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Comparative Law as Critique

Günter Frankenberg

This book presents a critique of conventional ways to do comparative law. The author argues that, for comparative law to qualify as a discipline, comparatists must reflect on how and why they compare. The author discusses not only methods and theories, but also the ethical implications and the politics of comparative law.
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Contents

Günter Frankenberg

Preface

PART I   DISCIPLINE AND CRITIQUE

1.  Comparative law as discipline

1.  From Cinderella to queen

2.  Comparative law’s disciplinarity

3.  Mainstream as orthodoxy

2.  Critique and comparison

1.  Critical approaches

2.  Modalities of critique

3.  The polysemy of critique

4.  Criteria of critique

5.  Critical comparisons

PART II   CHARTING THE COMPARATIVE SPACE

3.  Navigating the mainstreams

1.  Science/method: techniques and varieties of innocence

2.  Comparative law and the spirit of the universal

3.  After universalism – taxonomy: mapping the laws of the world

4.  Functionalism: the triumph of complexity reduction

5.  From functionalism to factualism: in search of Common Cores

6.  Structuring the comparative space: distancing and differencing as method

4.  Orientalizing comparative law’s occident

1.  The silence of the lambs

2.  Introducing the grid

3.  Tracks and dimensions of comparative law

A.  Cognitive control ‘country and western’ style

B.  Universal Dreams Inc.

C.  Sentimental journey

D.  Skepticism

5.  Muslim veiling: critique of a comparative discourse

1.  Comparing the visuality of dress

2.  Applying the grid to Muslim veiling

3.  Controlling the covered woman

4.  Colonizing the oppressed Muslim woman

5.  Apocalyptic crusaders: a hybrid of controlling and colonizing

6.  Conserving the Oriental

7.  Skepticism between critique and relativism

8.  Concluding notes: the complex normative matrix of dress

PART III   COMPARING HUMAN RIGHTS NARRATIVES

6.  Human rights and narratives of justification

1.  Looking at the bright and dark sides of human rights

2.  Legal narratives: coming to terms with contingency

3.  Human rights as narratives of justification

4.  Narratives of normalization: law-rule as order

5.  Human rights as positive ideology

6.  Human rights: narratives of their universal nature

7.  Human rights narratives as mythology

8.  Comparative remarks

7.  ‘Before the Law’: the discourse about ‘access to justice’

1.  ‘Before the Law’

2.  Access and gatekeepers

3.  Seeking access to justice

4.  Justice or the Law: the tragedy

5.  Recoding tragedy as comedy

6.  The management of injustice

7.  The normative discourse on access to justice

8.  Access to justice: the narrative of normalization

9.  Options to enjoy the right to a day in court

8.  Thick comparison?

1.  Aufhebung? Where detachment/commitment and similarity/difference intersect

2.  Thicker comparison – ‘richer’ law: from regulating to world-making

3.  Reflexive comparison: the comparatist

4.  Thicker comparison: culture, context, critique, etc.

Bibliography

Index