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Law, Economics and Evolutionary Theory

Edited by Peer Zumbansen, Professor of Transnational Law, The Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London, UK and Gralf-Peter Calliess, Chair of Private Law, Comparative and International Economic Law and Legal Theory, University of Bremen, Germany
Law and economics has arguably become one of the most influential theories in contemporary legal theory and adjudication. The essays in this volume, authored by both legal scholars and economists, constitute lively and critical engagements between law and economics and new institutional economics from the perspectives of legal and evolutionary theory. The result is a fresh look at core concepts in law and economics – such as ‘institutions’, ‘institutional change’ and ‘market failure‘ – that offer new perspectives on the relationship between economic and legal governance.
Extent: 384 pp
Hardback Price: $167.00 Web: $150.30
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978 1 84844 823 0
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Paperback Price: $53.00 Web: $42.40
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 978 1 84980 416 5
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Evolutionary Economics
  • Law and Economics
  • Law - Academic
  • Law and Economics
Law and economics has arguably become one of the most influential theories in contemporary legal theory and adjudication. The essays in this volume, authored by both legal scholars and economists, constitute lively and critical engagements between law and economics and new institutional economics from the perspectives of legal and evolutionary theory. The result is a fresh look at core concepts in law and economics – such as ‘institutions’, ‘institutional change’ and ‘market failure‘ – that offer new perspectives on the relationship between economic and legal governance.

The increasingly transnational dimension of regulatory governance presents lawyers, economists and social scientists with an unprecedented number of complex analytical and conceptual questions. The contributions to this volume engage with legal theory, new institutional economics, economic sociology and evolutionary economics in an interdisciplinary assessment of the capacities and limits of the state, markets and institutions. Drawing as well upon legal sociology and the philosophy of law, the authors expand and transform the known terrain of ‘law and economics’ by applying evolutionary theory to both law and economics from a domestic and transnational perspective.

Legal scholars, evolutionary and regulatory theorists, economists, economic sociologists, economic historians and political scientists will find this cutting-edge volume both challenging and engaging.
‘Evolutionary theory belongs to the rare species of theories that are simultaneously fundamental and over-arching, implicating as it does numerous life contexts as well as an array of scholarly disciplines. Armed with a profound grasp of evolutionary theory and its implications to social research, Professors Zumbansen and Calliess have mobilized an appropriately diverse and truly stellar group of academics to investigate how this theory may provide new insights about law, economics, and their inter-relations. Cast against an especially broad intellectual backdrop set by the editors, this volume is sure to become a standard reference in literature.’
– Amir N. Licht, Radzyner School of Law, Israel

‘Zumbansen and Calliess have done a wonderful job in assembling papers from the leading scholars in the field, who draw on evolutionary approaches for explaining developments in both economics and the law. Anybody interested in issues of institutional change will be inspired by the wealth of ideas and the diversity of perspectives.’
– Stefan Voigt, University of Hamburg, Germany
Contributors: M. Amstutz, A. Aviram, B.L. Benson, G.-P. Calliess, F. Carvalho, P.A. David, S. Deakin, B. Du Laing, M. Eckardt, T. Eggertsson, J. Freiling, W. Kerber, R.H. McAdams, J. Mokyr, E.A. Posner, M. Renner, E. Schanze, J.M. Smits, M. Zamboni, P. Zumbansen
Contents:

Foreword

Law, Economics and Evolutionary Theory: State of the Art and Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Peer Zumbansen and Gralf-Peter Calliess

PART I: EVOLUTIONARY THEORY AND HISTORICAL TRAJECTORIES
1. The European Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and Modern Economic Growth
Joel Mokyr

2. The Unbearable Lightness of A – Useful Knowledge and Economic Growth
Thráinn Eggertsson

3. The Law Merchant’s Story: How Romantic is it?
Bruce L. Benson

4. Path Dependence: A Foundational Concept for Historical Social Science
Paul A. David

PART II: EVOLUTIONARY THEORY IN LAW AND ECONOMICS
5. System and Evolution in Corporate Governance
Simon Deakin and Fabio Carvalho

6. Constitutional Possibility and Constitutional Evolution
Eric A. Posner

7. The Expressive Power of Adjudication in an Evolutionary Context
Richard H. McAdams

8. Forces Shaping the Evolution of Private Legal Systems
Amitai Aviram

9. Legal Evolution between Stability and Change
Martina Eckardt

10. The Genesis of Law: On the Paradox of Law’s Origin and its Supplément
Marc Amstutz

11. Gene-Culture Co-Evolutionary Theory and the Evolution of Legal Behavior and Institutions
Bart Du Laing

12. Making Evolutionary Theory Useful for Legal Actors
Mauro Zamboni

PART III: TRANSNATIONAL LAW AND EVOLUTIONARY GOVERNANCE
13. Transnational Commercial Law, Multi-level Legal Systems, and Evolutionary Economics
Wolfgang Kerber

14. Darwin at Work: How to Explain Legal Change in Transnational and European Private Law
Jan M. Smits

15. Linking Extra-legal Codes to Law: The Role of International Standards and Other Off-the-track Regimes
Erich Schanze

16. Transnational Governance and Evolutionary Theory
Gralf-Peter Calliess, Jörg Freiling and Moritz Renner

Index