Method of Evaluation: Take-home exam
A broad review of the relation between formal legal institutions and the social and cultural factors that influence their development. Using historical, comparative, and American legal materials, the course covers such topics as the cultural foundations of legal reasoning; the implementation of moral principles in European and American courts; factors contributing to successful mediation in Japan and the United States; the social contexts of legal concept formation; and the role of expert social scientists in American family law cases. By looking at law in its broader context the course, which presupposes no social science background of its students, explores the practical and theoretical implications of viewing law as part of a social process.
There will be both minor and major writing projects.