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5 - Breaking Barriers in Comparative Law

from Part I - The Tradition of Comparative Law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 December 2021

Helge Dedek
Affiliation:
McGill University, Montréal
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Summary

H. Patrick Glenn’s works are the result of a profound reflection on the epistemological conditions of comparative law in our epoch. He recognized that, since the emergence of the modern state, legal theory focused nearly exclusively on the state as a source of law. His approach to the study of comparative law expressed the conviction that a historical shift in emphasis in the conceptualization of Western law was long overdue. Accordingly, he considered how states and state law exist in a larger context, where alternative forms of normativity are working. This reflection brought about the open recognition of a wider range of sources of law and a wider range of relations between laws and between peoples, which explains why much of his work is to be inscribed in the paradigm of legal pluralism. His work goes beyond that paradigm, however, by exploring what pluralism entails both at the national and at the transnational level for comparative law studies, and for their methodological orientation. This chapter pays tribute to his vision and his scholarship by exploring how comparative law can fruitfully engage with legal anthropology, legal linguistics, and translation studies, as well as with the dynamics of transnational and global law.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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