ELGAR ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMPARATIVE LAW (2nd ed), J. Smits, ed., Forthcoming
15 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 31, 2011
Over a century ago, comparative lawyers initiated a narrow debate about separating out a set of 'commercial law' rules within the broader field of private law, the main preoccupation of their emerging discipline. The growth of the welfare state over the 20th century, along with the internationalization of public institution-building and private economic activities, underpinned the emergence of the broader concept of economic or 'business law'. Deregulation since the 1980s, accompanied by considerable re-regulation, challenged scholars interested in some areas of business law, but more from the perspective of public law generally or of political science. This generated studies constituting the even broader field of 'commercial regulation'. That field also now includes more interest in normative dimensions, not just narrower instrumental approaches that take for granted the goals and means for regulation of commercial entities. Such interest makes it easier to find points of intersection with an even broader contemporary area of study, the governance of contemporary socio-economic relationships, analyzed also by social scientists and legal theorists from even more diverse backgrounds. A major focus is comparative 'corporate governance'. Now that the latter itself has expanded in scope of analysis, there is a rich overlap with the concerns of those studying commercial regulation, business law, and narrower commercial law. Comparative studies will continue to be important in each of these areas, and in helping to make the most of their overlaps.
Keywords: commercial law, commercial regulation, governance, corporate governance, comparative law, transnational law
JEL Classification: K10, K22, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation