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Advanced Introduction to Law and Globalisation

Jaakko Husa

This Advanced Introduction offers a fresh critical analysis of various dimensions of law and globalisation, drawing on historical, normative, theoretical, and linguistic methodologies. Its comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach spans the fields of global legal pluralism, comparative legal studies, and international law.
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Comparative law and global law

Jaakko Husa


.2 The comparative dimension is discussed here because it is an important academic practice that stresses the significance of a non-national perspective on law and the accompanying global legal pluralism. It offers a different view to legal globalisation than international law or other normatively oriented approaches.

At the outset it may perhaps appear that comparative law has little to do with legal globalisation; is it not rather an academic practice concentrated on comparing laws of different states, one might ask. This was the case in the past, but today it is a mistaken view. A significant, almost paradigmatic, change has taken place. Recently comparative study of law has increasingly used the concept of legal culture. To generalise: today the stress has moved from legal system to ‘legal culture’.3 However, there is no clear-cut definition of what legal culture actually means and, in fact, it seems that not all comparatists use it in any specifically coherent manner.4 Even so, in general we may characterise legal culture as a kind of ‘extra-plus’ of narrowly understood law. It brings forth the context of written rules, precedents, and legal doctrines. The basic tenor while using this concept seems to be that when studying legal systems one needs much more than formal legal rules and institutions. How does law and globalisation come into play? In essence, legal globalisation is about transforming legal culture on a global scale. Legal globalisation is clearly something more than positive legal rules and international legal institutions.

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