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Southern California Law Review. Volume 58, Number 2 (1985), p. 701-714.


As the only non-American at the Symposium, I have been placed in an ambivalent position. While my lack of any intimate dealings with the American system of constitutional governance might be thought to weaken some of my comments, it also gives them a certain freshness and detachment that some of the other commentators' observations might lack. Although I am familiar with American jurisprudential materials, I had not previously had any first-hand experience of American scholarly debate. Its intellectual passion and energy cannot be questioned, but its focus and relevance leave room for comment. To be blunt, there is a distressing tendency to treat peculiarly late twentieth- century American jurisprudential difficulties as fundamental issues of universal human significance. Taking advantage of my alien status, I intend to stand outside the ethnocentric American tradition and offer some critical observations on the contemporary jurisprudential enterprise.

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