the turn of the millennium, Nomos established itself as one of the leading academic publishers in the fields of Law and Social Sciences.
Acquisition by C.H.Beck Verlag
In the end of the 1990s, the former shareholders decided to sell Nomos Verlag (presumably in view of a reform in Inheritance Tax Law). In 1998 Nomos was initially sold to Springer Verlag. Springer in turn was shortly after bought by Bertelsmann, who promptly sold Nomos to the shareholders of C.H.Beck Verlag in Munich, Hans-Dieter and Wolfgang Beck. To date Hans-Dieter and Wolfgang Beck are owners of the publishing house and the printing shop. CEOs are Alfred Hoffmann and Wolfgang Bonin.
Expansion since 2009
Since 2009 Nomos took over several smaller publishers with a focus on Social Sciences and Humanities. The first of these was the “Verlag Reinhard Fischer” in 2009 – which has been continued as the series “Edition Reinhard Fischer”. Since 2015 “Edition Sigma” is part of Nomos as an imprint – just as the further acquisitions “Tectum Verlag”, “Ergon Verlag” (both 2017) and “Academia Verlag” (2018).
Nomos is one of the few publishers offering a wide range of academic books and journals that ensures a cross-disciplinary display of current topics.
Every year approximately 850 books are published, ranging from distinguished academic theses to commentaries and handbooks, and including an excellent textbook program.
Today the focus lies on the publication of distinguished academic books in the fields of Law, Social Sciences, and Humanities. With almost 700 novelties per year, these works make up the majority of all titles by far. More than 330 series cover all fields of Law including Jurisprudence, Law and Society, Comparative Law etc. Within the Social Sciences and Humanities, the focus lies on Political Science, EU Studies, Sociology, Media and Communication Studies, Economics, Social Education as well as Social Economy. Recently other fields of study have been incorporated into the program, such as Modern History, Health Management, Cultural Studies, Philosophy and Religious Studies.
In addition to dissertations and other monographs and anthologies on single topics, a great number of academically profound handbooks are published that address students, researchers and teachers on the one hand, as well as practitioners in business, administration, organizations, etc. on the other.
In order to optimize the distribution of works on international subjects, Nomos frequently collaborates with publishers from Austria, Switzerland, as well as other European countries. This is especially true for the steadily growing amount of academic works in English. For these titles, Nomos cooperates closely with prestigious academic publishers in the UK.
Legal Commentaries and Handbooks
From the documentation of legal texts, Nomos developed a comprehensive book program for legal practitioners. The range of commentaries, handbooks, and monographs has grown immensely since the year 2000. Today it covers the complete Federal Law, substantial parts of the German State Law as well as European Union Law and International Law.
Since 2010 Nomos, C.H.Beck and UK based Hart Publishing have been co-publishing more than 50 English language commentaries and handbooks covering select topics of European and International Law.
Since 2008, a broad program of legal textbooks has been established. In addition to the main series Nomos Lehrbuch, Nomos Studium and Nomos Referendariat students find literature on federal state laws and several introductory works on legal topics for non-law students.
Concerning Social Sciences, the „Studienkurse” in Political Science, Sociology, and Social Work should be noted, as well as the great number of other textbooks on various subjects.
Nomos publishes over 50 journals covering all of the above mentioned subject areas. Among these are monthly journals addressing the specific needs of legal practitioners as well as highly specialized academic journals. Many of the journals are leading within their respective field of study. In particular noteworthy are the many inter- and intradisciplinary journals such as „Leviathan“, „Kritische Justiz“, or „Rechtswissenschaft“.
Almost the complete portfolio is available online. Books and journals that mainly address legal practitioners are provided by the database NomosOnline which is a part of BeckOnline, the leading German legal database. The academic program together with textbooks and English language commentaries are available on the publisher’s own platform Nomos eLibrary. The platform is bilingual and meets first and foremost the needs of an academic library and their users. Already other academic publishers use the platform’s technology for the distribution of their electronic content, such as Verlag Franz Vahlen and C.H.Beck.