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For all the attention paid to the Founder Fathers in contemporary American debates, it has almost been wholly forgotten how deeply they embraced an ambitious and intellectually profound valuation of foreign legal experience. Jedidiah Kroncke uses the Founders' serious engagement with, and often admiration for, Chinese law in the Revolutionary era to begin his history of how America lost this Founding commitment to legal cosmopolitanism and developed a contemporary legal culture both parochial in its resistance to engaging foreign legal experience and universalist in its messianic desire to export American law abroad. Kroncke reveals how the under-appreciated, but central role of Sino-American relations in this decline over two centuries, significantly reshaped in the early 20th century as American lawyer-missionaries helped inspire the first modern projects of American humanitarian internationalism through legal development. Often forgotten today after the rise of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949, the Sino-American relationship in the early 20th century was a key crucible for articulating this vision as Americans first imagined waves of Americanization abroad in the wake of China's 1911 Republican revolution. Drawing in historical threads from religious, legal and foreign policy work, the book demonstrates how American comparative law ultimately became a marginalized practice in this process. The marginalization belies its central place in earlier eras of American political and legal reform. In doing so, the book reveals how the cosmopolitan dynamism so prevalent at the Founding is a lost virtue that today comprises a serious challenge to American legal culture and its capacity for legal innovation in the face of an increasingly competitive and multi-polar 21st century. Once again, America's relationship with China presents a critical opportunity to recapture this lost virtue and stimulate the searching cosmopolitanism that helped forge the original foundations of American democracy.
This fully revised and updated second edition of The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law provides a wide-ranging and diverse critical survey of comparative law at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It summarizes and evaluates a discipline that is time-honoured but not easily understood in all its dimensions. In the current era of globalization, this discipline is more relevant than ever, both on the academic and on the practical level. The Handbook is divided into three main sections. Section I surveys how comparative law has developed and where it stands today in various parts of the world. This includes not only traditional model jurisdictions, such as France, Germany, and the United States, but also other regions like Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Latin America. Section II then discusses the major approaches to comparative law - its methods, goals, and its relationship with other fields, such as legal history, economics, and linguistics. Finally, section III deals with the status of comparative studies in over a dozen subject matter areas, including the major categories of private, economic, public, and criminal law. The Handbook contains forty-eight chapters written by experts from around the world. The aim of each chapter is to provide an accessible, original, and critical account of the current state of comparative law in its respective area which will help to shape the agenda in the years to come. Each chapter also includes a short bibliography referencing the definitive works in the field.
The topical chapters in this cutting-edge collection at the intersection of comparative law and anthropology explore the mutually enriching insights and outlooks of the two fields. Comparative Law and Anthropology adopts a foundational approach to social and cultural issues and their resolution, rather than relying on unified paradigms of research or unified objects of study. Taken together, the contributions extend long-developing trends from legal anthropology to an anthropology of law and from externally imposed to internally generated interpretations of norms and processes of legal significance within particular cultures. The book's expansive conceptualization of comparative law encompasses not only its traditional geographical orientation, but also historical and jurisprudential dimensions. It is also noteworthy in blending the expertise of long-established, acclaimed scholars with new voices from a range of disciplines and backgrounds.