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The Cold War and Comparative Law: A Reflection on the Politics of Intellectual Discipline

The Cold War and Comparative Law: A Reflection on the Politics of Intellectual Discipline AbstractHow much does the current state of comparative legal studies owe to Cold War political imperatives? What happened to our discipline once such imperatives declined in the aftermath of the bipolar world? Comparative lawyers have been completely naive about the impact of the Cold War on their own discipline both as it reached maturity in the 1950s and as it developed after the fall of the Berlin Wall until now. This consequence of the professional depoliticization of comparative law is especially troublesome since the Cold War has accompanied in its entirety the historical moment in which the common law tradition, especially in its U.S. epiphany, has been able to conquer global legal hegemony. Thus, the current disciplinary knowledge of comparative law, the very toolkit of our methodology, has developed in the context of the Cold War confrontation and has reached full global dominance in its aftermath. It is worth thinking about possible implications of this context on the professional project of legal comparativism if we wish to maintain an acceptable level of critical understanding of ourselves. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Comparative Law Oxford University Press

The Cold War and Comparative Law: A Reflection on the Politics of Intellectual Discipline

American Journal of Comparative Law , Volume 65 (3) – Nov 13, 2017

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author [2017]. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Comparative Law. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
ISSN
0002-919X
eISSN
2326-9197
DOI
10.1093/ajcl/avx024
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractHow much does the current state of comparative legal studies owe to Cold War political imperatives? What happened to our discipline once such imperatives declined in the aftermath of the bipolar world? Comparative lawyers have been completely naive about the impact of the Cold War on their own discipline both as it reached maturity in the 1950s and as it developed after the fall of the Berlin Wall until now. This consequence of the professional depoliticization of comparative law is especially troublesome since the Cold War has accompanied in its entirety the historical moment in which the common law tradition, especially in its U.S. epiphany, has been able to conquer global legal hegemony. Thus, the current disciplinary knowledge of comparative law, the very toolkit of our methodology, has developed in the context of the Cold War confrontation and has reached full global dominance in its aftermath. It is worth thinking about possible implications of this context on the professional project of legal comparativism if we wish to maintain an acceptable level of critical understanding of ourselves.

Journal

American Journal of Comparative LawOxford University Press

Published: Nov 13, 2017

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