This sweeping book details the extent to which the legal revolution emanating from the US has transformed legal hierarchies of power across the globe, while also analyzing the conjoined global histories of law and social change from the Middle Ages to today. It examines the global proliferation of large corporate law firms—a US invention—along with US legal education approaches geared toward those corporate law firms. This neoliberal-inspired revolution attacks complacent legal oligarchies in the name of America-inspired modernism. Drawing on the combined histories of the legal profession, imperial transformations, and the enduring and conservative role of cosmopolitan elites at the top of legal hierarchies, the book details case studies in India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and China to explain how interconnected legal histories are stories of both revolution and reproduction. Theoretically and methodologically ambitious, it offers a wholly new approach to studying interrelated fields across time and geographies.
“A highly original work that develops and merges different scholarly traditions into a unique analytic framework, illustrating how legal fields and fields of state power worldwide have been interwoven in their development from the Middle Ages until today.” OLE HAMMERSLEV, Professor of Sociology of Law, University of Southern Denmark
“Probably the most important work ever done on the global history of the legal profession and its role in constructing the state and capitalism since the Middle Ages. These authors have been honing their theoretical framework for decades and building up an unparalleled comparative knowledge of the global legal profession. This is their master work, the kind of comparative work that rarely comes along and that can be field-redefining.” CAROL JONES, Honorary Professor, University of Birmingham, School of Law
YVES DEZALAY is Emeritus Director of Research, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. BRYANT G. GARTH is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.
Dezalay Y. & Garth B. 2021. Law as Reproduction and Revolution: An Interconnected History. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.110
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