Reflection on the Comparative Study of Law in the 21st Century

  • Mary Ann GlendonEmail author
Part of the Ius Comparatum - Global Studies in Comparative Law book series (GSCL, volume 29)


To legal scholars who have devoted much of their professional lives to the comparative study of legal systems, the benefits of comparative law can seem abundant, obvious, and more relevant than ever in today’s increasingly globalized world. Yet, paradoxically, it is not at all clear what role cross-national legal studies will play in twenty-first century legal academies. Unprecedented global interdependence has spurred many changes in the standard law school curriculum, with course offerings proliferating in the areas of international business, international tax, international arbitration, public international law, and international human rights. These very changes, however, have fostered a mentality that is somewhat impatient with national, regional and local differences. To ardent proponents of standardized and universal norms, the comparative enterprise can seem unnecessary or obstructive. At the same time, persons concerned about globalization’s disruptive effects on local cultures are apt to view foreign law studies with the same skepticism they hold toward internationalism in general.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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