Comparative Law is experiencing something of a renaissance, as legal scholars and practitioners traditionally outside the discipline find it newly relevant in projects such as constitution and code drafting, the harmonization of laws, court decisions, or as a tool for understanding the globalization of legal institutions. On the other hand, comparativists within the discipline find themselves asking questions about the identity of comparative law, what it is that makes comparative law unique as a discipline, what is the way forward. This book, designed with courses in comparative law as well as scholarly projects in mind, brings a new generation of comparativists together to reflect on the character of their discipline. It aims to incite curiosity and debate about contemporary issues within comparative law by bringing the discipline into conversation with debates in anthropology, literary and cultural studies, and critical theory. The book addresses questions such as what is the disciplinary identity of comparative law; how should we understand its relationship to colonialism, modernism, the Cold War, and other wider events that have shaped its history; what is its relationship to other projects of comparison in the arts, social sciences and humanities; and how has comparative law contributed at different times and in different parts of the world to projects of legal reform. Each of the essays frames its interpretation around a close reading of the life and work of one formative character in the history of the discipline. Taken as a whole, the book offers a fresh and sophisticated picture of the discipline and its future.
Into this muddled field comes Annelise Riles edited volume, Rethinking the Masters of Comparative Law, which continues her highly original work in breaking open the stultified paradigms of comparative law. In short, Riles and her collaborators have put together an interesting intellectual history in a post-modern mode Tom Ginsburg The Law and Politics Book Review October 2001 ...ce petit volume presente une vue originale de l'evolution de la science comparative. A. V. Revue Internationale de droit Compare October 2001 ...the book offers a fresh and sophisticated picture of the discipline and its future. Book Review Editor Tilburg Foreign Law Review April 2003 ...consisting of excellent essays on various key figures, it represents an excellent study on the historiography of comparative law as an academic discipline The book will thus serve as prime reading for anyone who wants to understand comparative law as a discipline. All studies in the book are of truly superior quality, and reading them together gives a good picture of events in the history of comparative law, and of its present. Ralf Michaels German Law Journal May 2003