Towards Comparative Legal Institutionalism: Featuring Katharina Pistor

Lecture | November 16 | 2-4:30 p.m. | The Law Building, Warren Room 295

 Katharina Pistor, Columbia Law School

 Berkeley Law

Please join us for the Inaugural Irving Tragen Lecture on Comparative Law featuring Katharina Pistor
Towards Comparative Legal Institutionalism
Comparative law today leads only a shadow existence at law schools in the US and elsewhere. This has been true especially for the last three decades when globalization and global law have gained prominence, diminishing the interest in (foreign) local law. In this talk, I will argue that comparative law is best thought of as a methodology that can and should be employed for analyzing the role of (formal) law in relation to other forms of social ordering at the national, transnational and international levels. My argument builds on the tradition of institutionalism in neighboring disciplines (economics, history, political sciences), which has recently been extended to “legal institutionalism” (Deakin et al., 2015). Legal institutionalism, however, suffers from lack of comparative insight. In my talk, I hope to show the relevance of comparative legal analysis that focuses on legal institutions, their operation and change in different contexts, for finding answers to questions about social ordering and governance that have long preoccupied social theorists and students of global governance. Comparative legal institutionalism, I will argue can help us (1) identify the relevance of law in comparison to other modes of social ordering; (2) understand the political economy of legal ordering in different local and global contexts and (3) analyze how legal change interacts with patterns of economic and social change domestically as well as globally.

Lecture from 2-3:30 p.m. in Warren Room followed by reception in Goldberg Room from 3:30-4:30 p.m.