General Jurisprudence: Understanding Law from a Global Perspective

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This book explores how globalisation influences the understanding of law. Adopting a broad concept of law and a global perspective, it critically reviews mainstream Western traditions of academic law and legal theory. Its central thesis is that most processes of so-called 'globalisation' take place at sub-global levels and that a healthy cosmopolitan discipline of law should encompass all levels of social relations and the legal ordering of these relations. It illustrates how the mainstream Western canon of jurisprudence needs to be critically reviewed and extended to take account of other legal traditions and cultures. Written by the one of the foremost scholars in the field, this important work presents an exciting alternative vision of jurisprudence. It challenges the traditional canon of legal theorists and guides the reader through a field undergoing seismic changes in the era of globalisation. This is essential reading for all students of jurisprudence and legal theory.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'With general exhortation and detailed illustration, this book promotes the skills and techniques of municipal jurisprudence and challenges its complacencies, through making the case for a global perspective on law.' Andrew Haplin, Swansea University

'Havinglong advocated a contextual appreciation of law, in General Jurisprudence, William Twininginsists that we cannot understand law without taking a more cosmopolitan approach - an approach that moves beyond Western legal traditions to embrace the many different practices of social ordering. This is vintage Twining, clear and compelling while always challenging.' Roger Brownsword, King's College London

'… General Jurisprudence is at once a call to action about reorienting how the idea of jurisprudence should be pursues in today's globalized environment, and the reflection of an exemplary career as a legal scholar.' Journal of Law and Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521738095
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2009
  • Series: Law in Context Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 2.90 (d)

Meet the Author

William Twining is Quain Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus of University College London. He has worked extensively in Eastern Africa, the Commonwealth and the United States and is a leading proponent of broader approaches to the study of law. His recent books include Globalisation and Legal Theory (2000) and The Great Juristic Bazaar (2002) to which this is a successor.

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Table of Contents

Part I: 1. Jurisprudence, globalisation and the discipline of law: the need for a new general jurisprudence; 2. Analytical jurisprudence in a global context; 3. Mapping law: families, civilisations, cultures, and traditions; 4. Constructing conceptions of law: beyond Hart, Tamanaha and Llewellyn; 5. Normative jurisprudence, utilitarianism, and theories of justice; 6. Human rights as moral, political and legal rights; 7. Meeting the challenges to human rights as moral rights: Griffin, Tasioulas and Sen; 8. Empirical dimensions of law and justice; Part II: 9. Diffusion of law: a global perspective; 10. Surface law; 11. Is law important? Law and the Millennium Development Goals; 12. The significance of non-state law; 13. Human rights: Southern voices; 14. Conclusion.

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