Democracy and the Western Legal Tradition
University of Trieste School of Law
April 1, 2012
Mauro Bussani and Ugo Mattei (Eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Comparative Law, Cup, Cambridge, 2012, 388-396
The availability of democracy is usually presented as a pre-requisite of any evaluation – be it political, economic or legal – of any country, and as an imperative to pursue (with or without Western help) for all societies that do not enjoy it. Yet, discussions about non-democratic systems, and the Western aspiration to transform them, often fail to take into account – as they actually should – the basic elements of Western democratic societies, the very fabric with which democracy is woven. The paper adopts a comparative law approach to the issue. It takes into account the historical, technical, and cultural frameworks underlying Western democracies, and unveils the limits of the arguments usually employed by both the detractors of democracy itself, and those who believe that democracy is an easy-to-export commodity.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: Law of democracy, Western legal tradition, comparative law
JEL Classification: K10
Date posted: January 11, 2013 ; Last revised: January 24, 2013
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