The Concept of Legal Culture Revisited: An East-Central European Perspective
Jurisprudence and Political Philosophy in the 21st Century: Reassessing Legacies, pp. 56-68, Miodrag A. Jovanovic and Bojan Spaic, eds., Peter Lang, July 2012
13 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2012
Date Written: July 1, 2011
This paper examines certain distinctive features of East-Central European legal cultures. Starting from the presumption that a legal culture consists of two different parts, the norm and the non-norm levels, it discusses two components of the latter. Historical emotions and their effect should be taken into account since they were important engines of the legal development in the post-transition period. Likewise, citizens’ attitudes towards law may also teach important lessons, as they reflect the existence of such “hidden cultures” as institutional skepticism and overemphasized welfare expectations. The paper’s main conclusion is rather simple: although on the norm level of these legal cultures one can hardly find significant differences from the general Western patterns, certain features highlight that important regional specialties exist on the non-norm level. Therefore, the everyday functioning of these legal systems differentiates from the general Western way in certain cases.
Keywords: comparative law, legal culture, East-Central Europe, law and emotions, institutional skepticism
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