Using Legal Culture

Using Legal Culture

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In comparative legal studies, the concept of legal culture has come to play an increasingly significant role in contemporary theorising, empirical analysis and methodological innovation. Using Legal Culture explores a number of the key issues regarding the use of this concept.

The essays contained in this book were originally presented in the Journal of Comparative Law Workshop held in Venice University (Ca' Foscari) May 20-21, 2010. The papers show that legal culture is a very productive concept, and also one which carries different meanings and resonances in different places and different languages and which sometimes means different things to different scholars. This collection therefore offers an especially helpful set of reflections on the nature and analytical value of this concept.

The studies published here broadly speaking fall into three categories: general reflections on the concept of legal culture, the use of the concept in the micro-dimensions of the engagement of law with everyday life, and legal culture as a more holistic idea employed to characterise aspects of professionally administered schemes of law and practice. The chapters are written by prominent international scholars, and given a general introduction by one the foremost researchers in the study of legal culture: Professor David Nelken. The book provides an important resource for all students and scholars with an interest in comparative legal studies, as well as for anyone interested in the relationship between law and culture.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25.91mm | 675g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • 0854901183
  • 9780854901180
  • 1,688,278

Table of contents

David Nelken - Using Legal Culture: Purposes and Problems
Sally Engle Merry - What is Legal Culture? An Anthropological Perspective
David M Engel -The Uses of Legal Culture in Contemporary Socio-Legal Studies: A Response to Sally Engle Merry
Franz Von Benda- Beckmann and Keebet Von Benda-Beckmann - Why Not Legal Culture?
Tom Ginsburg - Lawrence M. Friedman's Comparative Law, with Notes on Japan
Susan S Silbey - J. Locke, op. cit.: Invocations of Law on Snowy Streets
Debbie De Girolamo - Seeking Negotiated Order Through Mediation: A Manifestation of Legal Culture?
Marc Hertogh - The Curious Case of Dutch Legal Culture: A Reassessment of Survey Evidence
Marina Kurkchiyan - Comparing Legal Cultures: Three Models of Court for Small Civil Cases
Michael Palmer - Rethinking Children's Rights and Interests?: Economic Reform, Social Protection and Legal Culture in Post-Mao China
Sandra Hotz - Understanding Legal Culture through the Intersection of Law, Culture and Gender - An Example from Japanese Family Law
Stewart Field - Finding or Imposing Coherence? Comparing National Cultures of Youth Justice
Osvaldo Saldias - Can We Explain the Emergence of Legal Cultures? A Methodological Approach Based on the Example of the Andean Community's Legal Culture
Yuksel Sezgin - The Role of Alternative Legalities in Bringing about Socio-legal Change in Religious Systems
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About Professor David Nelken

The author is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Macerata, Visiting Professor of Criminology at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, and Distinguished Visiting Research Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Cardiff. He also holds regular visiting appointments in Universities in Europe and the USA. Widely published, David is a leading writer in the legal studies discourses on the concept of `legal culture'.
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