Corporate bankruptcy is a defining characteristic of the market economy. It encapsulates the fundamental conflicts between capital and labour, owners and managers, debtors and creditors, the state and the market. Yet, with one or two notable exceptions, the political and social dynamics ofbankruptcy law and practice have been overlooked by serious socio-legal scholars. This book remedies that neglect. Adopting an approach that compares English and American law, the authors identify the underlying political forces that established corporate bankruptcy law on both sides of the Atlantic. The book demonstrates how, by a recursive loop of professional self-interest,corporate insovency regulation is the creation of the lawyers who interpret and administer it. This book will be welcomed as an important sociological study and advances our understanding of how substantive law results from conflicts among the professionals who help to create it.