The Futility of Law and Development: China and the Dangers of Exporting American Law

Hardcover | February 1, 2016

byJedidiah J. Kroncke

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For all the attention paid to the Founder Fathers in contemporary American debates, it has almost been wholly forgotten how deeply they embraced an ambitious and intellectually profound valuation of foreign legal experience. Jedidiah Kroncke uses the Founders' serious engagement with, andoften admiration for, Chinese law in the Revolutionary era to begin his history of how America lost this Founding commitment to legal cosmopolitanism and developed a contemporary legal culture both parochial in its resistance to engaging foreign legal experience and universalist in its messianicdesire to export American law abroad. Kroncke reveals how the under-appreciated, but central role of Sino-American relations in this decline over two centuries, significantly reshaped in the early 20th century as American lawyer-missionaries helped inspire the first modern projects of Americanhumanitarian internationalism through legal development. Often forgotten today after the rise of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949, the Sino-American relationship in the early 20th century was a key crucible for articulating this vision as Americans first imagined waves of Americanization abroadin the wake of China's 1911 Republican revolution. Drawing in historical threads from religious, legal and foreign policy work, the book demonstrates how American comparative law ultimately became a marginalized practice in this process. The marginalization belies its central place in earlier eras of American political and legal reform. In doing so,the book reveals how the cosmopolitan dynamism so prevalent at the Founding is a lost virtue that today comprises a serious challenge to American legal culture and its capacity for legal innovation in the face of an increasingly competitive and multi-polar 21st century. Once again, America'srelationship with China presents a critical opportunity to recapture this lost virtue and stimulate the searching cosmopolitanism that helped forge the original foundations of American democracy.

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For all the attention paid to the Founder Fathers in contemporary American debates, it has almost been wholly forgotten how deeply they embraced an ambitious and intellectually profound valuation of foreign legal experience. Jedidiah Kroncke uses the Founders' serious engagement with, andoften admiration for, Chinese law in the Revolut...

Jedidiah J. Kroncke is a professor at the FGV Sao Paulo School of Law (Brazil)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:376 pages, 9.41 × 6.42 × 0.1 inPublished:February 1, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190233524

ISBN - 13:9780190233525

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Table of Contents

Table of ContentsIntroduction1. The Reception of Chinese Law in Revolutionary America2. Extraterritoriality and Evolution in the 19th Century3. The American Missionary and Early American Legal Reform in China4. The Solvency of China in Early American Internationalism5. Science, Standardization, and the Export of American Law6. The Chinese Republic and America's Missionary ReformersCase Study 1: Frank Goodnow and the Failures of Technocratic Constitutionalism7. The Special Relationship and the Rule of Law8. The Loss of China and Export as Legal NationalismCase Study 2: Roscoe Pound and the Corrupting Dream of Exporting American LawConclusion: Globalizing the American Legal Missionary

Editorial Reviews

"[Futility] is a sophisticated critical dissection of the drawbacks of American legal export...a much a loss for the U.S. as for the world, because it has foreclosed the willingness of politicians and lawyers to see such complexity as an invitation for U.S. internal domestic experimentationand renewal. The book offers a beautiful reconstruction of the American legal imagination and approach to China...a provocative retelling of the history of American legal export, one that no doubt will generate fruitful debate and will have to be reckoned with by legal historians, legalcomparativists, and scholars of U.S. foreign policy." --Aziz Rana, JOTWELL