The End of Comparative Law

Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 2, pp. 133-150, 2007

23 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2007 Last revised: 3 Dec 2008

See all articles by Mathias Siems

Mathias Siems

European University Institute (EUI); Durham University; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)


Following the 1900 congress in Paris, the beginning of the 20th century saw comparative law emerge as a significant discipline. This paper suggests that the early 21st century is seeing the decline, or maybe even the 'end', of comparative law. In contrast to other claims which see the 21st century as the 'era of comparative law', there are at least four trends which give rise to pessimism: 'the disregard', 'the complexity', 'the simplicity', and 'the irrelevance' of comparative law. These phenomena will be explained in the body of this paper; the concluding part considers suggestions as to how to proceed further.

Keywords: Comparative law, numerical comparative law, legal culture, law and finance, World Bank, harmonisation, convergence, governance

JEL Classification: K00, K20, N20, N40, P51

Suggested Citation

Siems, Mathias, The End of Comparative Law. Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 2, pp. 133-150, 2007, Available at SSRN:

Mathias Siems (Contact Author)

European University Institute (EUI) ( email )

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Durham University ( email )

Stockton Road
Durham, County Durham DH1 3LE
United Kingdom


European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

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1000 Brussels

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