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