The Influence of Legal Origins’ Theory in Comparative Politics: Are Common Law Countries More Democratic?

Nuno Garoupa


The legal origins theory has impacted and changed comparative law and economics. In this article, I consider
the neglected relationship between the legal origins theory, comparative law, and comparative politics. One of
the alleged theoretical foundations of the legal origins theory is the more democratic nature of the common law
and the more authoritarian nature of the civil law. This article offers indication that there is very little
quantitative evidence to support the thesis that common law jurisdictions are more democratic than civil law
jurisdictions. The tentative conclusion is that both legal traditions can be easily molded to democratic or
authoritarian governments as a function of political determinants.

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Comparative Law Review is registered at the Courthouse of Monza (Italy) - Nr. 1988 - May, 10th 2010.
Editors - Prof. Giovanni Marini, Prof. Pier Giuseppe Monateri, Prof. Tommaso Edoardo Frosini, Prof. Salvatore Sica, Prof. Alessandro Somma, Prof. Giuseppe Franco Ferrari, Prof. Massimiliano Granieri.

Direttore responsabile:Alessandro Somma