Comparative Law in a Global Context

The Legal Systems of Asia and Africa

Comparative Law in a Global Context
  • Second edition

  • By Werner F. Menski

  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

    Online Publication Date:November 2009

    Online ISBN:9780511606687

    Hardback ISBN:9780521858595

    Paperback ISBN:9780521675291

  • Book DOI:

    Subjects: Comparative Law

Now in its second edition, this textbook presents a critical rethinking of the study of comparative law and legal theory in a globalising world, and proposes an alternative model. It highlights the inadequacies of current Western theoretical approaches in comparative law, international law, legal theory and jurisprudence, especially for studying Asian and African laws, arguing that they are too parochial and eurocentric to meet global challenges. Menski argues for combining modern natural law theories with positivist and socio-legal traditions, building an interactive, triangular concept of legal pluralism. Advocated as the fourth major approach to legal theory, this model is applied in analysing the historical and conceptual development of Hindu law, Muslim law, African laws and Chinese law.


"This is a sprawling, engaged and engaging study in comparative jurisprudence. It provides, as the title indicates, an extended comparative study of the legal systems that function in Africa and Asia, notably those of “Hindu law,” “Islamic law,” “African laws” and “Chinese law.” But it seeks to do much more than that. It takes on conventional claims in contemporary Anglo-American jurisprudence on the nature, sources and scope of law, and finds the dominant accounts of the concept of law within this jurisprudence flawed and incomplete." - Maxwell O. Chibundu, University of Maryland School of Law, Law and Politics Book Review