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date: 24 September 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Over the past century, legal history and economic history developed as separate fields of scholarship. Their separation reflects an understanding of law and economy as distinct objects that may be pulled apart and each analysed apart from the other. Yet, even assuming that law and economy are separable, it is undeniable that they interact. This chapter first maps the state of the field over the past several decades, identifying two major questions that have guided much of the scholarship on the border between legal and economic history. It then describes two of the theoretical frameworks available to legal historians for conceptualizing the relationship between law and economy. Finally, it argues that future work on the history of political economy should put aside measuring the impact of law on economy (and vice versa) and instead explore how the boundary between law and economy has been constructed and maintained over time.

Keywords: law, economic history, legal history, political economy, economy

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