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Edited by Olivier Moréteau, Aniceto Masferrer and Kjell A. Modéer
Seán Patrick Donlan
The state of comparative legal history has improved considerably in recent years. But those self-identifying as comparative legal historians still too often reflect a bias towards isolated Eurocentric comparisons, an inattention to social setting and a failure to see law within its wider normative context. This chapter suggests that some of us should study the thick web of social regulation and dispute resolution, the relational entanglement of our laws and norms. Comparative legal history would benefit from this sensitivity and deep focus. Placing comparative legal history in normative perspective in this way need not require a new formal methodology, but it may be necessary to more actively engage with those working beyond the narrow traditional boundaries of our discipline. A dialogue with these scholars and an openness to new methods and models would be beneficial to all. In sum, comparative legal history ought to include the study of legal-normative entanglement, embrace research beyond the narrowly legal and draw inspiration from beyond history. To do so, we must cross temporal, geographical and disciplinary boundaries.
Whatever the direction of the research on comparative legal history is, it can be made easier by a handful of methodological steps drawn from both comparative law and legal history. This chapter discusses the boundaries, terminology and purpose of methodology and a collection of five methodological steps that can assist in doing comparative legal history, drawing on examples from a range of legal systems in the last 200 years.
The nature of the state changed with modernity. In the Middle Ages, it was conceived on a relational system of allegiances and on an order that could be called “theological–moral” (Schmitt,  2006). The state’s hold on space was subordinated to this system and this order. Between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the form of the modern state came into view unfolding its raison d’être in space itself, rooting itself progressively in the earth, attentive to carving out borders, thinking itself through the mastery of an area, resources and populations. The modern state and the state territory emerged and stabilized at the same time with both forms being dependent on each other.
Over several centuries and with many adjustments to various contexts, the spread of the modern state model has led to a progressive creation of a territorial puzzle in Europe and then the rest of the world. Political cartography has accounted for and made possible this division into colour-coded areas and shared symbols. While these territories are all different as to their material constitution or institutional characteristics, because they can all be connected to the same type of state territoriality, they are in a way equivalent.
If, as the two previous conceptual chapters (Chapters 4 and 7) suggest, modern imaginaries of space were mainly aligned on a state mode, on one hand, and a national one, on the other, both with the aid of a partitive conception of the world, what is the situation today when these alignments have lost part of their substance?
Taina Pihlajarinne, Juha Vesala and Olli Honkkila
The digital evolution – or revolution – has been having profound implications on the distribution of content online. New legal issues are constantly arising as companies and consumers seize the opportunities afforded by advances in technology. For instance, consumers have gravitated from watching live television towards watching television via mobile devices. This has given rise to legal issues relating to ability to access services abroad and across Member State borders, as well as to the ability of content service providers to enable this to be done lawfully. Naturally these developments have also attracted reactions from the EU and national policymakers.
Bus rapid transit (BRT) is emphasized as a popular mode of public transit given in-depth analysis in several cities across six continents: Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America. The value of ‘bottom-up’ grounded analysis is captured as a way of gaining rich insight to the specificity of BRT in particular urban spaces. Beyond this, the way in which BRT has been valued in complex and multifaceted ways is presented relating to social wellbeing, city image, transit-oriented aesthetics, ecology, urban development and environmental effects. This raises broader conceptual questions about the valuation of transport infrastructure investment more generally.
Mervyn K. Lewis and Ahmad Kaleem
In this short summing up, all three Holy religions receive a ‘fail’ mark in one of their core aspects of religion and finance: the prohibition of usury and the promotion of interest-free lending. Judaism lends at interest to Gentiles and has adapted hetter iska to convert a borrower–lender relationship into what is seen as a partnership. Christianity deserves ‘Brownie points’ for eventually, after much soul-searching, owning up to and abandoning the prohibition on interest, but has not rid the financial system of usurious practices and excessive interest and charges. Islam has maintained the prohibition in name, but an examination of actual practices suggests that the position is largely one of form over substance. Yet, is it true that all three religions stand for much more than the usury ban, and have laid out clear injunctions regarding appropriate social and economic behaviour, and about charity and benevolence, which deserve to be recognized and followed.