Bast versus West
This chapter examines the emergence of a unique Western European legal rule, bankruptcy law, and its status in other parts of the world. It notes that bankruptcy was a medieval European invention that spread from the cities of northern Italy to the rest of the subcontinent. By revealing the significance of the political commitment to private exchange and collective action by citizens as embedded in the political structure of city republics, this chapter traces the birth and development of bankruptcy law in northern Italian city-states to its institutional and political economy origins. It also discusses similar legal devices directed at the same problem—the Japanese debtor law developed under the Tokugawa, the Roman cession, and Islamic law.
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