Introduction: Understanding Legal Evolution

4 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2012

See all articles by Klaus Heine

Klaus Heine

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law

Date Written: February 22, 2012


In recent years, the study of legal evolution has become more systematic, and there have emerged various approaches to the study of legal evolution. However, until now, there has been no consensus as to which of these approaches is the most appropriate for the purposes of uncovering the mechanisms of legal evolution. This latter point may not be a problem if one respects different scientific views and believes that a variety of theoretical approaches is needed in order to fully understand a phenomenon. Nevertheless, the problem remains that the proponents of the different approaches seldom exchange their views and ideas; scholars of legal path dependency tend to only meet other scholars of legal path dependency, and macro-sociologists tend to only recognize the findings of other macro-sociologists. Interdisciplinary cross-fertilization remains a rather rare occurrence. In this issue of Erasmus Law Review, as well as the next, the latter problem is addressed by scholars who illustrate the use of different approaches to researching legal evolution. Thus, the value of this double issue of Erasmus Law Review is twofold: firstly, every article is an important contribution to the study of the evolution of law from its own methodological perspective. Secondly, this collection, which encompasses a variety of views on the evolution of law, allows for quick and convenient access to different approaches to this field of research, and therefore provides added value for the reader.

Suggested Citation

Heine, Klaus, Introduction: Understanding Legal Evolution (February 22, 2012). Erasmus Law Review, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2012. Available at SSRN:

Klaus Heine (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam

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