Abstract: Quantitative legal comparisons embedded in global indicators comparing performance of states are probably the most outstanding comparative law product of the recent decades. Yet, these initiatives do not usually qualify as exercises in comparative law. Up to now, comparativists have either heavily criticised them or wholly ignored their existence. The argument developed in this paper is that, by refusing to recognise global indicators as a new technology for comparing laws, comparativists have failed to notice the elephant in the room and have missed a good opportunity to learn from them. Through analysis of three global indicators — the “Freedom in the World” Index, the “Corruption Perceptions” Index, and the “Doing Business” reports — the paper aims to show that global quantitative legal comparisons, perhaps unintendedly, provide an answer to a number of criticisms that have been aimed at comparative law and offer an alternative paradigm for “doing things with comparative law” that deserves further attention.
Keywords: quantitative comparisons; numerical comparative law; global indicators; Freedom in the World Index; Corruption Perceptions Index; Doing Business reports; comparative law methodology; statolatry; perceptions of law; legal functionalism; functions of comparative law
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