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Comparing Law
Comparative Law as Reconstruction of Collective Commitments

$39.99 (P)

Part of ASCL Studies in Comparative Law

  • Date Published: October 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108455176
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About the Authors
  • The enterprise of comparative law is familiar, yet its conceptual whereabouts remain somewhat obscure. Comparing Law: Comparative Law as Reconstruction of Collective Commitments reconstructs comparative law scholarship into a systematic account of comparative law as an autonomous academic discipline. The point of that discipline is neither to harmonize world law, nor to emphasize its cultural diversity, but rather to understand each legal system on its own terms. As the proposed reconstruction exercise involves bridging comparative law and contemporary legal theory, it shows how comparative law and legal theory both stand to benefit from being exposed to each other. At a time when many courses are adding a transnational perspective, Valcke offers a more theoretical, broadened, and refreshed view of comparative law.

    • Develops an analytic framework for comparative law
    • Written in prose that is easily accessible to non-theory experts
    • Accounts for present and future comparative law scholarship
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘This insightful analysis of the current state of comparative law is sure to be a landmark – valuable both as a survey of the field and as a highly original contribution to the debates over comparative method.' William Ewald, University of Pennsylvania

    ‘As comparative law becomes a more pervasive and more important field, the need for theoretical and practical reflection on the actual methods and point of comparison becomes even more pressing. Catherine Valcke's path breaking book not only provides the foundation for comparative law methodology, but also, in seeing comparison as focusing on commonalities as well as differences, offers a novel and provocative theory of the very idea of comparison.' Frederick Schauer, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia

    ‘Catherine Valcke combines her vast knowledge in both jurisprudence and comparative law into a study that is both rigorously argued and thoroughly original. This fabulous book moves both disciplines forward in extremely needed ways.' Ralf Michaels, Duke University, North Carolina

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    Customer reviews

    05th Apr 2019 by PhillipTaylor

    FROM THE CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS: A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON COMPARATIVE LAW An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers and Reviews Editor of “The Barrister” An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers and Reviews Editor, “The Barrister” This book certainly excels as a penetrating analysis of current issues and developments in comparative law. As a Full Professor of Law at the University of Toronto, its author, Catherine Valcke, has sought to establish comparative law — quite convincingly as it happens — as a separate and distinct area of study, worthy of a much more intensified academic scrutiny than that which has been generally accepted in many academic circles. It seems that Valcke has cast an extremely critical eye on certain dismissive attitudes towards comparative law on the part of a number of its detractors, (many of them in North America presumably) who, as one might infer, have apparently tended to view the subject with a certain degree of disdain. Valcke has emphasized to the contrary that comparative law should ideally be regarded as, one might say, a ‘stand-alone’ legal discipline in its own right ‘distinct,' she says ‘from legal history, legal philosophy, legal sociology and so on.’ Interestingly and illustratively, the book — a new title from the Cambridge University Press (CUP) — presents a considerable number of references to traditional philosophy — and sociology too — from Aristotle to, for example, Rousseau and Kant to Dworkin, not to mention sociologist Max Weber — and a whole lot more from the world of jurisprudence and philosophy. The book has been published as part of the CUP’s ASCL Studies in Comparative Law series, the American Society of Comparative Law, being a leading voice in the study and analysis of this, sometimes controversial, subject area. Consequently, we found that the book presents a formidable array of carefully substantiated arguments in its examination of the key complexities of comparative law, including its analytical framework, its methodology and its jurisprudence. This is certainly a ground-breaking study of an area of law, that with increasing globalization, becomes ever increasingly important. The date of publication of this paperback is cited as at 25th October 2018.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108455176
    • length: 242 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Prologue: the 'malaise' of comparative law
    1. Law
    2. Legal systems
    3. Engaging with legal systems – epistemology
    4. Delineating legal systems – geography
    5. Comparing legal systems – methodology
    Epilogue: the 'academic discipline' of comparative law.

  • Author

    Catherine Valcke, University of Toronto
    Catherine Valcke is Full Professor, Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. She has taught, lectured and published on comparative law, comparative law theory and legal theory worldwide, including in such journals as Nomos, The American Journal of Comparative Law, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Yale Journal of International Law, European Review of Private Law, and Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence. Her work on English and French contract law, in particular, was recently cited as 'illuminating' by the English House of Lords. An elected member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, she has acted as National Reporter for Canada to the Congress of the Academy.

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