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date: 25 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses new directions in comparative law. It shows that the field of comparative law has become more diverse, both in its methods and by turning its attention to new topics. These changes have occurred, first, as traditional comparative law has increasingly allowed modifications to functionalism and has expanded its reach beyond ‘just’ Western-based state laws. Second, comparative law has also ventured into new terrain, for example, by more readily accepting quantitative methods and by turning its attention to the comparison of regional, international, and transnational law. Third, there is an increase in interdisciplinary research on topics of comparative law, for example, as it incorporates research from economics and political science that aims to establish causal relationships and to assess new forms of global governance. Thus, the overall trend is that comparative law has broadened both its methodological tool box and its substantive perspective. One can regard this as a kind of centrifugal effect: apparently, there is much interest in comparative law but also considerable dissatisfaction with the established core, and in combination, these elements drive the exploration of new methods and themes. Yet, there are also centripetal forces at work, reaffirming the traditional status quo of a more confined core of comparative law.

Keywords: causality, comparative law, functionalism, global governance, indicators, interdisciplinary research, legal pluralism, quantitative approaches

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