The Cambridge Companion to Comparative Law by Mauro Bussani (Universita degli Studi di Trieste)
We can only claim to understand another legal system when we know the context surrounding the positive law in which lawyers are trained. To avoid ethnocentricity and superficiality, we must go beyond judicial decisions, doctrinal writings and the black-letter law of codes and statutes and probe the 'deeper structures' where law meets cultural, political, socio-economic factors. It is only when we acquire such awareness and knowledge of the critical factors affecting both the backgrounds and implications of rules that it becomes possible to control the present and possibly future developments of the world's legal institutions. This collection of essays aims to provide the reader with a fundamental understanding of the dynamic relationship between the law and its cultural, political and socio-economic context.