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Parution : 05/2021
Editeur : Hart
ISBN : 978-1-5099-4692-1
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Paradigms in Modern European Comparative Law

A History

Balázs Fekete

Présentation de l'éditeur

This book uses the philosophy of Thomas Kuhn to provide a new vision of the development of European comparative law that will challenge and inspire scholars in the field.

With the 'empathic' use of some ideas from Kuhn's theories on the history of science – paradigm, paradigm-shift, puzzle-solving research and incommensurability – the book rethinks the modern history of European comparative law from the late 19th century to the modern day. 

It argues that three major paradigms determine modern comparative law:

- historical and comparative jurisprudence, 
droit comparé, and 
- post-World War II comparative law.

It concludes that contemporary methodological trends are not signs of a paradigm-shift toward a postmodern and culturalist understanding of comparative law, but that the new approach spreads the idea of methodological plurality.



Introduction: Scope and Subject 

I. The History of Comparative Law and a History of Comparative Law 
II. The Dominance of Descriptive Linearity 
III. Comparative Law as a Discipline and the Application of Comparative Methods in Law 
IV. Ancient or Modern History of Comparative Law Thinking 
V. Comparative Law and Comparative Constitutional Law 
VI. A Mezzo Perspective Approach 

1. The History of Comparative Law and Kuhn's Oeuvre 

I. Studying Science as a Historical Phenomenon: Some Preliminaries 
A. On the Necessity of an Elaborated Historical Approach 
B. On the Historical Character of Scientific Development 
C. Choosing a Proper Starting Point – The Importance of the Definition of Science 

II. Applying Kuhn's Legacy to Understand the History of Comparative Legal Studies 
A. The History of Science and Kuhn's Paradigm Shift 
B. The Very First Problem: How to Apply Kuhn's Findings to Legal Scholarship 
C. Which Kuhn to Apply for This Study? 
D. The Novelty of Kuhn's Work from the Perspective of Legal Scholarship 
E. Refining the Kuhnian Vocabulary: Science 
F. Refining the Kuhnian Vocabulary: Parallel Paradigms 
G. Refining the Kuhnian Vocabulary: Paradigm 
H. Refining the Kuhnian Vocabulary: Paradigm Shift 

III. Lessons from Kuhn in the Historiography of Legal Scholarship 

2. Historical and Comparative Jurisprudence 

I. Introduction: The Centuries-long Pre-paradigm Period and the Rise of the First Paradigm 

II. Prologue: The Modern Precursors and the Pre-Paradigm Period 
A. Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-century Examples of the Use of Comparative Methods 
B. Early Nineteenth-century Precursors: End of the Pre-paradigm Period 
C. The Relevance of the Early-Modern Pre-paradigm Period 

III. General Background: The Rise of Positivism and the Idea of Evolution 

IV. Historical and Comparative Jurisprudence – The Emergence of the Paradigm in England 
A. The Fusion of the Historical and Comparative Methods in Maine's Ancient Law 
B. The Development of Historical and Comparative Jurisprudence 

V. From Ethnologische Jurisprudenz to Vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft – The Birth of a Paradigm in Germany 
A. The Beginning: Ethnological Perspectives in the Legal Scholarship 
B. Joseph Kohler's General Philosophy of Law 

VI. The First Paradigm of Modern Comparative Law: A Summary 

3. The Paradigm of Droit Comparé 

I. Fin-de-siècle Atmosphere 

II. A New Wave of Institutionalisation 

III. The 1900 Paris Congress of Comparative Law 

IV. The Establishment of the New Paradigm 
A. Comparative Law as an Autonomous Field of Legal Scholarship 
B. Comparative Law and Common Legislative Law 
i. The New Methodological Principles of Comparative Law – Lambert's Interpretation
ii. New Emphases in Lambert's Oeuvre – The Start of Puzzle-solving Research 

V. The Development of the Paradigm – Functionalism, Global Law and Scepticism 
A. The 'Re-founding' of German Comparative Law 
B. Developing the Institutional Background and the Attraction of 'Global Law' 
C. The English Initiatives of the Period – Deviating from Maine's Heritage 

VI. Characteristics of the Second Paradigm

4. The Third Paradigm – Post-World War II Comparative Law 

I. Introductory Remarks: The New World Order and Comparative Law Scholarship 

II. The Taxonomy of the World's Legal Orders 
A. The First New Try: The Arminjon–Nolde–Wolff Manual 
B. The Attraction of Ideology and Ideals – The Typology of René David 
C. The Style of Legal Families – The Taxonomy of Konrad Zweigert 
D. The Concept of the Encyclopedia
E. The Perspectives of a Multi-level Classification 
F. Patterns and Dynamics in Law – The Innovation of Ugo Mattei 
G. The Classification of Legal Orders in Post-World War II Comparative Law 

III. The Renewal of Comparative Law Methodology: The Victory of Functionalism 
A. Conceptual Discussion 
B. The Earliest Attempts to Apply the Idea of Functionalism in Comparative Law 
i. Preliminaries 
ii. Functionalism and Legal Principles 
C. The Fundamental Principles of Functionalist Methodology 
i. Historical Roots of Functionalism: Jhering's Method as an Ideal and as a Programme 
ii. The Research Programme of Comparative Law Functionalism 
D. The 'Case-oriented Factual Approach' – The North-American Approach to Functionalism 
E. Criticism of Comparative Law Functionalism 
F. Common Core and Ius Commune Casebooks Projects 

IV. The Third Paradigm 

5. New Trends in Contemporary Comparative Law: Towards a Paradigm Shift? 

I. A Changing Scholarly Landscape 

II. A Cultural Turn in Comparative Law? 
A. Cultural Claims in Comparative Law: The Example of Legrand 
B. The Proliferation of the Use of Legal Culture: Trends and Problems 
i. Legal Culture as Background of Law 
ii. Legal Culture as Interactions Around Law 
iii. Legal Culture as a Sum of Attitudes Towards Law 
C. Three Typical Inconsistencies in the Application of Legal Culture in Comparative Law 
i. Confusion of Different Understandings in the Same Study 
ii. Under-theorisation of Legal Culture 
iii. Over-theorisation of Legal Culture 

III. The Decline of Methodological Exclusivity in Comparative Law Thinking 
A. The Functionalist-Culturalist Divide 
B. The Rise of Methodological Tolerance: The Recognition of a Methodological Plurality 

IV. Paradigm Shift in Contemporary Comparative Law? 

Concluding Thoughts 

I. On the Validity of this Research, with Special Regard to the Relevance of Kuhn's Ideas 
II. On the Utility of having a Single Book on the History of Modern European Comparative Law 
III. On the Recent Perspectives of Comparative Law

European Academy of Legal Theory Series , 224 pages.  £63.00

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