This volume,which offers a bridge between comparative law and legal theory, centers upon debates about European legal integration, and, more generally, about the methodology of comparative law. What should be compared? Statutory rules, case law, legal history, law's political, sociological and economical environment, the ideological background of the lawyers, legal techniques, legal traditions, legal cultures, etc.? This question is at the core of many current debates and is discussed in many of the papers contained in this volume. The contributors all attempt to locate law in its context, and adopt a more theoretical and interdisciplinary approach to making comparisons.
In taking an interdisciplinary approach many of the contributors look at our current law from the point of view of one non legal discipline, with an eye on at least some other elements of law's context: notably legal history, legal sociology (especially 'legal culture') and linguistics. They also contribute new ideas to various areas of legal theory including legal epistemology, pluralist or monist conceptions of a 'legal system', legal methodology, judicial reasoning, the theory of legal sources, and the analysis of concepts such as 'equality', 'rights', 'legal principles', 'personal rights' and 'personal identity'.