The Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion in Comparative Legal Thought
Chapter 5: Post-war comparative law: concealed ambivalent apologies for liberal transformation
This chapter analyses some of the most important post-World War II comparative legal works. With a more seemingly politically detached tone, many of these scholars distinguish themselves from evolutionary thinking while reproducing ‘new’ unacknowledged versions of it. Assuming a putatively universal path from the traditional/underdeveloped to the modern/developed, the meaning of the ‘West’ is reproduced through a definitional exclusion of the ‘non-West’. It is argued that this stands in tension with promises of inclusion, arising from critiques of both evolutionary thinking and Western expansion. The critical potential of post-war comparative law is, however, limited by taken-for-granted notions of modernity and economic development, which facilitate contentions or assumptions of a desirable Western-like transformation of the ‘non-West’.
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