Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series
Edited by Pier Giuseppe Monateri
Francesco Parisi and Barbara Luppi 1. INTRODUCTION: THE EVOLVING METHODOLOGY OF COMPARATIVE LAW Various important debates have accompanied the growth and evolution of comparative law. These debates have been an important force behind the transformation of the methodology of comparative law during the last several decades.1 Comparative law has evolved away from a merely descriptive methodology that characterized the main contributions to this ﬁeld prior to the 1950s. The subsequent methodological variants to comparative law followed a variety of analytical approaches, unveiling common elements behind apparently different legal rules as well as revealing substantive differences that existed across legal systems behind the apparent uniformity of black letter law. Here, the focus on comparative legal history and the identiﬁcation of legal formants typical of the best scholars in comparative law of the second half of the twentieth century has generated important contributions, identifying synecdoches and articulating cryptotypes. Unlike prior methodological transformations within the ﬁeld of comparative law, the inﬂuence of the ‘comparative law and economics method’ has been at the same time broad and controversial. Comparative law and economics is increasingly fashionable among academics. It is probably the most successful example of the recent expansion of law and economics into areas that were once considered beyond the realm of economic analysis. Its popularity notwithstanding, comparative law and economics also attracts several criticisms and generates academic skepticism. The critiques are often on point and highlight the many misuses of economic analysis in comparative law (and law in general) and the...
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