System Dynamics: Toward a Language of Comparative Law?

17 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2013

See all articles by David J. Gerber

David J. Gerber

Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology

Date Written: 1998


Goals and methods define intellectual disciplines and the communities associated with those disciplines. Yet what happens when there is a disjuncture between goals and methods — when there are incentives to achieve new objectives, but the tools that have been fashioned to achieve existing objectives have little relevance to the new goals?

I suggest in this essay that this is what has happened in comparative law — a developmental disjuncture has occurred in the relationship between objectives and methods. Certain “traditional” objectives of those thinking about and using comparative law have shaped its current methods, but new objectives have emerged and others have become more pressing, and current methods often have limited value for achieving them.

I here sketch this disjuncture between objectives and methods and some of its implications, suggest an analytical framework for responding to it, indicate how such a framework might be developed into a language for comparative law, and describe some of the potential benefits of such a development.

Keywords: comparative law, international law, system dynamics, analysis

JEL Classification: K19, K33, K42

Suggested Citation

Gerber, David J., System Dynamics: Toward a Language of Comparative Law? (1998). American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 46, p. 719, 1998; Chicago-Kent College of Law Research Paper. 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

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information