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Comparative law and the history of law are traditionally devoted to expanding the context of legal rules and legal institutions. Comparison involves history, as the well-known motto proclaims, but history also involves comparison. Both disciplines are in fact interested in deepening the space-time coordinates of law as a social phenomenon, which means that they take up a critical approach to their object of study.
In recent years, this trait is increasingly coming into conflict with the tendency to present law as a mere technocratic instrument for organizing societies. As a result of the »end of history« discourse, the Western economic and political order has become a definitive point of reference worldwide, with law scholars charged with identifying best practices to enhance their efficiency.
A group of comparative lawyers and legal historians critically discuss this assumption from a theoretical point of view as well as from the perspective of their respective fields of research. The result is a multifaceted range of ideas on the significance and possible future of two disciplines that share, in addition to their traditional approach, a crisis of identity.