David M. Engel is SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University at Buffalo Law School. Michael McCann is Gordon Hirabayashi Professor for the Advancement of Citizenship and Director of the Law, Societies, and Justice program and the Comparative Law and Society Studies Center at the University of Washington.
Fault Lines: Tort Law as Cultural Practiceby David Engel
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Tort law, a fundamental building block of every legal system, features prominently in mass culture and political debates. As this pioneering anthology reveals, tort law is not simply a collection of legal rules and procedures, but a set of cultural responses to the broader problems of risk, injury, assignment of responsibility, compensation, valuation, and obligation.
Examining tort law as a cultural phenomenon and a form of cultural practice, this work makes explicit comparisons of tort law across space and time, looking at the United States, Europe, and Asia in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. It draws on theories and methods from law, sociology, political science, and anthropology to offer a truly interdisciplinary, pathbreaking view. Ultimately, tort law, the authors show, nests within a larger web of relationships and shared discursive conventions that organize social life.
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