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Separating Church and State

The Atlantic Divide

James Q. Whitman

Americans commonly believe that their country is unique in its commitment to the separation of church and state. Yet by the European measure, the American separation of church and state looks strikingly weak, since Americans permit religious rhetoric to permeate their politics and even cite the Bible in court. In light of these striking differences, this article argues that it is wrong to imagine that there is some single correct measure of the separation of church and state. Instead, northern continental Europe and the United States have evolved two different patterns, whose historical roots reach back into the Middle Ages. In northern continental Europe, unlike the United States, historic church functions have been absorbed by the state. The consequences of this historic divergence extend beyond familiar questions of the freedom of religious expression, touching on matters as diverse as welfare policy and criminal law.

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The Headscarf

The French State as Mediator Between Civil Society and Individuals

Elisa Wiygul

This article examines the meaning of the French headscarf ban in the light of France's state-sponsored religious councils. These councils belie the view that France simply has a stricter separation of Church and State than the United States. Rather, France reconfigures the traditional conception of civil society as mediating between the individual and the state. The French state conceives of itself as the representative of the people and, as such, inter-mediates between religious institutions and individuals. This intervention achieves two distinct but complementary goals. First, the state endeavors to save individuals from private religious forces in order to promote individual autonomy. Second, the state's intervention into institutional religious matters bureaucratizes, centralizes, and domesticates religious institutions, making them more comprehensible and less threatening. Both the headscarf ban and the religious councils stem from the state's goal of serving as a buffer between its individual citizens and religious institutions.

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Transatlantic Legal Networks

Boris Mirkine-Guetzévitch and Brazil, 1927–1934

Emanuele Podda

young foreign scholars and research students residing in France to perfect their knowledge in the different subjects of social life grouped in France under the title of ‘Comparative Law.’” 50 Moreover, it also intended “to spread by every possible means

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Law in Theory, Law in Practice

Legal Orientalism and French Jesuit Knowledge Production in India

Danna Agmon

encounter with law in South India, on the other, reveal about missionary theories about comparative law and, more broadly, about missionary knowledge production? This article juxtaposes Father Bouchet's scholarly writings about the law of India with his

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Book Reviews

Yves Laberge, Fiona Wright, and Roger Norum

Hyland, Richard. 2009. Gifts: A Study in Comparative Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. xxi+708 p. ISBN-13: 978-0195343366, £80.

Book Review: Lori Allen, The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine, xviii, 258 pp. bibliogr. Stanford Studies in Human Rights, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, 2013. $85 (cloth), $24.95 (paper).

Lucht, Hans. 2012. Darkness before Daybreak: African Migrants Living on the Margins in Southern Italy Today. Berkeley: University of California Press. Isbn 0520270738, xxii, 284 pp, price: $26.95

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In Memoriam

Gad Barzilai (1958–2023)

Oded Haklai and Adia Mendelson-Maoz

, and conference proceedings. His writings covered a wide range of topics, including law and society, politics of rights, comparative law, political power, national security, democracies and law, and Middle East and Israeli politics and law. Gadi

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Transatlantic Circulation of Political and Legal Actors, Ideas, and Bodies of Knowledge between Europe and America during the Twentieth Century

Emanuele Podda and Ignacio Alejandro López

and Legal Networks (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017). For a general perspective, see also Daniel Berkowitz, Katharina Pistor, and Jean-Francois Richard, “The Transplant Effect,” The American Journal of Comparative Law 51, no. 1 (2003): 163

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From Modern to Feudal

Conceptual Articulations of Federalism in Republican China

Federico Brusadelli

himself the introductory article, Lan gathered three more contributions for the dedicated pages: one from a prominent philosopher, one from a politically active journalist and one from a professor of Comparative Law. His aim was to provide a variety of

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Reflections on the Circulation of Normative Models and Legal Works in the 1936 Argentine Civil Code Draft on Possession

María Rosario Polotto and Pamela Alejandra Cacciavillani

. In the processes of normative change that took place between the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such as the case of the sanction of the Civil Code and the attempt to revise it through the Preliminary Draft in 1936, comparative law played a

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Reimagining Democracy through Syria's Wartime Sharia Committees

Emma Findlen LeBlanc

Near Eastern Law 39 : 41 – 72 . Makdisi , J. ( 1985 ), ‘ Legal Logic and Equity in Islamic law ’, The American Journal of Comparative Law 33 : 63 – 92 , . Masud , M.K. , Peters , R. and Powers , D