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Comparative Methods in Law, Humanities and Social Sciences
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Comparative Methods in Law, Humanities and Social Sciences

9781802201451 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Maurice Adams, Professor of General Jurisprudence, Tilburg University, the Netherlands and Mark Van Hoecke, Professor of Comparative Law, Queen Mary University of London, UK and School of Law, Ghent University, Belgium
Publication Date: 2021 ISBN: 978 1 80220 145 1 Extent: 288 pp
This cutting-edge book facilitates debate amongst scholars in law, humanities and social sciences, where comparative methodology is far less well anchored in most areas compared to other research methods. It posits that these are disciplines in which comparative research is not simply a bonus, but is of the essence.

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Critical Acclaim
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This cutting-edge book facilitates debate amongst scholars in law, humanities and social sciences, where comparative methodology is far less well anchored in most areas compared to other research methods. It posits that these are disciplines in which comparative research is not simply a bonus, but is of the essence.

Featuring discussions and reflections from scholars experienced in conducting comparative research, this book considers the ways in which comparative legal research can gain important comparative, qualitative and interpretive insights from the humanities and from the social sciences. Chapters examine contrasting comparative legal versus historical approaches, comparative sociology, comparative religion, comparative (legal) anthropology, comparative philosophy, comparative economics and more. Additionally, the book considers the challenges that lie ahead, not just for comparative legal research, but for comparative disciplines as a whole. Of the many challenges that are identified and discussed, the book concludes that comparative research can especially be further developed when it is also understood as a research design, instead of just a method.

Inspiring and progressive, this book will be a crucial reference point for both research students and experienced researchers who are embarking on comparative research within the disciplines of law, humanities and social sciences.
Critical Acclaim
‘Comparative Methods in Law, Humanities and Social Sciences makes a fresh and innovative addition to the booming literature on comparative research. The collection of chapters combines insights from various disciplines in humanities and social sciences such as law, literature, religion and politics. The editors have done a magnificent job in putting together a splendid group of world-class experts to author the individual chapters. This is a truly ground-breaking work and a must on every comparatist’s bookshelf.’
– Heikki Pihlajamäki, University of Helsinki, Finland

‘Comparative methods play a key role in many academic fields; yet, there is little interaction between the literature of these different fields. It is thus of great benefit that Maurice Adams and Mark Van Hoecke have brought together an excellent group of authors to reflect on comparative methods in law, humanities and social sciences. The book fills an important gap in the literature and promises to provide an important work of inspiration for scholars across many fields.’
– Mathias Siems, European University Institute, Italy and Durham University, UK
Contributors
Contributors: Maurice Adams, Jean-Pascal Daloz, Oliver Freiberger, Kjell Å Modéer, David Nelken, Angus Nicholls, Geoffrey Samuel, Katrin Seidel, Peter van der Veer, Mark Van Hoecke, Ralph Weber, Mathew Wong
Contents
Contents:

Preface xiii
1 Comparative disciplines: an introduction 1
Maurice Adams
2 Methods of legal history and comparative law 11
Geoffrey Samuel
3 Comparative legal history 45
Kjell Å Modéer
4 Comparative sociology: epistemological issues 62
Jean-Pascal Daloz
5 Elements of a comparative methodology in the study of religion 75
Oliver Freiberger
6 Comparative methods in legal anthropology: ‘thick’
comparison through (cultural) translation 96
Katrin Seidel
7 The comparative advantage of cultural anthropology 121
Peter van der Veer
8 Methods in comparative politics 135
Mathew Y.H. Wong
9 Comparative philosophy and comparison 149
Ralph Weber
10 Between comparison and commensuration: the trouble
with global social indicators 175
David Nelken
11 Particularism versus universalism in the history of
comparative literature 197
Angus Nicholls
12 Comparing across societies and disciplines 221
Mark Van Hoecke
13 Conclusion: challenges of comparison 246
Maurice Adams and Mark Van Hoecke

Index 264
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