Contemporary American Political Thinking and its Impact on that Country ’s Law and Values
Basil Markesinis
2008/ Vol. 20, No. 3, (69)
Digital edition
5.00 €

Contemporary American Political Thinking
and its Impact on that Country’s Law and Values

Sir Basil Markesinis

QC, LL.D. (Cantanb.), DCL (Oxon.) Dr. Iur h.c. multa,
Ordinarius Professor of Comparative Law at the Universities of London and Austin, Texas.
Fellow of the British Academy, Membre Correspondant de l’Institut de France,
Socio Stra­nie­ro dell’Accademia dei Lincei (Rome)
and Associé Etranger of the Royal Acad­emies of Belgium and the Netherlands.
Corresponding Member of the Academy of Athens and Member of the American Law Institute


This lecture by Sir Basil Markesinis deals with the contemporary American politi­cal thinking and its impact on that country’s law and values. The speaker initially touches upon the debate over the introspection found in some judicial and aca­demic circles, and expresses his disagreement with the view expressed by Ameri­can and European commentators that Americans are coming out of their shell and are becoming more ‘open’ to foreign ideas. He then argues that American excep­tionalism has spread to foreign policy which has a legal context, contributing to a decline of the American image abroad, even among its closest allies and friends. He goes on to discuss the reverse of the introverted trend, looking briefly at those American jurists who remain anxious to join the growing international legal order and suggests that this school of thought, by being fragmented, is nowadays also politically weak.

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