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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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Chapter 4: Orientalizing comparative law’s occident

Günter Frankenberg


The ethical and political dimensions of the mainstream ‘tracks’ of comparative work complement the dimension of method/theory. They are represented by means of a ‘grid’ that allows them to capture and discuss the dilemma of interpretation (similarity/difference) and the problem of positionality – whether the comparatist recognizes that she is always already anchored in her ‘own’ legal culture and how she relates the familiar to the foreign (detachment/commitment).

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