Friday, 24 October 2014

Is Twitter global? perhaps not (anecdotal)

Ok, I admit it's pretty anecdotal: the percentages are my Twitter followers (just a bit short of 500), numbers and figure via tweepsmap (click on figure to enlarge). The strongest following in the UK (62.8%) is somehow plausible since some of my Tweets are UK-specific (eg, the UK system of research assessments). But, as a fairly 'global' comparative lawyer, I'd have hoped that there would have been a bit more of a balance between the UK and other countries (though perhaps the results also has to do with the extent the latter take part in the mainly English-language Twitter world: eg compare the Netherlands, 3.5%, with Germany, 1.8%).

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Comparative Law Seminar and Book Launch

Monday 20 October 2014, 6-7pm, followed by drinks reception

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London

Speakers and Discussants: Professor Mathias Siems (Durham); Professor David Nelken (KCL); Dr Jacco Bomhoff (LSE);  Dr Maria-Federica Moscati (SOAS); Chair: Professor Helen Xanthaki (IALS)

Description: Professor Mathias Siems will introduce the key arguments of his new book Comparative Law (CUP 2014) and discuss the arguments with a distinguished panel of comparative legal scholars.

Please register at here.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

European Law & Economics at the Crossroads?

Some brief reflections on three conferences that I attended in September – and on the direction that 'law & economics' (L&E) may take in Europe.
   The first one was the Inaugural conference of the World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research (WINIR) in Greenwich; thus, actually, not explicitly about L&E; yet, a number of papers were on L&E (broadly understood), and some of the participants also took part in the two events mentioned below. Possibly, it may also be suggested that such thinking about 'institutions', incorporating (if appropriate) further disciplines such as political science, history etc, may be preferable to a (potentially) narrow L&E focus.
   Second, the Annual Conference of the European Association of Law and Economics (EALE), this year in Aix-en-Provence, is the mainstream L&E event in Europe. It's always very pleasant: meeting old friends and acquaintances, usually in a nice location. But, reflecting on L&E in Europe, it may be a bit unsatisfactory that only a minority (perhaps 25%) of the participants are legal scholars, thus showing that L&E at European law schools is at best a niche. Interestingly, some of the most popular EALE sessions were the ones on behavioural and experimental L&E, possibly also pointing towards the need of L&E to broaden its appeal.
   The third event was a workshop on Economics and the Law in Europe at Dauphine and Nanterre universities in Paris. Here, the focus was on the intellectual history of L&E. Lawyers were in the minority, but the economists too were not 'typical' economists, but mainly economic historian and socio-economists (eg, my paper was the only one that had a quantitative dimension). Again, therefore it became apparent at this event that L&E should not to be understood in a narrow way. Paradoxically, in this respect, it may be an advantage for L&E in Europe to be less established than in the US, since it may make European L&E scholarship more willing to look beyond its usual boundaries.