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Comparative Law in a Globalizing World: Three Challenges

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Contemporary comparative law and comparative legal scholarship have generally been marked by constructivist purposes, as a means for state building and local law reform. In this sense they have lent support to the idea of law being an exclusively national phenomenon. However, as a result of globalization, the question is whether the discipline, as it stands now, is fit for dealing with an ever more interdependent world. The answer might well be in the negative, with a result that comparative lawyers have to adapt their analytical and educational toolkits to ones other than constructivist purposes, and also to the realities of a largely fragmented and fluid regulatory landscape. At least three challenges stand out with regard to changing comparative law from a marginal and static discipline into a central and dynamic one: the objects of comparative law; the role of comparative law in the law curriculum and the type of research a dynamic approach to comparative law requires.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Law, Tilburg Law School (the Netherlands) Part-time Professor of Comparative Law, University of Antwerp (Belgium), Email:, URL:


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