Understanding Legal Systems

in Law and Capitalism

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780226525273
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226525297 | DOI:
Understanding Legal Systems

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This chapter shows that the alternative framework for thinking about how real-world legal systems operate proves more helpful in understanding how law actually relates to markets. In addition, it shows how the approach advances the understanding of what globalization means for legal governance of economic activity. The chapter recalls Max Weber's famous assertion that a rational legal system is the foundation for the development of capitalism. This seems to have been interpreted by modern-day Weberians in the economics profession and the international lending organizations to mean that law's exclusive role in a well-functioning capitalist system is to provide protection, particularly through detailed statutory rules governing investors' and other property rights, complemented by an institutional infrastructure to enforce those rights in a neutral fashion.

Keywords: legal systems; law; markets; globalization; legal governance; Max Weber; capitalism; property rights

Chapter.  9562 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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