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Corporate bankruptcy is a defining characteristic of the market economy. It encapsulates the fundamental conflicts between capital and labour, owners and managers, debtors and creditors, the state and the market. Yet, with one or two notable exceptions, the political and social dynamics of bankruptcy law and practice have been overlooked by serious socio-legal scholars. This book remedies that neglect. Adopting an approach that compares English and American law, the authors identify the underlying political forces that established corporate bankruptcy law on both sides of the Atlantic. The book demonstrates how, by a recursive loop of professional self-interest, corporate insovency regulation is the creation of the lawyers who interpret and administer it. This book will be welcomed as an important sociological study and advances our understanding of how substantive law results from conflicts among the professionals who help to create it.
Bruce G Carruthers is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology of Northwestern University. He was educated in Canada and the USA. He received his doctorate from the University of Chicago and has taught at Northwestern University since 1990, where he is Graduate Director of the sociology program. He is a consulting editor of the American Journal of Sociology.
Terence C Halliday is Senior Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation, President of the National Institute for Social Science Information and Chair of the Sociology of Law Section of the American Sociological Association. He was educated in New Zealand, Canada and the USA. He received his doctorate from the University of Chicago and has taught at the Australian National University and the University of Chicago.