Research Seminar

Arne Jarrick & Maria Wallenberg Bondesson: The cultural dynamics of law-making – A world history

Date: 29 November 2017
Time: 10:00-12:00

Prof. Arne Jarrick and PhD. Maria Wallenberg Bondesson, Centre for the study of Cultural Evolution at Stockholm University and Institute for Futures Studies.


Our presentation gives significant highlights from a forthcoming monograph containing a systematically comparative account of 4 000 years of law-making on a global scale, based on more than 150 law collections from different corners of the world, aiming at a better understanding of the cultural dynamics of the human society. We will report on findings concerning general long-term changes of the content as well as of the structuring principles of laws, such as, on one hand, the emergence of equality before the law, a development of criminal law exclusively referring to victims towards laws also referring to victimless crimes (and back again) &c, and, on the other hand, a gradual evolution of hierarchical structuring principles of laws. One cultural issue is whether it could be substantiated that history is a road towards increasing complexity. We think it can, whereby it also can be shown that rising complexity goes hand in hand with simplification. Law is a case in point.

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