Globalization and Legal Knowledge: Implications for Comparative Law

28 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2013

See all articles by David J. Gerber

David J. Gerber

Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology

Date Written: 2001


Globalization brings laws and legal cultures into more direct, frequent, intimate, and often complicated and stressed contact. It influences what legal professionals want and need to know about foreign law, how they transfer, acquire, and process information, and how decisions are made. We might expect the field of comparative law, therefore, to be replete with efforts to comprehend globalization and its impacts on law and to develop strategies for dealing with them. If the central objective of comparative law as a discipline is to “know” foreign law, then these issues should be central to its project. So far, however, comparatists have paid relatively little attention to these influences and their implications. In this Article I identify cognitive and communication issues created by globalization, and I suggest ways in which comparative analysis can address these issues.

My central claim here is that globalization calls for increased attention to goals and methods that have been either neglected or little developed in comparative law studies. Specifically, globalization demands development of more sophisticated tools for structuring and interpreting foreign legal knowledge, and it requires more attention to the processes by which legal information is acquired, processed, and transferred.

Keywords: globalization, comparative law, foreign law, international law, comparative analysis, legal knowledge

JEL Classification: K19, K23, K42

Suggested Citation

Gerber, David J., Globalization and Legal Knowledge: Implications for Comparative Law (2001). 75 Tulane Law Review, pp. 949-975 (2001). Available at SSRN:

David J. Gerber (Contact Author)

Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology ( email )

565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
United States

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