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Authors: Sybblis, Martin
Advisors: Scheppele, Kim L.
Contributors: Sociology Department
Keywords: Commercial Law
Commonwealth Caribbean
Community Economic Identity
Economic Development
Legal Reform
Subjects: Sociology
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation offers a novel way to understand how legal change occurs in the corporate and commercial context. It suggests that legal professionals, particularly commercial lawyers, are capable of enhancing the state’s capacity for law reform in instances where legal rules are seen as a pathway to economic prosperity. They and other community leaders (typically political and business elites), however, are influenced in their reform efforts by the community economic identities (“CEIs”) they have developed with respect to chosen commercial activities within their jurisdiction. CEIs affect how those who make the crucial development decisions think about the commercial activities and industries in their community (city, state, country or region), and these identities in turn shape what seem like logical choices for that community. This project makes two contributions to the sociology of law and economic development. First, it suggests that the scholarly understanding of “state capacity” should be expanded to include the availability and role of private sector commercial lawyers who can help a state promote and achieve commercial law reforms. Second, the dissertation introduces the concept of CEI into the academic discourse on the relationship between law and economic development. It explores the role commercial lawyers and CEI have played in commercial law reform in the Commonwealth Caribbean post-colonies of Barbados and Jamaica. The institutional similarities between the two countries and the divergent paths they have taken in their approach to commercial law reform make them attractive sites for better understanding the determinants of legal change.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Sociology

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