Comparative Law and Socio-legal Studies

Annelise Riles*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

34 Scopus citations


The article begins by describing some shared ancestral figures of both comparative law and socio-legal studies, and the conundrums they have left to both fields. It then turns to the divisions between socio-legal studies and comparative law. It qualifies this account of disciplinary division with a description of two important areas of research - non-European comparative law and legal pluralism. The discussion describes the new rapprochement between the fields, and outlines a series of foci of active debate. These include the nature of legal pluralism under conditions of globalization, the character of legal culture, the causes and prospects of legal transplants, and the consequences of legal harmonization. From this point of view, the article outlines a number of points of general agreement between comparative lawyers and socio-legal scholars in hopes that the debate on these particular points can now be put to rest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191743559
ISBN (Print)0199296065, 9780199296064
StatePublished - Nov 16 2006


  • Comparative law
  • Globalization
  • Legal culture
  • Legal pluralism
  • Socio-legal studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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